Roundtable Sessions

Curated Roundtable Discussions with Industry Experts 

D.I.C.E. 2017 will once again feature focused roundtable, break-out sessions to facilitate new networking opportunities that will enrich the attendee experience. Based on the overwhelming success of our roundtable experience at last year’s conference, the organizers will reprise this opportunity again.

Roundtables
Roundtables

Roundtable break-out sessions are intimate, moderated group discourses where attendees can discuss amongst peers a variety of topics important to the interactive entertainment industry.  The roundtables will take place in a room with multiple roundtables occurring simultaneously, seating 10 per table including the table leader. 

The Academy envisions the table leader briefly introducing the topic. Afterwards, the discussion becomes free form with the leader’s only obligation to serve as a moderator to keep things moving along with a few questions if conversations begin to stall as well as making sure that everyone at the table is getting a fair chance to speak and engage with others.  The objective is not to necessarily solve a problem or come to a conclusion – it is to trade ideas/thoughts with other engaged individuals with similar interests and questions. 

PLEASE NOTE: Roundtable sessions will be closed events for D.I.C.E. attendees only, no press or cameras allowed. 

Additional roundtable session leaders and topics will be added soon, so please check back for details.  If you would like to submit a roundtable topic, please email Debby Chen at debby@interactive.org

#DICE2017 Roundtable Leaders

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Shanti Bergel

Shanti Bergel
SVP
GREE

What concepts will lead industry change in 2017?

The global games market is anticipated to reach 102.9BN in 2017. Join Shanti Bergel, SVP of GREE, as he discusses what major innovations we can expect to see from the industry in 2017. What concepts will lead industry change -- and who will be in position to lead them? The concept of bundling and unbundling will be a center point of discussion.

Alan Chen

Alan Chen
Managing Partner
Essence Associates, LLC

Working with Chinese Partners - Options of Business Excellence

The video game market of China accounts for a quarter of the global market, which is as large as the US market. With its current growth rate, it is expected to surpass US to be the biggest game market in the world. Western companies have been trying to expand their businesses to China, while Chinese companies are also making inroads into the western market. There exist varieties of opportunities in co-development, licensing, joint ventures, and M&As. This Roundtable will discuss these options with takeaways in understanding key differences and effective models to work with Chinese partners.

Kevin Dent

Kevin Dent
Chief Strategy Officer
PVP Live

How publishers and developers should position eSports
(Co-Leader with Michael Pachter) 

We will discuss whether eSports makes more sense as a profit driver, an engagement tool, or a promotional vehicle. Will discuss the various approaches taken to eSports by various developers and publishers—outsourced to “professional” organizers, run by an in-house group, etc. We also will discuss the role of an eSports in house organization, how gamers should be engaged, the cost of managing an eSports effort, potential pitfalls, and potential opportunities.

Graeme Devine

Graeme Devine
Chief Game Wizard
MagicLeap

Into the Future

Magic Leap's Chief Game Wizard, Graeme is responsible for defining the vision and leading Magic Leap's Mixed Reality gaming universe. Devine will discuss with participants how Mixed Reality will change our lives in the future and how we can create compelling gaming content that propels us forward - that enhances our lives through the Mixed Reality universe.

Alexander Fernandez

Alexander Fernandez
CEO & Co-Founder
Streamline Studios

Partners Not Suppliers

Game development is an inherently collaborative process. What happens when short term rewards outweigh long term goals? T.E.A.M. (Technology, Execution, Advisory, Mastery) is a framework crafted by Streamline Studios intended to be a guiding light for all involved. Join this roundtable where we will discuss and exchange ideas on how to move forward when common goals are jeopardized.

Alan Gershenfeld

Alan Gershenfeld
Founder & President
E-Line Media

Designed Futures in Games

Games not only create immersive future worlds, they can help shape the future of the world. This roundtable will focus on creating compelling, inviting, science-grounded future game worlds - neither dystopian nor techno-utopian. The discussion will explore the difference between the anticipated futures of scientists and directed futures of storytellers and game-makers - how the power of games and gaming-communities can not only explore the future, but help shape it.

Todd Hooper

Todd Hooper
CEO & Founder
VREAL

2016 was “year one” for consumer VR. What’s next? 

With the first round of VR hardware and software now out in the marketplace what were the key takeaways from 2016? Who were the winners and what unexpected challenges arose? What will we see in second generation headsets and input devices in 2017, and what types of content will push boundaries and introduce VR to new audiences? Join this roundtable to explore the latest trends and newest technologies that will define VR in 2017.

Aaron  Kambeitz

Aaron Kambeitz
Chief Creative Officer
Blackbird Interactive

Inspiration and Exploration
(Co-Leader with Dr. Jeff Norris)

Science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell didn’t simply offer an imaginative vision of humanity’s future in space – he helped to create that future. Chesley’s collaboration with NASA rocketeer Wernher Von Braun convinced the public that expeditions to the moon and beyond were within our grasp. Join Dr. Jeff Norris (NASA JPL) and Aaron Kambeitz (Blackbird Interactive) for a discussion on how the D.I.C.E. community can follow in Chesley’s footsteps and use their medium to inspire a new course for space exploration.

Jamil Moledina

Jamil Moledina
Games Strategic Lead
Google Play

Separating Facts from Alternative Facts in VR

There are several platforms in the VR market today, each with a growing portfolio of games. For developers, VR has been a hot topic of excitement and disillusionment. Let's separate fact from fiction, and discuss what is a realistic trajectory for games, both in terms of business performance and creative design. 

Dr. Jeff Norris

Dr. Jeff Norris
Mission Operations Innovation Lead
NASA JPL

Inspiration and Exploration
(Co-Leader with Aaron Kambeitz)

Science fiction artist Chesley Bonestell didn’t simply offer an imaginative vision of humanity’s future in space – he helped to create that future. Chesley’s collaboration with NASA rocketeer Wernher Von Braun convinced the public that expeditions to the moon and beyond were within our grasp. Join Dr. Jeff Norris (NASA JPL) and Aaron Kambeitz (Blackbird Interactive) for a discussion on how the D.I.C.E. community can follow in Chesley’s footsteps and use their medium to inspire a new course for space exploration.

Michael Pachter

Michael Pachter
Managing Director
Wedbush Securities

How publishers and developers should position eSports
(Co-Leader with Kevin Dent) 

We will discuss whether eSports makes more sense as a profit driver, an engagement tool, or a promotional vehicle. Will discuss the various approaches taken to eSports by various developers and publishers—outsourced to “professional” organizers, run by an in-house group, etc. We also will discuss the role of an eSports in house organization, how gamers should be engaged, the cost of managing an eSports effort, potential pitfalls, and potential opportunities.

Patric Palm

Patric Palm
CEO & Chair
Hansoft

Organizing for Gaming-as-a-Service

Gaming-as-a-Service (“GaaS”) is becoming an increasingly popular business model for games. How does this change the optimal way to organize your teams for development, marketing, operations, management? How do you work with outsourcers and partners in this environment? What challenges and opportunities does for example a monthly episodic delivery bring? What about VR/AR/MR in a GaaS environment? Bring your experiences, ideas, hopes, and fears to this roundtable around organizing for GaaS.

 Matt Stainner

Matt Stainner
Founder
Noodehaus

Team Dynamics, What Works For You?

What practices do you and your team consistently undergo to exercise creativity, generate ideas, solve problems and ever importantly, recharge? Let’s discuss fun ideas about how to mix up the daily meeting schedule or agenda with critical creative exercises. How does your team connect together outside the work at hand? Do you have a softball team or 10 day silent meditation retreat? Where are your leaders in the spectrum of ...Do you cheer-lead from the rear or is it a Dictatorship? How do you foster young talent growth, how do you challenge and reward them and when to you lean-in to catch a mistake?

 Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley
GameTrust - Head of the Trust  
GameStop - VP, Internal Development and Diversification

The Publishing Paradigm

Evolving the realm of publishing can help foster indie development, bringing new styles of games to the masses. As an industry, how can we come together to find creative ways to fund games that we love to play and ultimately know that gamers will too? GameTrust is helping to lead this by offering a different approach for independent developers to create and introduce their IP to a broader global gaming audience. This roundtable will explore ways we can support indie developers to bring passion projects to life.

 Attila Szantner

Attila Szantner
Founder & CEO
Massively Multiplayer Online Science

Blurred boundaries - Serious content in videogames

More and more often we see major AAA videogames embracing and integrating topics like social issues, educational material, real life scientific tasks and other types of content that traditionally are the focus of serious games. Do we see a trend here? How does this effect gameplay, community engagement and game design? Can we add another layer of meaningful engagement with our player community or on the contrary, are we hurting the gaming experience? Does it make sense for game developers and publishers to commit even more deeply to this direction?

Kiki Wolfkill

Kiki Wolfkill
Studio Head - Halo Transmedia and Entertainment
343 Industries

Wrangling a global game IP across multiple experiences while maintaining brand soul and identity

Game franchises now more than ever can encompass more than just a single game experience – they are robust IPs that can span books, movie, TV, multiple game genres. As game studios, managing a core vision and brand across multiple experiences and teams can at best be a leadership and navigation challenge and at worst, dilute your brand and alienate your audience. How do you keep different teams agile and aligned against a single vision while also ensuring each team feels ownership and autonomy? How do you please an increasingly diverse fan base? Come share war stories, fairytales, hard truths.

Thursday, Feb. 23

Alan Abdine

Alan Abdine
SVP of Business Development
Rooster Teeth

Forging your own path in the social media age: How risk taking and counterintuitive thinking can be winning strategies
(Co-Leader with Gus Sorola)

For 14 years, Rooster Teeth has made a business of challenging the status quo. As trailblazers in social media and community building before Facebook existed to delivering video content to a worldwide audience before YouTube, Rooster Teeth has consistently and proactively forged their own trails defined by passion rather than industry trends or bandwagon mentality. Come join Gus Sorola and Alan Abdine for a frank discussion on what this fearless risk taking looks like in practical applications against the backdrop of a constantly evolving digital and social media landscape.

Ari Arad

Ari Arad
President
Arad Productions

Adapting for the big screen

Ari Arad, producer of the upcoming Ghost in the Shell, Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid movies, will be hosting a table to discuss the journey to adapting popular and well-loved franchises to different entertainment formats. Join Ari to discuss these topics: How do you get to the soul of a story? How do you determine which format will best benefit the ideas and themes presented in a franchise? How do you find the best partners to help make these stories take shape?

Shanti Bergel

Shanti Bergel
SVP
GREE

What concepts will lead industry change in 2017?

The global games market is anticipated to reach 102.9BN in 2017. Join Shanti Bergel, SVP of GREE, as he discusses what major innovations we can expect to see from the industry in 2017. What concepts will lead industry change -- and who will be in position to lead them? The concept of bundling and unbundling will be a center point of discussion.

Alan Chen

Alan Chen
Managing Partner
Essence Associates, LLC

Working with Chinese Partners - Options of Business Excellence

The video game market of China accounts for a quarter of the global market, which is as large as the US market. With its current growth rate, it is expected to surpass US to be the biggest game market in the world. Western companies have been trying to expand their businesses to China, while Chinese companies are also making inroads into the western market. There exist varieties of opportunities in co-development, licensing, joint ventures, and M&As. This Roundtable will discuss these options with takeaways in understanding key differences and effective models to work with Chinese partners.

Kevin Dent

Kevin Dent
Chief Strategy Officer
PVP Live

How publishers and developers should position eSports
(Co-Leader with Michael Pachter) 

We will discuss whether eSports makes more sense as a profit driver, an engagement tool, or a promotional vehicle. Will discuss the various approaches taken to eSports by various developers and publishers—outsourced to “professional” organizers, run by an in-house group, etc. We also will discuss the role of an eSports in house organization, how gamers should be engaged, the cost of managing an eSports effort, potential pitfalls, and potential opportunities.

Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards
Executive Director
IGDA

Culture Building for Game Worlds and Game Companies

In the process of creating game worlds, designers and developers strive for originality and creativity. However, they often put their game titles at risk by not considering various cultural aspects that can impact the reality of their worlds, either the logical consistency of the milieu or including elements that have real-world connections and potential impacts. Similarly, we create cultures in and around our game companies that are distinct and have their own intrinsic values, such as work/life balance and diversity. Come explore the impactful, interrelated aspects of building cultures for both our game and our companies.

Alexander Fernandez

Alexander Fernandez
CEO & Co-Founder
Streamline Studios

Partners Not Suppliers

Game development is an inherently collaborative process. What happens when short term rewards outweigh long term goals? T.E.A.M. (Technology, Execution, Advisory, Mastery) is a framework crafted by Streamline Studios intended to be a guiding light for all involved. Join this roundtable where we will discuss and exchange ideas on how to move forward when common goals are jeopardized.

Alan Gershenfeld

Alan Gershenfeld
Founder & President
E-Line Media

Designed Futures in Games

Games not only create immersive future worlds, they can help shape the future of the world. This roundtable will focus on creating compelling, inviting, science-grounded future game worlds - neither dystopian nor techno-utopian. The discussion will explore the difference between the anticipated futures of scientists and directed futures of storytellers and game-makers - how the power of games and gaming-communities can not only explore the future, but help shape it.

Perrin Kaplan

Perrin Kaplan
Principal
Zebra Partners

Tweet or Perish: How does social media impact your success at launch and beyond?

In today’s era, consumers expect many touch points - and often. There is one school of belief that maintaining constnt connections with the most avid fans is crucial for success and a must-have for pre-launch, launch and beyond. Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and more all help you connect with and motivate gamers. How do you establish your company’s ‘ voice’ and personality, and how do specific launches fit in? Are today’s methods for ROI measurement even useful? In this roundtable we’ll share our own stories and explore solutions together. Plus, we’ll examine how leaders and influencers depend on these mediums for their life blood.

Michael Pachter

Michael Pachter
Managing Director
Wedbush Securities

How publishers and developers should position eSports
(Co-Leader with Kevin Dent) 

We will discuss whether eSports makes more sense as a profit driver, an engagement tool, or a promotional vehicle. Will discuss the various approaches taken to eSports by various developers and publishers—outsourced to “professional” organizers, run by an in-house group, etc. We also will discuss the role of an eSports in house organization, how gamers should be engaged, the cost of managing an eSports effort, potential pitfalls, and potential opportunities.

Patric Palm

Patric Palm
CEO & Chair
Hansoft

Organizing for Gaming-as-a-Service

Gaming-as-a-Service (“GaaS”) is becoming an increasingly popular business model for games. How does this change the optimal way to organize your teams for development, marketing, operations, management? How do you work with outsourcers and partners in this environment? What challenges and opportunities does for example a monthly episodic delivery bring? What about VR/AR/MR in a GaaS environment? Bring your experiences, ideas, hopes, and fears to this roundtable around organizing for GaaS.

Gus Sorola

Gus Sorola
Co-Founder
Rooster Teeth

Forging your own path in the social media age: How risk taking and counterintuitive thinking can be winning strategies
(Co-Leader with Alan Abdine)

For 14 years, Rooster Teeth has made a business of challenging the status quo. As trailblazers in social media and community building before Facebook existed to delivering video content to a worldwide audience before YouTube, Rooster Teeth has consistently and proactively forged their own trails defined by passion rather than industry trends or bandwagon mentality. Come join Gus Sorola and Alan Abdine for a frank discussion on what this fearless risk taking looks like in practical applications against the backdrop of a constantly evolving digital and social media landscape.

 Attila Szantner

Attila Szantner
Founder & CEO
Massively Multiplayer Online Science

Blurred boundaries - Serious content in videogames

More and more often we see major AAA videogames embracing and integrating topics like social issues, educational material, real life scientific tasks and other types of content that traditionally are the focus of serious games. Do we see a trend here? How does this effect gameplay, community engagement and game design? Can we add another layer of meaningful engagement with our player community or on the contrary, are we hurting the gaming experience? Does it make sense for game developers and publishers to commit even more deeply to this direction?

Feargus Urquhart

Feargus Urquhart
Chief Executive Officer
Obsidian Entertainment

Immersing players in World - The Past and the Future

Many of us have been building worlds for years - ten, twenty, or even thirty of them. When we look back at the games we made with far less technology, are we overly reliant on shiny new tech now, and are there things we can learn from what we did way back then?

REGISTER FOR THE 2017 D.I.C.E. SUMMIT NOW!

Roundtable Leader Testimonials from #DICE2016

Michael Condrey
Kate Edwards

Michael Condrey
Studio Head & Co-founder
Sledgehammer Games

"The D.I.C.E. roundtable event is a great opportunity to meet with industry veterans, gaming thought leaders, and fans in an intimate setting conducive to knowledge sharing and open dialog.  I valued the chance to hear diverse perspectives on topics important to me, and to my studio."

Kate Edwards
Executive Director
IGDA

"The D.I.C.E. roundtables provided a unique opportunity to explore a range of topics to a greater depth than a typical conference. With the typical caliber of D.I.C.E. attendees present, the discussions were substantive, collaborative, and extremely informative. As a roundtable leader, I had the responsibility of gently directing the conversation around my topic, but it was fantastic to watch the attendees drive the dialog and organically take it in unexpected directions."

Laura Naviaux
Feargus Urquhart

Laura Naviaux
Chief Publishing Officer
Daybreak Games

"D.I.C.E. roundtables are a great way connect at a much deeper, more engaged level…you get to the meat of a topic quickly. I find comparing notes and real world experiences among 8-10 industry peers leads to helpful, actionable takeaways."

Feargus Urquhart
Chief Executive Officer
Obsidian Entertainment

"The roundtables at D.I.C.E. 2016 let me connect with a bunch of great people, some of whom I met for the first time along with colleagues I have known for many years. The format let us talk and move the conversation into areas that mattered to us, and really helped me get some insights into how my peers are thinking about issues affecting our industry right now."

Roundtable Participant Testimonials from #DICE2016

Kyla Kennedy
Lorne Lanning

Kyla Kennedy
Director of Publishing
Six Foot

“I heard great things about the roundtables at D.I.C.E. Europe and was curious to see how the event would scale at the Summit in Las Vegas. The sessions exceeded my expectations. They were engaging, informative, and fun. It gave me an opportunity to discuss topical issues with peers who could offer a fresh perspective.”

Lorne Lanning
CEO
Oddworld Inhabitants

“The D.I.C.E. roundtable sessions have proven incredibly valuable and are now a cherished portion of the Summit where I look forward to participating. It’s such an extremely rare opportunity to have point blank discussions with luminaries who are all seeking greater answers, yet are already at the top of their game. Priceless.”

REGISTER FOR THE 2017 D.I.C.E. SUMMIT NOW!