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Speakers

Richard Garriott

Diseñador de videojuegos, empresario y explorador

Portalarium

Richard Garriott de Cayeux is a founding father of the videogame industry and the commercial spaceflight industry, a flown astronaut, and an accomplished explorer.

He has been inducted into the computer gaming hall of fame and has received the industry lifetime achievement award. He is credited with creating the now ubiquitous term “avatar” for one’s virtual self and the category of massively multiplayer games (MMORPGs). He authored the acclaimed Ultima Series and has built 3 leading gaming companies: Origin Systems (sold to Electronic Arts), Destination Games (sold to NCsoft) and Portalarium where he is building Shroud of the Avatar, the successor to his previous works.

 As a principal shaper of the commercial spaceflight industry, he cofounded Space Adventures, the only company to arrange space flights for private citizens and is the sixth private astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station. The son of a NASA astronaut, he became the first second-generation astronaut and has been a key leader in civilian and commercial space as an investor and Board member of institutions such as the X-Prize Foundation, Space Adventures, and Planetary Resources.

Richard is an avid explorer, having traveled around the globe from the jungles of the Amazon to the South Pole, the deep seas of the Titanic and hydrothermal vents to orbiting the earth aboard the International Space Station. His non-profit and philanthropic works include serving on the boards of The Explorers Club and The Challenger Center for Science Education.

Richard lives with his wife Laetitia, also an entrepreneur, and their two children, Kinga Shuilong & Ronin Phi.

His new book, “Explore/Create,” chronicles his life from the early days of video gaming, through his spaceflight and to the present day.

Fumito Ueda

Creative Director

GenDESIGN

Fumito Ueda (上田 文人) was born on April 19, 1970, in Tatsuno, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan in 1970. He graduated from the Osaka University of Arts in 1993. In 1995, after trying to make a living as an artist, Ueda decided to pursue a career in the videogame industry.

Ueda is most famous for envisioning and creating the titles ICO (2001), Shadow of the Colossus (2005) and more recently The Last Guardian (2016). Before that, he had short stint at Warp Inc. as an animator, where he worked along with Kenji Eno on Enemy Zero (1997).

His games have achieved cult status and are distinguished by their economy of plot and scenario, use of overexposed, desaturated light, fictional languages, and minimal dialogue. He has often been described by some as a video game "auteur".

He described himself as a very inquisitive child saying "I enjoyed catching and keeping living things, such as fish or birds. Other than that, I liked both watching and making animation. Basically, I seemed to be interested in things that moved." Among his favorite subjects in school was art: a discipline which still plays an active role in Ueda’s life, and which under different circumstances could have led to an alternate choice of occupation. "If I was not in the games industry, I would want to become a classical artist. Though I regard not only games but also anything that expresses something ・ be it films, novels or manga ・ as forms of art”.

Ueda’s games are considered to have a very distinctive style, which Ueda himself describes as "design by subtraction", with sparse landscapes, oversaturated lighting and minimalist story to give his games a personal and distinctive feel. Ueda also admitted that, in video games, ideas for a gameplay mechanic should be made first, then complimented by a game’s story.
In 2008, IGN, included Ueda in Top 100 Game Creators of All Time, saying "Ueda’s knack for creating atmospheric puzzle playgrounds with mute or near-mute characters instills a sense of isolation, yet provides an endearing feeling of hope as the protagonists seek simply to find an exodus or redemption from their weather-worn, ornate prisons".

Mikko Kodisoja

Co-fundador & Game Lead

Supercell

Mikko Kodisoja is one of the co-founders and a game lead at Supercell in Helsinki Finland. Mikko joined the industry in 1995 to become a graphics artist but soon found himself designing and producing games hands-on. As an entrepreneur he has co-founded three gaming companies over the last 20 years where he worked in various roles ranging from creative roles to CEO. At Supercell he has been involved in numerous game projects as a game lead and currently works with developer relations.

 

 
 

Sam Lake

Creative Director

Remedy Entertainment

 

A well-known personality and a true veteran of the video game industry for more than 20 years, Sam Lake is known for writing the Max Payne franchise, which launched in 2001. Sam also led the writing on the critically acclaimed Alan Wake series and the groundbreaking cinematic action thriller Quantum Break. Sam is currently the Creative Director of Remedy Entertainment and working on the studio’s next games including  a project codenamed “P7”.

Richard Bartle

MUD creator

Richard A. Bartle has been playing and designing what we now call MMOs longer than anybody, having in 1978 co-written MUD - the progenitor of the entire genre. His famous Player Types model has seen widespread adoption by the MMO industry and beyond. His book, Designing Virtual Worlds, is the classic text on the subject and he is an influential writer on all aspects of online game design. In 2010, he was the first recipient of the Game Developers Choice award of Online Game Legend. He is Honorary Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Essex, England, where it all began. He’s also innumerable characters in MMOs.

Raphael Colantonio

President, co-founder and Co-Creative Director

Arkane Studios

Raphael Colantonio is President, co-founder and Co-Creative Director of Arkane Studios, founded in 1999 in Lyon, France. In 2005 Raphael opened an office in Austin Texas and in 2010 Arkane became part of ZeniMax Media, Inc. Raphael along with Arkane developed several award winning titles, including Dishonored, Dishonored 2, Prey 2017, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and Arx Fatalis.

Hilmar Veigar Pétursson

Chief Executive Officer

CCP Games

Hilmar has been leading CCP Games’ ongoing success and growth since his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2004.

Under Hilmar’s management CCP’s critically acclaimed science-fiction game EVE Online celebrated an unprecedented ten consecutive years of subscriber growth. In addition, Hilmar has put CCP into the pole position in the VR revolution by embracing the new technology early.  The company has released virtual-reality arcade shooter Gunjack and its sequel Gunjack II on every major VR platform, as well as EVE: Valkyrie, the dogfighting shooter that Wired.com celebrated as “a soaring example of VR as the future of gaming” for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.

Before his appointment to the CEO position, Hilmar held the title of CCP's Chief Technical Officer, heading the engineering effort required to create the company’s persistent world technology and 3D engine.

Prior to joining CCP in 2000, he served as the CTO of SmartVR, an OZ.com spin-off based on that company’s multi-user virtual reality technology following his tenure as the VP of software development for the OZ Studios division of OZ.com.

Currently, he is also active on a number of boards and committees relating to Icelandic information technology and innovation. Hilmar has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Iceland.

 

Mike Pondsmith

Roleplaying, board, and video game designer

R. Talsorian Games

Mike Pondsmith is an American roleplaying, board, and video game designer. He is best known for his work for the publisher R. Talsorian Games, where he developed a majority of the company's role-playing game lines since the company's foundation in 1982. Pondsmith is credited as an author of several RPG lines, including Mekton (1984), Cyberpunk (1988) and Castle Falkenstein (1994). He also contributed to the Forgotten Realms and Oriental Adventures lines of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, worked in various capacities on video games and authored or co-created several board games. Pondsmith also worked as an instructor at the DigiPen Institute of Technology. For more information, please visit Mike's wiki page.

Massimo Guarini

Founder, CEO & Creative Director

Ovosonico

Visionary Creative Director and long-time industry veteran, Massimo is the volcanic mind behind the award-winning Murasaki Baby. He attained cult status by directing the critically acclaimed “Shadows of the Damned” with Suda51, Shinji Mikami and Akira Yamaoka, for Grasshopper Manufacture in Tokyo.

At Ubisoft Montreal, Canada, he directed Naruto – Rise of a Ninja, awarded by IGN as E3 2007 Best Fighting Game and nominated at the Game Critics Awards 2007.

In 2012 Massimo established his own game production studio: Ovosonico, located in a splendid eighteenth-century villa situated by the shores of lake Varese, Italy.

 

Rami Ismail

Business & Develoment Guy

Vlambeer

Rami Ismail is the Business & Development Guy at Vlambeer, a Dutch independent game studio known best for Nuclear Throne, Ridiculous Fishing, LUFTRAUSERS, Super Crate Box, GUN GODZ, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter & Radical Fishing. Through his work at Vlambeer, Rami has come to realise that the marketing & business facets of many independent game developers could use some help. As such, he created the free presskit­creation tool presskit() and is working on releasing its first add­on, distribute(). Believing sharing knowledge openly is the cornerstone of independent development, Rami has spoken on a variety of subjects at dozens of game events around the world, ranging from the Game Developers Conference to Fantastic Arcade & from University seminars to incubator mentorship. Rami travels around the world trying to find game development communities everywhere, and tries to connect them to help enable anyone around the world to make games. He is a avid opponent of game cloning after Vlambeers Radical Fishing got cloned. 
 

Dino Patti

Entrepreneur and Independent Developer

Dino Patti was the CEO and Co-Founder of Playdead, the company which produced the hit games LIMBO and INSIDE. Dino has been active in the games business since 2003, and prior to leading Playdead, he did programming and game design. Dino has been advising for the GDC Europe Advisory Board since 2013 until the conference was cancelled after it was held in 2016. Since Dino announced his departure from Playdead, he's been investing and advising in the games industry.



Kurt Melcher

Executive Director of Esports

Intersport y Universidad Robert Morris

Kurt Melcher is the Executive Director of Esports at Intersport and Robert Morris University in Chicago, IL.  Through his efforts, RMU became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. An athletic administrator and collegiate soccer coach for over 15 years, Melcher recognized the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports Mr. Melcher’s visionary program has been highlighted in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.

Rachid El Guerrab

Technical Project Lead for Google Spotlight Stories

ATAP / Google

Rachid El Guerrab is a Technical Project Lead for Google Spotlight Stories at ATAP/Google, where he specializes in immersive and interactive storytelling for mobile and VR. Prior to his company being acquired by Motorola Mobility, he was president of technology and co-founder of Human Engines Inc, focused on graphics engines and tools for mobile. Rachid had spent over 16 years creating award-winning rendering and interactive pipelines for every SONY console since the PlayStation, as well as Nintendo and Microsoft game systems, and has held leadership positions at numerous companies including Qualcomm, Ready at Dawn, Midway and Ubisoft.

Johannes Roth

CEO and Founder

Mimimi Productions

Johannes gathered Mimimi Production’s core team in 2008 and founded the company in 2011 together with Creative Director Dominik Abé. He runs a successful, growing business that continuously develops award winning games on all platforms. With the recent release of “Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun”, his team delivered the highest rated German PC-game on Metacritic since 2011. Johannes is also mentoring studios around the world, chairman of Games Bavaria Munich, board member of the GAME Bundesverband and always trying to make the world a better place for developers



Vander Caballero

CEO and Creative Director

Minority Media

Born in Colombia, Vander Caballero studied Industrial Design in Milan, Italy, before finding his true calling in video games, as a Design Director for Electronic Arts (EA). During his time in AAA games, Caballero played key roles in developing major franchises FIFA, Need for Speed, The Sims, and Army of Two.

In 2010, imagining a more meaningful form of gameplay, he left EA and founded his own game studio – Minority Media – where he developed the emotion-driven game mechanics that led to the critically acclaimed Papo & Yo. The New York Times soon hailed his creation, an autobiographical game about his alcoholic father, as “a new and altogether different standard”, helping pave the way for a new game genre – empathy games.

In 2013, as the new generation of VR technology made its debut, Caballero sensed an opportunity to disrupt the games industry once more. Leveraging the immersive power of VR, he created Time Machine VR, a subaquatic time-travel adventure game, one of the first ever made specifically for VR. His game was subsequently praised by Kotaku as “one of the more unique, strangely intimate experiences” and by Polygon as “a virtual reality Jurassic Park”.

Soon after, combining the storytelling instinct he refined on Papo & Yo with his deep understanding of VR as the ultimate empathy machine, Caballero created Cali, an allegorical tale, based on a personal experience, exploring power and the loss of innocence in South American culture. As one of the first empathy games in VR, Cali embodies more than ever Vander’s favorite adage: “You can’t be somewhere you’ve never been.”
 
 

Enric Alvarez

Creative Director

MercurySteam Entertainment

Enric started his career in the videogame industry back in 1998, when he was hired by Rebel Act Studios as a level designer for “Blade”, the Sword & Sorcery title seen today by many as the direct predecessor of Dark Souls saga. 
 
In 2002 Enric and other ex Rebel Act developers, found Mercury Steam and create their first project, “Scrapland”, with American McGee as collaborator and mentor. 
 
Between 2005 and 2007, Enric directs the first person shooter “Clive Barker’s Jericho” for Codemasters -the first title developed in Spain for PS3 and Xbox 360. 
 
In 2008 Konami approaches MercurySteam and for 6 years, the studio develops the famous Castlevania Lords of Shadow series,the most recent installment in one of the longest and most respected sagas in videogames history. Enric authors the storyline and directs two out of three games. To date, the Castlevania Lords of Shadow saga has shipped multiple millions of copies worldwide, garnered several industry awards and delivered the best selling game in the series for the Japanese Corporation. 
 
Enric is currently directing the recently announced sci-fi adventure game Raiders of the Broken Planet for PS4, Xbox One and PC independently developed and published by MercurySteam.
 
 

 

Emily Short

Character Engine Product Manager

Spirit AI

Emily Short works in interactive fiction, narrative design, and conversation modeling, and is currently the Character Engine Product Manager at Spirit AI. She also has a PhD in Classical Studies, focusing on the role of the god Hermes in Athenian drama, and writes occasionally on classical reception in video games. She has created over two dozen works of interactive fiction, including the award-winning Galatea, a reworking of the Pygmalion myth; the interactive epistolary story First Draft of the Revolution; and Counterfeit Monkey, a wordplay puzzle game that addresses issues of language and democracy. She is part of the design team behind the interactive fiction creation languages Inform 7 and Versu. Her work has been collected by the Electronic Literature Organization and displayed at the Library of Congress, among other venues. Her practice explores how systems of play can support rewarding forms of highly personal and human storytelling, how conversation actions and social gestures can be made into meaningful game mechanics in place of the mechanics of violence, and how authoring tools can be designed around the requirements of these new forms of art.

Jon NEVERDIE Jacobs

Virtual Reality Celebrity

Jon was born in England, he is an actor, musician and filmmaker. He is known for his gaming anthems, I Am My Avatar and Gamer Chick and indie movies Hey DJ the Movie, Lucinda’s Spell and the upcoming Lost Angelas. In 2002 inside Entropia Universe he created the iconic Avatar NEVERDIE and he became the first gamer to make a Million dollars inside a Virtual World. Jon’s Club NEVERDIE made the 2008 Guinness Book of World Records as the most valuable virtual item. Jon founded NEVERDIE Studios and has worked with Michael Jackson, Lemmy and Universal Studios bringing KING KONG, ZOMBIE KONG and The THING to Virtual Reality. NEVERDIE Studios developed and operates the ROCKtropia Virtual World, the first and only MMORPG to fully disrupt all existing gaming business models by providing Real gamified Jobs that pay any user $10 Per month to play. In 2016 Jon was elected the First President of Virtual Reality with a mission to create a Billion Jobs in VR. In 2017 Jon  launched the NEVERDIE Coin and the Teleporter Token on the Ethereum Blockchain to facilitate virtual world democracy and finance development of cross platform blockchain games and DApps including AmeVRica and Payatar to drive the growth of a decentralized trillion dollar Virtual Goods economy.

Emmanuel Márquez

CTO

Starbreeze Studios

Emmanuel Marquez is CTO at Starbreeze Studios, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products like PAYDAY 2 or OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead, and a pioneer in virtual reality experiences manufactuing its own head-mounted display, the StarVR.


Emmanuel has more then 20 years of experience in the video game industry, and was involved with projects like Intrinsic Graphics (the underlying technology for Google Earth), PhysX (now an Nvidia product), and was also Managing Director at Grin Barcelona, the studio behind Wanted. Just prior to his work at Starbreeze Studios, Emmanuel was leading innovative technology as Sr. Project Manager at AMD with a focus on virtual reality and holodeck experiences (showcased at CES 2014, 2013 and SIGGRAPH 2014).

Dean Takahashi

Lead writer for GamesBeat

VentureBeat

Dean Takahashi is lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He has been a tech journalist for more than 25 years, and he has covered games for 20 years. He has been at VentureBeat since 2008. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, the Red Herring, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Dallas Times-Herald. He is the author of two books, "Opening the Xbox" and "The Xbox 360 Uncloaked." He organizes the annual GamesBeat and GamesBeat Summit conferences. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reko Ukko

VP

Game Design at Seriously

Reko Ukko has worked in game design for 15 years, in companies such as Digital Chocolate, Remedy, NaturalMotion Games and as of late, as the VP of Game Design at Seriously. Seriously’s first game, ‘Best Fiends’ was launched in 2014 and is going strong with 60M+ downloads, 65M+ USD revenue. In his talk, “Creating an entertainment brand starting with a mobile game", Reko talks candidly about how Seriously unites their marketing and development effort together and integrates them fully in their game updates.

Raúl Rubio

CEO, Creative Director and Founder

Tequila Works

Raúl Rubio Munárriz, CEO y Director Creativo, ha sido co-fundador de MercurySteam Entertainment (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow) y Tequila Works (RiME, The Sexy Brutale). Raúl cuenta con una licenciatura en Ingeniería informática, así como una educación clásica en artes visuales, así como un profundo conocimiento de diseño de videojuegos y su narrativa. Raúl ha dirigido Deadlight, el primer videojuego de Tequila Works, The Sexy Brutale en coproducción con Cavalier Game Studios, y RiME, una experiencia evocadora inspirada por la luz del Mediterráneo.

Mike Sepso

Senior Vice President

Activision Blizzard


Mike Sepso is Senior Vice President of Activision Blizzard where he runs Media Networks, a division devoted to creating the best esports experiences for fans across games, platforms and geographies. Prior to joining Activision Blizzard, Mike was the co-founder and president of Major League Gaming (MLG), a global leader in esports, focusing on strategy, key partnerships, corporate development and overseeing all product and technology development, including the launch of MLG.TV. Prior to founding MLG, Mike was co-founder and co-CEO of Gotham Broadband, an early innovator in the broadband content delivery industry.

 

Maximo Cavazzani

Founder and CEO Etermax

Etermax

Maximo Cavazzani founded Etermax, a software development company that specializes in social games. Among other titles, the company is responsible for the creation of Trivia Crack and Aworded Crack, two global successes that broke worldwide download records. Trivia Crack became a global phenomenon, turning 300 million users into fans and was the most downloaded game in more than 30 other countries, becoming the 5th most played game globally.

Under Maximo’s leadership, Etermax became one of the top mobile game development companies in the world and the highest growing one in Latin America, with a team of over 300 employees that continues to grow in its offices in Argentina and Uruguay and commercial representatives in Germany and the US.

Etermax games include: Trivia Crack, Aworded Crack (most downloaded game of all time in Spain), Pictionary™ (the mobile version in partnership with Mattel), Trivia Crack Kingdoms, Melody Monsters, Skydoms, WordCrack and Bingo Crack.

Over the last few years, Maximo participated in several talks in America and Europe. Cavazzani is set to become one of Latin America’s models in the mobile and technological industries. Since March 2016, he has been a member of the Consulting Council of the Ministry of Modernization, together with Argentina’s top figures in entrepreneurship and technology.

Phil Harrison

ndependent investor and advisor.

Phil Harrison has spent over 30 years at the forefront of the computer and video game industry. Releasing his first commercial game at the age of 15, it accidentally turned into a life-long career. He was a co-founder of PlayStation at Sony where he spent 16 years, including as President of Worldwide Studios. He was an early investor in leading game companies including Gaikai and Supercell and as a co-founder of London Venture Partners. More recently he was Corporate Vice President of Microsoft and now is an independent investor, advisor and board member to a number of companies in the game and technology fields. He also serves as a board member of the National Film & Television School in the UK. He lives near London and enjoys exploring the world of games with his two young sons.

 

 

 

 

Ellen Lyse Einarsen

Game Producer

The Future Group

Ellen Lyse Einarsen has been a part of the games industry since 2007, and started out casting and directing the voiceovers for Funcom's MMORPG "Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures". By the time the game went live, she was Associate Producer, and went on to work on the game's first expansion pack; "The Road to Khitai" along with live maintenance. A screenwriter by trade, and project lead by experience, Ellen always keeps story and characters in focus. She has done extensive research on how to evoke empathy in games and was awarded a research fellow grant on the topic in 2010 by the Norwegian Film School.

Her experience in live development spans several platforms, from MMORPGs like "Age of Conan – Hyborian Adventures", to Facebook titles like "Suburbia" and latest mobile games, with "Angry Birds Epic" and "Sacred Legends", and this has given her a great toolset for dos and don'ts in live operations. Ellen is a board member of the Screenwriters Guild of Norway, and has been screenwriter for one produced feature film and for several episodes of various Norwegian TV series´. She has taught storytelling for games at three universities, and is an avid missionary for getting more women in lead positions in the games industry. She is currently working as Game Producer for Norway-based start-up The Future Group, which is creating Interactive Mixed Reality™, encompassing mobile games, television, special effects and eCommerce.

Michael Schade

Co-Founder and CEO

RockFish Studios

Michael and his long-term business partner Christian Lohr founded the new independent PC and console games studio ROCKFISH Games in Hamburg. With their former team behind the critically acclaimed Galaxy on Fire series on board, they ran a massively successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015 which pulled in almost $600k through Kickstarter and the game website to co-fund their first title EVERSPACE, a rogue-like space shooter for PC and console with AAA-style production quality, non-linear storytelling and VR-support. Prior to that, Michael has been spearheading 3D mobile gaming for almost a decade as CEO & Co- Founder of FISHLABS Entertainment. Michael has been deeply involved with computer graphics, 3D animation and software development for over 20 years. He has been member of the advisory board of GDC Europe, Osney Media’s Mobile Games Forum, Game-Connection and judge at the International Mobile Games Awards.

Thiemo Bräutigam

Periodista especialista en negocio

Dot Esports

Thiemo Bräutigam is a German business reporter, currently working for Dot Esports. He learnt his craft at the WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s leading business weekly. Later, he co-founded The Esports Observer and led its editorial team as Editor in Chief. 

Robert Purchese

Senior staff writer

Eurogamer

Robert is a senior staff writer for Eurogamer where he's worked for 12 years. He keeps a close eye on European game development and has written his most recognisable work about CD Projekt Red and The Witcher series of games. He lives and works in Brighton, UK.
 

Adam Smith

Editor

Rock Paper Shotgun

Adam Smith is the deputy editor of PC gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun. He began his career in games journalism six years ago, having worked in teaching and fiction publishing through his twenties, and is interested in the critical language around games, as well as their cultural impact. He writes about every genre, from shooters to sports, but is mostly drawn to narrative devices, strategy and horror.

Anatoly Ropotov

CEO

Game Insight  

Anatoly’s career in the games industry began in 1999 as the creator of a popular gaming community. In 2006, he headed the Games Division at CTXM, and later, after becoming the Executive Vice President of Products at Astrum Online Entertainment, was put in charge of strategic planning for game launches. In 2009 Anatoly founded his own studio, innoWate, which eventually became a part of Game Insight. In 2014, he was appointed CEO at Game Insight.

 
 

Matthew Handrahan

Editor-in-chief

GamesIndustry.biz

Matthew joined the website in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent five years on the award-winning magazine gamesTM.