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DMW Games LA GAMES CONFERENCE


2014 Event Review Part One 5-5-2014
5-5-2014 - Written By David L. $Money Train$ Watts FuTurXTV Howard
Hobson Funk Gumbo Radio Raymond C. Reed Global Media Village
Auggie Cavanagh FuTurXTV Partners David Velo Stewart & Brandon Bowlin


(L-R) David Anthony, Smack-a-Fool game & Mikko Setala, Executive Vice President, Rovio Entertainment

First, I want to give a big shout-out to Ned Sherman who organizes and runs the DMW
Games LA Games Conference 2014 on May 1st at Hollywoods Roosevelt Hotel. Ned just
the previous month pulled off the highly successful debut event of Digital Entertainment
World (DEW) 2014. Ned made the wise and gusty decision to cut down the usual two day
Games Conference to one day. I felt this was smart because it provided a greater sense of
unity for the speakers, press and attendees. But there was a glaring omission to this years
LA Games Conference that has to be asked: Where was Oculus Rift? The hottest new VR
gaming company and new gaming platform in Southern California has to be at an event
called LA Games Conference. I know Oculus Rift was big hit at last months GDC and I
fully expect it to be a major hit or booth sensation at next months E3 Expo. So why not
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get someone from Oculus Rift with a few demo units to wow the LA Games Conference
attendees. But I strongly suspect that since Oculus Rift was already sending Eugene Cheng
to speak at next weeks Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit at Digital
Hollywood, Variety did not want #LAGC to steal their shine. But hopefully by DEW 2015
or next years LA Games Conference an Oculus Rift headset and console for gamers and
consumers will be out or coming soon. Anyway, I will give my most important takeaways
and speaker quotes from the panels at DMW Games LA Games Conference 2014. Also,
FuTurXTVs 2014 LA Games Conference social media and publishing partners are David
Velo Stewart of www.hhbmedia.com and Brandon Bowlin of www.thedarkroome.com.

Welcome to the Conference #LAGC - Blossom Room
Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher, Digital Media Wire
View from the Top: The State of the Game Industry Blossom
Room
Industry leaders discuss the current state of the game industry as the business continues its
transition towards a digital future. What does it take to make a successful game these days
across platforms? What emerging gaming platforms will be the most important in the
years to come? How do you make money in this more and more complicated gaming
universe with new digital platforms competing for the time and pocketbooks of consumers?
PANELISTS:
Walter Driver, Co-Founder and CEO, Scopely
Mikko Setala, Executive Vice President, Rovio Entertainment
Steve Wadsworth, President, CEO and Board Member, Tapjoy
Chris Early, VP, Digital Publishing, Ubisoft
Moderator: Liam Callahan, Director, Games Industry Analyst, NPD
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Chris: We have Google Glass in house and are figuring out what to do with them.
Mikko: We [at Rovio Entertainment] need millions of downloads of a new technology or
app to make a new tech profitable for games like Angry Birds.
Steve: Somebody is going to get serious about developing new games for Google Glass and
get down on Google Glass in a big way.
Liam: The first obstacle to me is that wearing Google Glass looks goofy and thinks most
consumers are waiting for cooler designs before it takes off.
Did not get to hear Ned, but Ned is usually on point with all the major current gaming
Industry trends, news and statistics. If Ned does not know something breaking big or
important it tech than I doubt it has happened yet. But I did enjoy the first panel because it
covered a lot of the basic trends in the multi-billion gaming biz and the panelists were good.
Whats The Next Big Thing in Gaming: Keynote Conversation with
Kristian Sergerstrale Blossom Room
Kristian Segerstrale, Co-Founder, Initial Capital, Investor/Former Board Member,
Supercell, Co-Founder, Playfish (acquired by EA), GluMobile (NASDAQ)
Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors

(L-R) Kristian Sergerstrale Co-Founder Intial Capital, Investor/Former board Member Supercell,
Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher Digital Media Wire & Mike Vorhaus, President Magid Advisors
Kristian: Intial Capital invests $500,000 to $750,000 in seed funding and 70% of those
funds are allocated to games and the remaining 30% is for game related infrastructure who
supply the game world. Our main focus of our investments is to build up and support new
games startups so it is prepared for series A funding roundsWhat I am really hot
about hot organic games that one wants to shape their life around.
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Kristian stressed in his Keynote Conversation that one had to careful comparing platform
games vs. casual games because although Sony sold 5.4 million PS4 units there were 92
million daily Candy Crush users. [That phenomenon has more than 90 million daily active
users (DAUs), and people play it over 1 billion times a day. The developers next-closest
release is Pet Rescue Saga, which has 15 million DAUs.] Kristian predicted fewer hit
gaming titles for platforms, but does expect to be a surge in new tablet gaming hit titles.
Kristian: The only barrier that tablet games have still yet to crack is first person shooter
games. This is the last gaming area for tablet game developers that has been yet to be
conqueredAnd Super Evil Megacorp is a unique game that melds the tablet experience
with free to play gaming.

Kristian: I predict that 3 to 5 years from now that the top 3 to 5 tablet games will as
profitable and successful as the top 3 to 5 console gamesAnd one still needs to spend $1
Million to create a mid-core game.
@MoneyTrain: I asked about the globalization of gaming and would he only look to fund
game developers in Silicon Valley when the next Flappy Bird viral game hit could be in
Malaysia, Bombay or Lagos.
Kristian answers my question by saying that talented game developers can be located
anywhere and highly believes that the globalization of games is better than ever before.
Kristian: Developers can blow up anywhere, but he right now is still primarily investing
in game startups in Northern California because I can give them direct hands on support,
guidance and mentoring.

I thought this was a great Keynote conversation to get things started at LA Games, but
again we need to have a video presentation to show examples of new hit gaming trends.
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Mobilizing Games through Free to Play Academy Room
This panel will discuss free to play and freemium models for games. What works? What
doesnt? Whats the right mix in deploying free to play?

PANELISTS
Adam Gutterman, Director of Game Design and Monetization, Unity
Ari Brandt, CEO & Co-Founder, MediaBrix
Bjorn Book-Larsson, CEO, Reloaded Games
Christina Lee, Associate Director, Nexon America
Moderator: Brian Lovell, CEO, RED Interactive Agency

Christina: To really monetize free to play games one has to be good at constantly keeping
it fresh for the gamers.
Brian gave an example of how sometimes one can let game moderators play along with the
gamers and put in special features that only a select few know at first, but then becomes a
fan frenzy to complete levels or challenges. He said in one free to play game an bonus
Easter Bunny avatar or character was controlled by a game moderator kill the bunny and
then get a special reward, power or prize.
@Money Train: I asked the panel about designing a game that used Bitcoins as a game
platform to reward gamers and a few panelists say we are not there legally to develop
Bitcoin based games. But some games are experimenting with allowing gamers to buy
virtual goods in games. No one really wanted to get into the Bitcoin to Play debate and I
just wonder what are the real legal ramifications of game developers creating skill based
games that give Bitcoin rewards instead of virtual rewards. Who is setting the standard
that a digital currency like Bitcoin is anymore real than virtual prizes in a free to play
game? Ari Brand then said he was going to China next week to China for a major free to
play summit at Media Bix which has over 500 games to play. And he said skill based games
are legal and chance based games, poker, slots, blackjack, etc., are still not legal in the U.S.
for gamers. He believes there is a huge potential for brands to get into the free to play
gaming marketing space. I agree about native ads incorporated with more game brands.
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The Evolution of Digital Pricing Models Across Consoles, PC and
Mobile/Tablets Academy Room
This panel of experts from console, PC and mobile/tablet gaming will discuss the evolving
digital pricing models, including revenue shares and the current and future landscape
across the various platforms (Consoles, PC, Mobile/Tablet, etc.)- from freemium to
freemium to premium and everything in between. The panel will focus on the specifics of
how the industry is changing due to emerging platforms and how people are monetizing on
them.
PANELISTS
Jason Enriquez, Director, Business Development & Global Communications, Glu Mobile
Chris Donahue, Co-Founder, Elevate Partners
Chris Mahoney, SVP, Strategy & Marketing, Lockwood Publishing
Rick Sanchez, VP, Product and Marketing, OnLive
Moderator: Nate Nanzer, Vice President, Frank N. Magid Associates

Jason: I play a lot of games and there is not a guarantee that the product delivered in
premium mobile/tablet games is better than other free mobile/tablet gamesAnd with
thousands of free games launching one needs a valuable IP to standout.
Rick Sanchez wanted to know how will Facebooks Oculus Rift games work with their
fermium model of social games. And I think Facebook will have some top free VR games.
Jason: We one of the first gaming companies to make games [Spellista, which is an
innovative word puzzle game] for Google Glass more as an experiment than to make a
profit. Right now there is no Google Glass store or pricing modelFreemium in my honest
opinion is doing well because King, Supercell and even Zynga are crushing it still.

Jason also empathizes great graphics is at the heart of great mobile/tablet games nowadays.
But I am still shocked at how Google launched Google Glass with only one or a few games.
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Investors Roundtable Luncheon Blossom Room
Join Leading Game and Tech Investors for Q&A Roundtable and Lunch. Find out what it
takes to get funded and how companies are positioning for successful exits in the current
environment. Bring your questions!
Participating Investors:
Clinton Foy, Venture Partner, CrossCut Ventures
David Siemer, Managing Partner, Siemer Ventures
Sunny Dhillon, Early Stage Investor, Signia Venture Partners
Manish Patel, Partner, Highland Capital Partners
Peter Levin, Managing General Partner, York Ventures
Chris Petrovic, Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Partnerships, Kabam
Brandon Quartararo, Vice President, Digital Capital Advisors
This top group of investors has invested in gaming, mobile and tech companies including
Playdom (acquired by Disney), Next Games, Midverse Studios, I ddiction, Artillery, Trooval,
Playground.fm, Grow Mobile, Wild Needle (acquired by Zynga), Grand Cru, Tykoon, Funzio,
Pepperdata, Red Robot Labs, Project Slice, Triangulate, Adify, Alibaba, I dle Games, Xyologic,
AiryLabs, U4I A Games, Super Evil Megacorp., Top Prospect, Flycast Communications,
Matter Network, Kihon, PlayChemy, Fun Lab, CEI Digital, Aviate (acquired by Yahoo),
Disconnect, Fleksy, Leap Motion, Game Closure, Leap Motio, SmartThings, GumGum,
Science, Pulp Media and many more.

@MoneyTrain: I asked the panelist who were all male what they thought about lack of
diversity among females and minorities among tech and game investors like themselves.
The only ones who wanted to answer was Sunny and Chris and Sunny they both said some
PC stuff about Silicon Valley needing more diversity and how things are getting better. But
the fact that 99% of all investor panels at DEW, LA Games and DH are always composed
of 99% white males is damning statement in itself. And I think the gaming investors are no
different than tech investors whereas they only fund 5% of women owned tech companies
and only fund 1% of minority tech companies. This is an appalling and unstainable stat in
Silicon Valley. It would take Wall Street to reward VCs that have diverse entrepreneurs.
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What I really hoped would happen is that someone on the panel admit that the Gaming
Industry could expand even greater and create even more original and hit titles if more
women and minority game developers were being backed and funded on a regular basis.
Game Marketing Leadership Roundtable Blossom Room
This panel of leading game marketing executives will discuss the mix and techniques being
used to market games today and how they see this changing in the years to come.
PANELISTS
Bryan Buskas, SVP, Performance Advertising, AdColony
Jonathan Anastas, VP, Global Mktg, Digital/Social Media Head, Activision
John Koller, VP, Marketing - Home Consoles & Handheld Platforms, PlayStation (Sony
Computer Entertainment America)
Steve Fowler, Head of Global Marketing, ArenaNet
Moderator: Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors

(L-R) Bryan Buskas, Jonathan Anastas, John Koller, Mike Vorhaus, Steve Fowler and Ned Sherman
The moderator Mike Vorhaus actually started the game marketing panel by following up
on my diversity question from the previous Investors Luncheon Roundtable. Mike made
kinda of an observation/statement/joke that when he recently went to do some consulting at
Pinterest he was surprised that all the top execs were men. Even though Pinterest is a
heavily female driven social media site. You could hear crickets on stage after Mike spoke.
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And when Mike said this I then realized why Deena Varshavskaya, the founder and chief
executive of the Wanelo, has successfully figured out how to merge shopping and collecting
pictures. Deenas Wanelo app is a mega-huge hit for a new tech start-up. Yet the primarily
male run and heavily financed Pinterest is still utterly clueless on how to create a profitable
and engaging shopping experience from the Pinterest boards of its users and businesses:
Launched in 2012 by Deena Varshavskaya, 34, Wanelothe name is shorthand for want,
need, lovehas insinuated itself into the lives of intense shoppers. I n August the company
announced it had 11 million users, up from just 1 million the year before. Ninety percent of
them are women, though the proportion of men on the site is increasing. So, too, are the
accounts of retailers using the platform to find out which products resonate most with
consumers. We noticed mid-last-year that there was lots of inbound traffic coming from
Wanelo, so we quickly jumped in to create an account, says Bryan Galipeau, director of
social media at Nordstrom (J WN). Within five months, we had a million followers, the fastest
growth of any of our social media accounts.
Wanelo is an intermediary and doesnt stock anything itself. Instead, it lists more than 12
million products from roughly 300,000 stores worldwide. Like users of Twitter (TWTR),
I nstagram, or Pinterest, those of Wanelobe they browsers or stores or fashion designers
post images of products theyre interested in. They can also save items others have posted on
Wanelo into their own wish lists. Unlike similar sites that serve up grids full of desirable stuff
ad infinitum, Varshavskayas site is different in that everything is instantly purchasable. If a
spring-break-bound college girl is looking for a swimsuit, she might scour e-commerce stores
and Wanelo for bikinis, paying special attention to those that have been saved the most,
then create a board of options to see which gets the most praise. Next to each item is a counter
that shows how many times it has been saved to users accounts. Below that is the price and a
giant green buy button.Kurt SollerBloomberg Businessweek4/24/2014
Sometimes it takes Mikes innocent and humorous Pinterest story to actually confirm why
some multi-billion valued social media companies like Pinterest even be more successful or
profitable today. Imagine if they had a top female tech executive like Deena to better serve
and engage their predominately female Pinterest user base? How can tech companies truly
reach billions of women and multicultural customers when many of these tech and gaming
companies do not have any diversity whatsoever among their top staff or decision makers?

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Steve: The trend in game marketing now is that consumers are now defining the brands
and real time data on consumer behavior is what drives sales and advertising campaigns.
The old days was the game publishers just pushed the new game titles to the consumer and
they just bought it without any debate.
Jonathan: Today 51% of traditional ad money is for TV ads and 49% are new media
buys. But he wanted to stress that TV advertising is not dead. I am more concerned about
how many eyeballs engage with what they are viewing as opposed to just being happy that
people are viewing their content or ads.
Jonathan also stressed on his panel that with an attention deprived economy you have to
have shorter ad campaigns before launching a major title. No time to have lengthy or big
multiple month campaigns that will be forgotten before a release date of a game. Focus on
presales for a year or 10 month campaign to drive actual sales of hardcore gamers. After
the panel was over I asked Jonathan if his quote from last years LA Games Conference
was still true. And he says in fact Facebook has actually gotten worse for Activision to
freely reach all its Facebook fans. And I asked would his ongoing concerns with Facebooks
tight control of Activisions posts on its own company newsfeed effect their ad buys for
Facebooks new video ad platform. Jonathan quickly said no because any Facebook video
ad buys from Activision will come from their TV ad buying budgets and TV ad campaigns.
Growing Your Game Through Facebook Blossom Room
Keynote Conversation with Owen O'Donoghue, North America Casino Team at Facebook
and Alan Avidan, CEO, Bees and Pollen

This was an absolute waste for me because the only thing I wanted to hear someone from
Facebook talk about regarding gaming was their new Oculus Rift platform. We badly
needed to see a demo like what was going to be offered next week at the Variety Tech
Summit. And predictably Owen did not take any questions and no attempt was made to
allow him to take questions as usual with a Facebook speaker on a tech panel in LA. Maybe
things are different up in San Fran or San Jose at their tech conferences. One has a better
chance of asking questions to a Leprechaun than an actual living breathing Facebook
employee on a tech panel in Los Angeles. I directly asked Owen after he got off the stage
why would Facebook users share gaming content or ads when they are having such a hard
time sharing their own content to their friends. Owen could not give a good answer to me.
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