Casual Connect is produced by the Casual Games Association and is the premiere event for the casual games industry with over 6,500 professionals attending Casual Connect each year. Casual Connect brings together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the casual gaming field to further the casual games industry with the best of networking and learning.
To learn more about the people behind the scenes, visit our website at: casualgamesassociation.org.
To inquire about advertising or sponsorship email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To submit a session proposal or magazine article proposal use the online submission form if you have any additional questions about the submission process email us at email@example.com.
Studio Director & Founder Joju Games
Director, Innovation Showcase
Juan heads the production at Joju Games. Joju produces online, social and multiplayer games for clients such as Atari, Addicting Games, Mindjolt/SGN, MTV Networks, Comedy Central, and Mochimedia. Juan has more than 13 years of experience developing online games. Previously, and as one of the first members of the Yahoo! Games team, Juan was the lead producer for the downloadable games area and community manager of multi player games. In the last year of his tenure at Yahoo!, Juan was the head of Yahoo! Games Studios.
Juan is a frequent speaker at industry events. He is the Director of the Innovation Showcase at Casual Connect, an editor of the IGDA Casual Games White Paper, and an Advisor of the Social Games Summit at the Games Developers Conference. Juan holds a BFA in Electronic Media from the University of Illinois.
V.P. of Business Development INTENIUM GmbH
Alla has been in the casual games industry since 2003 working on the managerial positions in business development, sales and marketing in Absolutist, the biggest casual games company in Ukraine. In 2007 she left the company after a year of being its CEO and continued her career as VP of Business Development with Germany-based INTENIUM, the leading European casual games distributor, publisher and developer. In this position she is responsible for several strategic directions of the game holding, cooperation with developers and distributors, as well as game development/producing. She holds an MA in English and Literature, BA in Marketing.
V.P. Business Development Arkadium
Neal Sinno is the VP of Business Development at Arkadium, bringing over ten years of experience in market opportunity assessment, product development and sales management. Prior to joining Arkadium, Neal was VP of Business Development at Game Trust. There he managed key relationships and partners to develop network channel, search and advertising opportunities, and was a member of the executive team responsible for the company's acquisition by RealNetworks. Prior to his role at Game Trust, Neal worked at Mellon Financial Corp, where he was the Director of E-Commerce Product Development. Within his role there, he led a global team of developers, designers and actuaries to create state of the art web based financial applications.
A seasoned sales and e-business specialist, Neal also held key roles at The New York Times and Lucent Technologies. Neal sits on the board of advisors for the Casual Games Association and frequently speaks at key industry events.
Program Advisor, Community & Social
David is Co-Founder and CEO of "Gemini Hive, Inc." - a boutique investment, advisory, and consulting firm focused on helping small social and social mobile game companies get started and find growth. David has been involved in video game development since 1989. In 1999 he dedicated his career to the publishing of "casual" games and pioneering ways for these games to reach new audiences. He has played a key role in the launch of RealArcade and the establishment of the casual games industry. He was also deeply involved in the rise of Oberon Media, and the launch of Xbox Live Arcade. He has a passion for online communities and social interactions in online cross-platform game services.
View David's sessions in the archives.
Managing Director Cliffhanger Productions
Program Advisor, Browser MMO
Jan Wagner has been involved in the industry for almost 20 years with his experience spanning producing, PR and product management along with QA, localization and game design. He was Head of Product Management at Vivendi Universal Games and worked on over 100 titles during this time including Half Life, Warcraft, Empire Earth and Diablo. Trying to get back to the creative side of the industry, he co-founded a consulting agency whose customers included Blizzard Europe, Vivendi Universal, Massive Development, Tilted Mill and JoWooD and worked on titles like SpellForce, Gothic and Ground Control. He went on to found Cliffhanger Productions, a production studio, with his partner Michael Paeck in 2006 trying to support the creation of more original games. Cliffhanger now focuses on premium browser and trans-platform games like it’s upcoming Jagged Alliance Online and new project Shadowrun Online.
Jan is a co-founder of a local initiative called gamearea frankfurtrheinmain, organizes the German industry event browser games forum, teaches game studies at the University of Darmstadt and is jury member for the German Developer’s Award, the German Games Award and the European Innovative Games Award. He never won one of those though.
Program Advisor, Casino Games
Brock Pierce (31) is an entrepreneur best known for pioneering the market for virtual goods in online games. He has founded eight companies, acquired more than 30 companies, and closed a dozen corporate finance transactions, securing more than $200 million on behalf of his companies. He is currently CEO of Playsino (formerly Titan Gaming), Managing Director of the Clearstone Global Gaming Fund, and he sits on the boards of IMI Exchange, Xfire, EverTune, RevenueAPEX, and Spicy Horse Games.
Managing Director Crossover Technologies
Program Advisor, General Industry
Eric is a 30-year veteran of the game, consumer Internet, and wireless data industries, serving in capacities ranging from game designer to executive. Since 2002, Eric is or has been a board member of, advisor or consultant to AOL, AT&T Wireless, Centerscore, Digital Chocolate, Electronic Arts, Exponential, Gaia Online, HipLogic, In-Fusio, Juice Wireless, Kayak (dba Blaze), Lifetime, LimeLife, Meredith, Mforma (dba Hands-On Mobile), Moloon, Openwave, PaymentOne, PickTeams (fka GoCrossCampus), Playdom (fka YouPlus), PlaySpan, Reaxion, rmbr, RocketOn, Thumbplay, Unplugged, Vindigo, Warner Music, and three US venture capital firms. Eric was most recently the President and Co-Founder of Unplugged, for which he secured distribution with four of the five largest North American carriers. Previously, he served as President and Founder of Crossover Technologies, one of the first consumer online companies, for which he secured AOL, BMG, Discovery Channel,Intel, Microsoft, Prodigy (IBM/Sears/CBS joint venture), Random House, Sony, Time Warner, and Viacom as clients and distribution partners; and, prior to that, as President of West End Games, the adventure game company for which he published, among 40+ titles, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and Junta. His award-winning games include Paranoia, Tales of the Arabian Nights, The Tom Peters Business School in a Box, and MadMaze, the first online game to draw one million players. He is a three-time winner of the Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game and a two-time winner of the Game Designers Guild Select Award. Eric is a regular speaker at the major North American games, wireless and online conferences, including CTIA, MECCA, Internet World, The Conference Board, DMW, GDC, GDC Mobile, MES, AGC, MGC, Casual Connect, LA Games Conference, and E3, and has served as a programs advisor or advisory board member for the latter seven conferences. He was previously a board member for the New York New Media Association and New York University`s Center for Advanced Digital Applications.
Head of Sales & Product InGaming
Gilad is head of Sales and Product at InGaming, a leading targeted User Acquisition network, sister company to the major online gambling super affiliate, Incomate. Gilad is leading the company’s expansion into the Casual Gaming industry and oversees the company’s client base, strategic partnerships and customer relations management.
Jussi Laakkonen is the CEO and founder of Applifier (http://www.applifier.com), the largest cross-promotion network for social games and applications that now reaches over 55 million monthly active users on Facebook. He pivoted Everyplay (http://www.everyplay.com), a social gaming startup he had founded in 2008, into Applifier to help other developers and publishers grow their social applications through cross-promotion.
Previously Jussi was the business development director for Bugbear Entertainment (http://www.bugbeargames.com), a console racing game developer, where he closed several multimillion euro game deals and produced console and handheld games including Sega Rally for PSP and the FlatOut series. Jussi has been an entrepreneur since his teens and for nearly 20 years he has been one of the main organizers of Assembly (http://www.assembly.org), an annual 5000 person, around the clock, four day computer festival Finland.
Jussi blogs infrequently at http://jussilaakkonen.wordpress.com and tries to remember tweet more often at @jussil.
Sr. Director, Publisher Relations Chartboost
Pepe Agell leads the International Expansion at Chartboost. In his role, he oversees the global expansion of the company’s publisher base, strategic partnerships, and customer relationship management (CRM) to ensure the highest standard of service and support.
Director of Flash GAMM Absolutist
Lerika is the director of the flash game developers and publishers conference "Flash GAMM", the co-manager of Ukrainian Adobe Flash Platform User Group and a Flash game artist and animator since 2003.
Program Advisor, Indie Games
2009 Jens founded wooga (world of gaming). With 15 million Monthly Active Users wooga is the 7th largest developer of social games worldwide and the leading developer based in Europe. The 4 games wooga has lauched so far (Brain Buddies, Bubble Island, Monster World and Happy Hospital) are all hits on Facebook. Bubble Island was awarded the best European Social Game for 2010. wooga employs a team of 60 people from 18 nations in the heart of Berlin.
Program Advisor, Community & Social
Co-Founder Boomzap Entertainment
Christopher Natsuume has been developing games for over 15 years. He has been working in the Southeast Asian region since 2004, including founding Singapore-based Boomzap Entertainment, one of the leading independent developers in the region. Boomzap has shipped 8 casual game titles, including the top ranked Jewels of Cleopatra series, using developers in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan.
Content Advisor, Casual Connect Magazine
Founder & Head of Special Ops for The Strategery Group
Jay is a massively parallel entrepreneur, who thrives on building successful new ventures in the gaming sector. As President of BitRaider, Jay is helping deploy a next generation streaming technology for games. As Founder and Insight Merchant with The Strategery Group a consulting group, Jay has gathered a talented team to help their clients realize their full potential. Jay has been an evangelist and brand manager in the games industry since 1994, a partner in GarageGames and creator and host of Indie Game Con `02-`05. He isa frequent speaker at GDC SF & Austin, e3, ECGC, DMW LA Games Conf., LOGIN and Casual Connect. As a start-up advisor to game entrepreneurs, he is an insight merchant focused on building strong business teams and advising on brand, business and corporate development.