“The Platform Awakens”: GamesBeat 2016, August 1-3
In the wake of its well-attended MobileBeat 2016 conference earlier this month focusing on artificial intelligence, VentureBeat is returning to more familiar territory next week, when it will host its 9th annual GamesBeat conference at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
In addition to holding the traditional two-day event centering around game development and distribution, this year’s GamesBeat is introducing a day-long preamble to the conference that will explore augmented reality and virtual reality applications in cross-platform games. From Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift VR headset and Google’s VR Cardboard to the latest craze around Pokemon Go, Silicon Valley’s current obsession with innovative VR/AR technologies seems to know no bounds. Interesting use cases of VR/AR are starting to appear in industries from real estate to entertainment, but GamesBeat clearly recognizes that the gaming industry is where VR/AR innovations are likely to have the most significant impact.
John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs, the game developer and publisher behind Pokémon Go, will be a featured speaker at this year’s conference. In 2012, Niantic Labs created Ingress, another viral AR mobile game, which prompted Nintendo and The Pokémon Company Group to partner with the shop to develop mobile games for the iconic Pokémon franchise. Conference attendees will also have the chance to meet Sylvio Drouin, VP of Unity Labs, the company behind the games development engine on which Pokémon Go was built. The conference will also feature other events and discussions in which game developers, emerging VR startups, and VR device makers will discuss the evolving VR business landscape and how they see it evolving during the next 12 months.
Representatives from venture capital firms interested the VR/AR category will also present at next week’s event. These include Marco DeMiroz, cofounder and general partner of San Francisco-based Venture Reality Fund, which recently raised $50 million to invest in VR/AR startups. Clinton Foy, former CEO of gaming giant Square Enix and now managing director and general partner at Los Angeles-based CrossCut Ventures, is also speaking.
Newscenter.io will be reporting live from the event, providing up-to-the-minute coverage and exclusive interviews with speakers. Stay tuned! Register here for ticket passes.