Previous speakers

André Bernhardt, IndieAdvisor

 

André Bernhardt is extensively experienced within the video games business as he has been apart of the German games industry for 18 years - online as well as offline and mobile. In the beginning of his career he was a producer for classical boxed console and PC-games business with the release of the Playstation 1 at Sony  Computer Entertainment. Afterwards he was working for German publishers, e.g JoWood and Sunflowers, before joining RTL Games and focused on "next-gen" console publishing (PS3, X360, Wii, DS, etc.). In 2009 he joined Travian Games in Munich. Since 2012 he has been working as a freelance agent called IndieAdvisor, supporting developers to find a publisher and vice versa. He also teaches at different high schools and frequently lectures at games conferences. Together with his long-time companion Thorsten Unger he founded Target Games in 2015.

Oscar Clark, Author / Everyplay Evangelist, Unity


Oscar Clark is an Author, Consultant and Evangelist for Everyplay from Unity Technologies. He has been a pioneer in online, mobile and console social games services since 1998. He provided 'vision' for one of the first Online games communities (Wireplay - British Telecom); was global lead for games at Hutchison Whampoa (3UK) which included (perhaps) the first mobile in-App purchase; and was Home Architect for PlayStation®Home. He is a regular columnist on PocketGamer.Biz and Develop-Online as well as being an outspoken speaker at countless games conferences including GDC, Casual Connect, Game Connection and Develop on Games Design, Discovery and Monetisation. He is a Mentor for accelerator GameFounders and has guest lectured on Social Freemium Games Design for several Universities. His first book, "Games As A Service - How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games" was published by Focal Press and is available on Amazon, Kindle, Kobo and iBooks http://blog.everyplay.comhttp://www.gamesasaservice.net www.linkedin.com/in/oscarclark

Greg Essig, Co- Head of Business Development, Mobcrush

 

Greg Essig is Co-Head of Business Development at Mobcrush, a native mobile streaming platform. He was most recently at FunPlus where he launched the f2p-optimized PublishingPlus division and was responsible for overall scaling of partnerships with game makers, platform and technology companies. Prior to that, Essig managed the games section of the App Store at Apple during its critical growth period helping increase the games billings by over six-fold during his tenure. Greg brings years of entertainment and games experience to his new role, including a key role at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where he was instrumental in developing its games practice. His represented independent video game designers and studios in the development of licensed and original game IP for console, downloadable, social and mobile gaming platforms. His success at CAA eventually landed him his coveted role at Apple.

 Konstantin Ewald, Partner and Head of Digital Business, Osborne Clarke

Konstantin Ewald is a Partner and Head of Digital Business at Osborne Clarke, Germany. He advises leaders in the digital media and software industry throughout Europe and the US on all matters of digital media and IT law as well as IP/technology-related transactions.

 

Konstantin's practice focuses on advising on technology related matters with a particular emphasis on SaaS and PaaS cloud deployment models, complex software implementation and licensing projects, distribution agreements and white labelling strategies that safeguard IP.

He is a specialist in E- and M-commerce law, as well as data protection issues. A large part of his practice is working with clients in the digital media/video game/mobile sector. Konstantin regularly acts for major computer and mobile games developers and publishers as well as other rights owners who are licensing rights for use in interactive software products. He regularly counsels clients during the product development phase, providing advice about how to design games/apps and other digital media products to avoid claims for infringement and to comply with privacy and youth protection regulations.

Konstantin has published the first legal handbook on mobile apps and is editor-in-chief of Germany’s leading blog about legal aspects of games www.onlinegameslaw.com.

Frederick U. Fierst, Lawyer, Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg LLP 


Fred has been a lawyer for over 35 years in connection with television, feature films, licensing & merchandising and interactive media. He practiced corporate and entertainment law in New York City for several years before moving to Northampton in 1980 and establishing the firm. During the 1980s Fred enjoyed a general practice which included everything from sophisticated corporate transactions to murder cases, torts, and divorces. Fred's current practice is concentrated in representing clients in the entertainment and licensing industries within which he has developed an international reputation and clientele, particularly in connection with children’s programming, software, and interactive media.

Christian Fonnesbech, Strategic Consultant

 

Christian Fonnesbech is a strategic consultant for the game and media industries. He currently advises and develops strategies for Nordisk Film Games, Capnova, Denmarks Radio and a number of independent game developers. He has produced and directed 35+ game projects for advertising, learning and entertainment.

Markus Heitz, Author of "The Dwarfes"

 

Markus Heitz was born in 1971; he studied history and German language and literature, worked as a journalist for ten years and did P&P Rpg for 16 years. His debut novel Schatten über Ulldart (the first in a series of epic fantasy novels) won the Deutscher Phantastik Preis (German Fantasy Award) in 2003. 

His bestselling Dwarves pentalogy has earned him a place among Germany’s most successful fantasy authors. Until now, he wrotes more than 40 novels, more than 20 landed on the german bestselling list, and the number of total copies in Germany is about 4,6 millions. His books are translated all over the world, from Western Europe to UK, USA, Japan, China, Russia, Australia, Brasilia and so on. He currently lives in Homburg, Germany. 

He also writes SF, Fantasy in different worlds and horror. Not to forget two books for children, many short stories, two musicals and one fantastical - and because he can: he also develops serials for TV just for fun.

His Legends of the Aelfar series, Aera: The Return of the Ancient Gods series, and standalone thriller Oneiros are published by Jo Fletcher Books.

Kish Hirani, Formerly Head of Developer Services, SCEE Research & Development


Kish is less than a year shy of hitting 20 professional years in the video games industry. His industry career started as a software engineer after graduating with an MSc in Computer Science from Edinburgh University, moving swiftly to technical director or equivalent roles at development studios as well as publisher houses.

His first jump to platform holder was with Microsoft back in mid 2000s as a technical evangelist, moving to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as their Head of Developer Services some 8 years ago where he was responsible for developing and managing resources for all SCEE’s developer support-facing technical activities.

He has recently left SCEE, so will be speaking without any corporate constrains!

Kish Hirani states, "I’m have been passionate about technology, from early days of bedroom programming on my BBC B Micro-Computer, all the way through to technical direction, developer technical services and evangelism at very exciting companies. The diverse fields and applications of technology keep my fascination fueled. I love video games and related advancement in technology in particular and looking forward to sharing and discussing VR, AR, Everything…"

Christopher Kassulke, CEO and Co-founder, HandyGames

 

 Christopher Kassulke is CEO and co-founder of HandyGames™ (www.handy-games.com). Founded in 2000, HandyGames is one of the oldest developers of mobile games and experts in the mobile advertisement space. The company started out as a quality developer of feature phone games and fully transitioned to “mobile games 2.0”. With the mission “Beyond Mobile” the developer is reaching out to new platforms like PC and Consoles with its huge portfolio of blockbusters.

Sean Kauppinen, CEO & Founder, International Digital Entertainment Agency (IDEA)

Sean Kauppinen is the founder and CEO of the International Digital Entertainment Agency. He has more than 20 years of management, business development and strategic communications expertise in the digital entertainment industry. His ability to provide strategic guidance and bring companies together has led to business growth for industry giants as well as dozens of start-ups. During this time, Kauppinen has launched more than 570 titles across all major gaming platforms.

Kauppinen has consulted governments on creating and growing digital entertainment industries and has served in senior management roles with start-ups and established companies. He has worked internally for well-known game companies including Sony Online Entertainment, Ubi Soft, bleem!, and 3dfx.

Kauppinen currently holds advisory board or board of directors positions with more than a dozen early stage companies. He also has served as the special advisor to the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and is a former board member of SXSW, GDC Europe, GCDC, GCAC, GameOn Finance and the NLGD Festival of Games.

Dr. Andreas Lober, Partner, Beiten Burkhardt


Dr. Andreas Lober is Partner at BEITEN BURKHARDT's Frankfurt office and a member of the IP/IT/Media practice group. He advises national and international companies in the media and technology sector (in particular Internet, mobile applications and interactive entertainment) as well as investors with respect to copyright, competition law, trademark law, protection of mi-nors, data protection, and personality rights. He focuses his practice on negotiating develop-ment and licence agreements, litigation (including interim measures), carrying out and accom-panying transactions as well as implementing new and innovative business models.

Andreas Lober studied law at the University of Tübingen and the University of Aix-en-Provence (France). He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Tübingen with a dissertation in the context of media law. He was admitted to the German Bar in 2001. Since 2015 he has been working with BEITEN BURKHARDT as Partner. Prior to joining BEITEN BURKHARDT, he was a partner at another law firm and held a senior position at an Internet company. 

Vlad Micu, Business Development Manager, Data Realms

Vlad is a business development professional in the game industry with a strong reputation for creating long-term relationships and generating new sources of revenue that lead to significant returns. Experienced evangelist with a strong network who is equally able to take the lead as well as be part of a team. Established track record of being able to easily adapt to new challenges, people and environments in order to deliver success. With his own company VGVisionary, Vlad likes to travel the world to speak at events, meet with game developers and offer advice, contacts and support to whoever needs them. You can watch his previous talks and lectures at www.youtube.com/vgvisionary

Dino Patti, Independent

 

Dino Patti was the CEO and Co-Founder of Playdead, the company which produced the highly praised games LIMBO and INSIDE. He has been active in the games business since 2003 and advisor on the GDC Europe Advisory Board since 2013. Dino has extensible technical knowledge and business experience and prior to leading Playdead, he did programming and game design in the games industry after doing server/client-side programming and technical solutions for the marketing/pr industry.

Dino left Playdead in July and is currently doing business development consultancy work for various companies while in pursuit for the next big thing.

Nelson Rodriguez, Global Director, Games Industry Marketing, Akamai

 

Nelson Rodriguez has helped launch dozens of games across every platform, including blockbusters like Halo 3, Tekken 5, and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and indie titles like Tweet Defense and A Kingdom for Keflings. After two years on the Xbox marketing team, developing social and community strategy, Nelson spent six years creating award-winning digital marketing campaigns for clients like Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony and Hasbro. Nelson is currently Senior Games Industry Marketing Manager for Akamai Technologies.

Michael Schade, CEO & Co-Founder, Rockfish Games

 

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 over $750k 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.

Phil Scott, Head of Developer Relations, EMEAI, NVIDIA

 

Phil started his professional career in 1987, although had his first commercial game published in 1984 whilst at school. Not taking any notice of his teachers who said there is no future in videogames, he has gone on to have a very successful career as an innovator and industry leader.

 

In 28 professional years, Phil has worked on hundreds game projects on different platforms, Phil’s epiphany moment was whilst at Rage Software, squeezing the most out of the then new unexplored technology, 3D Graphics cards. Being given freedom to blaze a trail of never seen before technology firsts in the seminal game ‘Expendable’… bumpmaps and real time shadows were first demonstrated and commercialized. These are now commonplace in everyday game development. Phil caught the eye of a fairly young Californian startup company called NVIDIA.


 Since 2000, Phil has been at the forefront of NVIDIA’s European Content and Technology team, having the great pleasure of working with great partners on deep on technology initiatives, future technology direction as well as the business of games.


Phil has been invited to lecture around the world including USA, Canada, Nordics, Germany, UK and many others as well as contributing course direction and content to various game development focused University curriculum, giving insight into the past, the present and future of technology as a science, entertainment medium and a business. 

Hannes Seifert, Studio Head, Io-Interactive


Hannes’s career started in 1987 with his first Commodore 64 game. 1993 he co-founded Rockstar Vienna originally as neo Software, where he served as managing director for production and as executive producer for 14 years. End of 2006 he co-founded Deep Silver Vienna which he left 2010 to join Square Enix at Io-Interactive where he continues his work as studio head and executive producer.

Hannes is currently working on the upcoming title “Hitman” for PS4, XB1 and PCs. His previous games include “Hitman: Absolution”, “Dead Island”, the “Max Payne” and “GTA” series and “Die Völker”.

In his 28 years in the industry he worked on over 30 games on platforms ranging from C64 to MMOs, Wii, Xbox One and PS4.

Hannes’ academic and public lectures include talks about studio management, creative leadership, Hollywood style and general production models, and careers in the games industry. He lectured in the UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, and the USA.

Patrick Streppel, Founder & CEO, IME GmbH & gameXcite GmbH


Patrick studied Media Management at BiTS in Iserlohn, Germany, as well as Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. While still in school he made his first steps in the Gaming Industry as a Freelance Editor for Online Magazines such as Gamona, PowerPlay.de and Gamesmania.

 

Streppel started his career at Bertelsmann AG where he developed Digital TV and gaming strategies for subsidiaries such as Arvato and Fremantle Media. He subsequently joined Axel Springer AG in the Electronic Media Division to work on online and gaming acquisitions. One of his first projects was the re-structuring of gamigo AG from an Online Magazine to a Free to Play MMO publisher during which he transitioned to the Executive Board of gamigo, taking responsibility for Marketing, Business Development and Product Management. Streppel grew gamigo from 10 to 150 staff and from 2 to +20 Mio EUR annual revenue, established the US- and Korea-based entities as well as co-led the acquisitions of/investments in Outspark Inc., OnsOn Soft and Reakktor Media.


After the sale of gamigo AG to Samarion SE Streppel formed his own company, IME, in 2013. IME is a global licensing agency, consulting company and co-publisher for Online and Mobile games. In 2015 Streppel also founded gameXcite GmbH, the publisher of “World of Fishing”. Patrick is also a frequent lecturer for gaming and media at BiTS and Macromedia.

Guy Ulmer, Platform Technology Specialist, Plarium

 

Guy started as a hobbyist on the early days of the Internet modding games like C&C: Red Alert and Heroes of Might and Magic III. With formal background in Computer Science and an MBA in marketing, he spent close to a decade in the high tech industry and recently made the formal transition to the video game industry.

Guy is currently working at Plarium: a leading Israeli based mobile and social studio focusing mostly on strategy games, with 200 million players across 150 countries. He is part of research department, which responsible for analyzing the market, competition, technology and innovation and provide valuable insights to the multiple studios within Plarium.

In his position as a platform technology specialist, he is the person responsible for providing technological insight to the different teams working on our mobile games, from developers and designers to BI and marketing. 

 

Guy also served as a board member in GameIS - an association of the Israeli digital game industry, and is currently in charge of conference and event content management.

 

Full CV is available online at:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gulmer

Simon Usiskin, Founder, iQU


There are very few people who have successfully crossed the TV and online divide but Simon is one of them. He has had leadership roles in broadcast media and online companies and has founded B2C as well as B2B businesses. Prior to iQU, Simon held senior positions at Spil Games (worldwide operator of global network of social and casual gaming platforms) and 2WayTraffic (owner of the ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ franchise and now a Sony Pictures Entertainment company). Previously, he was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rose Bay Media Company, a TV game-show specialist IP creation company whose formats were sold to 24 countries worldwide. In 2008, together with Reinout Te Brake, he co-founded iQU and was the company's CCO until 2012, helping to establish it as the leading marketing and intelligence partner for games companies – as part of the Executive Team he now focusses on growing the company’s international AAA corporate and business partnerships. He is also Managing Partner of JWR Ventures where he provides multi-vertical IP and format exploitation consultancy as well as seed investments to third parties; lastly he sits on the Advisory Board of GameOn – a public/private investment programme and fund helping to accelerate growth in the Dutch online and mobile games industry.

Peter Warman, CEO and co-founder, Newzoo

 

Peter Warman is CEO and co-founder of Newzoo, the leading international research and analytics company with a focus on games. With its global and local market intelligence, Newzoo services the majority of top 20 global game companies, indies as well as hardware and media companies. After being responsible for sales and business development at Europe’s largest interactive agency (LBi), Peter operated as commercial director for an online multiplayer game for children. Peter is a frequent speaker on the business aspects of the games market and the impact games have on other industries.

Teut Weidemann, Online Games Consultant

 

Teut Weidemann is an online games & f2p expert consulting clients all over the world. Among his clients are Ubisoft, Supercell, Sybo Games, Jagex, Digital Extremes, Yager, Wooga and many more.

He is working in the games industry since 30 years and has shipped over 100 titles on all popular formats. Besides working for Microsoft Games in Seattle and Apple he also founded his own company in 1996 with a successful exit in 2000. As a CEO he also led one of the eldest game publishers CDV AG for 2 years which was listed at the Frankfurt stock exchange.

Since nearly 9 years he is helping companies entering the competitive online games landscape and even designing their games or monetization model. He is considered as one of the best f2p experts in Europe.

 

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