DAY 1 DATE
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Opening Keynote: The Future of Social Games: How to Be Part of It
In the last two years, the social games industry has evolved dramatically, seeing the rise and fall of distribution channels and platforms, disruptions in monetization, interesting innovations in game design and a more professional approach towards business processes. While Facebook is an important distribution channel and dominant force today, the social games industry needs take an objective long-term view towards other platforms, including the web, Google+ and the increasingly important smartphone ecosystems.
In this keynote, GameDuell's co-founder and CEO Kai Bolik presents valuable learnings about our industry, with particular focus on the rise of cross-platform games. He will share key metrics taken from several cross-platform social games, coupled with insights regarding platforms and opportunities beyond Facebook. Mr Bolik will discuss the most important changes seen in the past year and their impact on the industry, the actions of current successful businesses in the sector and look towards what to expect in the near term.
9:45 am - 10:30 am
A Global Comparison of Online Game Markets: Brazil, Germany, USA and Russia
As a global business, publishing online games can still be a very local affair. Broadband penetration, consumer preferences, legal restrictions, and disposable income all are key factors in building a successful business. In this panel, four game experts share their experiences of running a game company in their respective home markets. We will hear what worked, what didn’t, and where it’s headed next. Anyone looking to learn more about international markets will not want to miss this!
10:30 am - 11:00 am
11:00 am - 11:45 am
Beyond Performance Marketing: Survival Tips for Social Gaming Publishers
Although most major social gaming publishers rely on performance marketing (Facebook ads) for user acquisition, it is becoming increasingly important to leverage traditional marketing practices to succeed. The cost of Facebook ads has more than doubled over the last year and we are projecting that cost will double again within the next twelve months. Given that revenue from social games is not keeping pace with the increasing cost of user acquisition, we are reaching a point where a social game company can no longer profitably acquire players for its games. In this session, I will discuss other ways to acquire users, including print media, television, web banner ads, PR and other methods that have been used outside the social game industry for years. We will then discuss ways to build a robust launch and marketing plans to leverages these opportunities.
11:45 am - 12:40 pm
12:40 pm - 1:00 pm
1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Investing in Virtual Goods Businesses
Venture capitalists have been very active in funding leading social games and virtual goods companies. We’ve assembled a panel of top financiers to discuss the state of financing and investment for companies in this space.
1:45 pm - 2:15 pm
The Small Screen’s Time to Shine: A Discussion on the Emergence of Mobile Social
Forecasted to reach $2.1 billion in revenues this year, mobile social games are expected to become the blowout hit for 2012. Recent acquisitions of mobile game studios by social game powerhouse Zynga suggest that the playing field is about to shift. But, what counts as cutting edge in the American market is embarrassingly old by Japanese standards. And with companies like GREE and DeNA quickly moving in on Western turf, one wonders how this next period will play out. Join us for a lively discussion as panelists debate questions like “What does it take to make a successful social mobile game?”, “What can Western markets learn from Asian markets?”, and “Why do current social features in mobile games suck?”
2:15 pm - 3:00 pm
One Bet to Rule Them All: Wagering the Emergence of Online Gambling
Before Zynga had Farmville, it was making a fortune with Poker. With recent announcements regarding the possible legalization of online gambling, a perfect mixture of social game mechanics and traditional casino games seems to emerge. But, are we there yet? IGT’s $500 million acquisition of Double Down may have been premature, especially considering the recent indictments of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. This panel will discuss the likelihood of online gambling making it to mainstream social networks, the legal ramifications, and the necessary moral flexibility along the way.
3:30 pm - 4:15 pm
Social and Online Games: Is This the End or the Beginning of Revenues?
Join us for an illuminating discussion as our panel of industry experts debate whether it is still possible to make money in a rapidly maturing market environment. Topics include the rising cost of user acquisition along with the need for better user retention and monetization strategies. You'll walk away from this session with actionable advice and best practices from successful publishers along with an external perspective from traditional eCommerce players and online marketers who have been facing similar challenges for years.
4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
Benchmarks and Metrics: Forecasting and Improving Your Free-to-Play Game
“Does free-to-play work” is no longer the question. Those who say it doesn’t are the games equivalent of climate change deniers. What matters now is how to make free-to-play work WELL to create popular, enjoyable and profitable games. In this session, GAMESbrief’s Nicholas Lovell helps make sense of the conflicting benchmarks and metrics in the F2P market and will show you how to make more money from your game. He will also help you remember to find the fun. After all, these are games that we are making.
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
DAY 2 DATE
8:30 am - 9:15 am
Description Coming Soon
9:15 am - 10:00 am
The Future of Mobile Monetization
Mobile Internet access is the fastest-growing communications technology we’ve ever seen, with the majority of Americans now carrying a smartphone, less than five years after the introduction of the iPhone. Web companies are taking notice: Facebook’s head of mobile recently predicted that they’ll be a predominantly mobile company by 2013. Yet despite this explosive adoption in every corner of the country, advertisers have been slow to migrate to the medium where most of their prized consumer eyeballs are actually consuming content. Join Geoff Cook, co-founder of myYearbook, as he explores why his company has bet big on mobile, how apps are monetizing today, and what the future holds on mobile platforms for brands and publishers alike.
10:00 am - 10:30 am
10:30 am - 11:15 am
Connecting Brands With Social Games
In 2012, 300 million social gamers on Facebook will spend more than $1.65 billion on virtual goods—buying billions of credits, avatar fashions, food and gear for virtual pets and other entirely virtual products in social games. Now, these games are grabbing more eyeballs than primetime TV: while 16 million people play Farmville in a given week, just 12 million tune into X Factor, one of the top talent competition TV shows. Big brands have taken notice, creating a significant opportunity for game publishers to increase engagement (and revenue) with high-impact, creative engagements. This presentation will outline new types of campaigns that are connecting brands with social games, such as video engagements, in-game promotions, branded virtual goods and interactive quizzes. Attendees will also get a look at how virtual currency and goods monetization will evolve as big brands continue to enter the space.
11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Social Gaming in Latin America: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Latin America is one of the fastest growing regions in both social media and smartphone adoption but how does this translate to social & mobile gaming? This insightful presentation will give you an overview of the Latin American landscape along with some best practices, useful demographics and lessons learned on how to distribute and monetize games in this booming market.
12:00 pm - 1:10 pm
1:10 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
Incorporating the Moments-based Ad Model: Why Display Was Ported to In-Game Advertising and Not Evolved
Specifically focusing on the unique concept of leveraging moments in games to monetize is something some companies are now leveraging in either the form of incentivized views or actions. But how do you truly leverage this moment without abusing user trust and coercing action? How can you turn it into a user retention play, while increasing game loyalty? The answer comes in the form of true engagement through emotional association - both with the achievement and the high score - into a symbiotic advertising play.
2:15 pm - 3:30 pm
Multiplatform Games: Designing for the Future
As casual games spread throughout every gaming platform from consoles to the latest mobile phones, designers are challenged to innovate, modify and reinvent gameflow and mechanics to suit platforms. However, we are seeing that some game mechanics and design decisions do not carry over between platforms despite the technology existing to support them.
In this highly informative panel discussion, we will touch on all elements of designing for multiplatforms and what challenges the next generation of casual games will encounter, whether its entire genres or minor elements like UI. We will look at some examples of successes and failures in moving between platforms of launching on multiplatforms. Finally, we will debate how technology like html5 or flash supports or hinders multiplatform development.
3:45 pm - 4:30 pm
Social Games 2015: Where to now?
Over the last two years social gaming has quickly established itself as a highly profitable business model in the interactive entertainment industry. But now that the word is out, where do we go from here? Or, more formally, how does one build a long-term sustainable business in social gaming? This panel will briefly cover the history of social gaming and provide an assessment of the current landscape, but will predominantly focus on how social gaming will move forward in the next few years. Key topics covered include: consolidation, licensing and venture capital.