DeanBeat: What’s coming next in the gaming industry

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The core of the gaming industry is doing well. By various measures, it grew users and revenue by 23% last year as the pandemic caused almost everything else to fall apart. The center held. But our next gaming conference is about the edges of the industry and the opportunities to expand the gaming industry beyond its natural boundaries.

GamesBeat Summit Next is coming (you can sign up here) on 9-10. November as an online conference featuring dozens of leaders in gaming as speakers. It will focus on what comes next for games and feature themes that include dealmaking and investing, esports, nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain games, augmented reality and virtual reality, influencers and creators, user-generated content, emerging markets and metaverse. I’m very excited about the speakers we line up. (Sponsors can contact us here.)

These sub-themes are critical because they could sweep through the industry like tidal waves or just get our feet wet. GamesBeat Summit Next will explore the next great opportunities in a disciplined way with industry thought leaders. We will focus on the new parts of games that can become the next big markets. It feels like the industry needs this growth to go beyond the lukewarm forecasts of revenue that will either fall in 2021 or perhaps grow 4.4%.

Above: John Hanke is the CEO and founder of Niantic.

Image credit: Niantic

We see famous faces like Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Niantic CEO John Hanke, metaverse expert Matthew Ball, Roblox CTO Dan Sturman, Vindex CEO Mike Sepso, Forte and Rally founder Kevin Chou, Genvid CEO Jacob Navok, Mythical Games CEO John Linden, Stanley Pierre-Louis of the Entertainment Software Association, Gabby Dizon of the Yield Guild Games, Nick Tuosto of Griffin Gaming Partners and Liontree, influencer and owner of new sports group Mari Takahashi, Mike Vorhaus of Vorhaus Advisors, James Zhang of Concept Art House and Fifth Era and Eve Crevoshay, CEO of Take This.


Three good investment professionals open up what it takes to get your video game funded.

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Above: Dan Sturman is the CTO of Roblox.

Image credit: Roblox

Ball is the perfect one to talk about the vision of the metaverse, while Sturman at Roblox can talk about its plumbing. Sweeney can argue why it should be open and built by many companies. Sepso can talk about our ability to create lots of local esports communities, while Chou will help game investment managers discuss where to place bets in the future. Bond on the Xbox can talk about how acquisitions are changing the landscape industry, while Crevoshay can explore how to create different studies and efforts against harassment from scratch.


Above: Mike Sepso is the CEO of Vindex.

Image credit: Vindex

We also have fresh faces that we have not seen on our stages before like Jeffrey “Jiho” Zirlin from Axie Infinity maker Sky Mavis; Sarah Bond, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Xbox; Amy Wu, partner at Lightspeed; Maria Kochmala, co-founder of The Games Fund; Anna Sweet, CEO of Bad Robot Games; Jack Attridge, CEO of Flavourworks; Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu; Salone Sehgal, partner at Lumikai; Miko Matsumura, partner at Gumi Cryptos; Piers Kicks by Bitkraft and Delphi Digital; Imran Sarwar from Rockstar Games; David Washington of HiDef, Jessica Lindl of Unity; Anat Shperling of Toya; Witek Radamski, Chief Technology Officer at Enjin; Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou; and Jay Chi, founder of the Makers Fund.

Salone Sehgal from Lumikai is the first general partner in a gaming company fund.

Above: Salone Sehgal of Lumikai is the first general partner of a game venture fund.

Image credit: Lumikai

Dizon, Wu, Matsumura, and the Kicks will explore the fast-growing phenomenon of “play to earn,” where players make money playing games. Sweet, Navok, Ball and Sarwar will talk about the Metaverse ETF, a basket of the 50 largest metaverse stocks. And Radamski, Gharegozlou, Zirlin and others will talk about whether NFTs will be the next big revenue model for the gaming industry, just as free-to-play was at the beginning of modern mobile gaming. And Shperling and Vorhaus will discuss the future of user-generated content.

Keisha Howard, Sugar Gamers

Above: Keisha Howard, Sugar Gamers

Image Credit: Sugar Gamers

Our old friend Peter Moore from Unity will be talking about joining the board of Nifty Games, a new sports game producer, with Nifty CEO Jon Middleton.

Roham Gharegozlou is the CEO of Dapper Labs.

Above: Roham Gharegozlou is the CEO of Dapper Labs.

Image credit: Dapper Labs

We’ve even got Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley to grow poetically on the 20th anniversary of the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox game console. Our emcees include Chris Mellisinos, who curated the Smithsonian’s exhibition on gaming, and Keisha Howard, founder of Sugar Gamers. And MIT Game Lab leader Riz Virk will moderate a roundtable if we live in a simulated universe.

Above: Sarah Bond is the corporate vice president of Microsoft Xbox.

Image credit: Microsoft

Our format will be two days of online lectures, pre-recorded with Zoom Q&A for our VIP audience and other intimate events such as round tables and one-on-one sessions. Our participants often include high-level CEOs and executives. We get a diverse mass of game developers, game publishers, marketers, investors, industry vendors and other executives with the best ideas and insights.

Above: Peter Moore is a board member of Nifty games and director of Unity.

Image credit: Unit

We even expect to close the event with a special podcast by the GamesBeat staff, which includes me, Mike Minotti, Jeff Grubb and Rachel Kaser. Hope to see you there.


GamesBeat’s creed when coverage of the gaming industry is “where passion meets business.” What does it mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a game maker, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts or watch our videos, GamesBeat helps you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging in it.

How will you do it? Membership includes access to:

  • Newsletters, e.g. DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, informative and funny speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special interviews for members only, chats and “open offices” events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chat with community members, GamesBeat staff and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties

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