4-6 February 2015
Lectures at Casual Connect are programmed to focus on cutting edge topics in the casual games space. On February 4-6, 2015, over 2000 industry professionals will come to Amsterdam for the 10th Casual Connect in Western Europe.
Conference content was programmed by a set of industry advisors.
To email any of the speakers below, click on the email icon next to the speaker's name.
If you would like to speak at Casual Connect in Amsterdam, Serbia, Singapore, Israel or San Francisco, please submit a lecture proposal online for further questions, please email Cathy Simpson.
Confirmed Speakers for 2015
Dan Fiden is CSO of Fun Plus, a Beijing-based developer, operator,
and publisher of social and mobile games with more than 5 million DAU and offices in San Francisco and Vancouver.
Prior to joining Fun Plus, Dan was a founder at Signia Venture Partners — an early stage venture fund and investor in Fun Plus.
Going back a few years, Dan was CEO of Wild Needle (sold to Zynga,) US GM at Playfish,
and Director of Game Development at Pogo. Dan is on the advisory board of GDC San Francisco and Gaming Insiders.
Anatoly is CEO of Game Insight,
a leading global game company that makes free-to-play mobile and social games with a combined audience
of over 250 million players. He's been making games for more than 15 years and has over 100 products to his credit.
Head of Games Platform
With Artur's direct participation in April 2010, one of the biggest Eastern European social networks of Odnoklassniki.ru
entered the games market. Before joining Odnoklassniki,
Artur worked for CTXM as senior producer of casual games and as head of social games publishing in Creara.
His experience includes participation in more than 300 game projects, 20 of which were produced "turnkey" under Artur's direct supervision.
Managing Director, EMEA
As managing director in Europe,
Richard leads the company’s UK office as well as advertiser sales and publisher relationships.
Prior to Flurry, Richard led the digital media sales team for Amazon in Europe.
Previously, Richard spent nearly 10 years in B2B publishing in tech press on titles such as Computing
and Personal Computer World
and during this time he launched Information Week and Computer Reseller News in the UK for CMP Media.
VP Android and Cross-Platform Development
Sourabh Ahuja is currently responsible for all Android games and revenue, along with Facebook, Amazon’s Kindle,
and new initiatives/platforms.
His diverse contributions and expertise are instrumental to Glu Mobile’s success as a premier partner of Google,
Facebook, and Amazon. Sourabh holds a M.S in Computer Science and Engineering from
Oregon Health & Science University and a B.Engg in Computer Engineering from Pune University.
SVP Marketing & Business Development
John leads BlueStacks' business development and marketing teams.
He joined them in 2011 while the company was still in stealth mode.
BlueStacks now has 13 million users of its "App Player" mobile-apps-on-PC product,
over 1 million Facebook fans and 2 million unique visitors to its website each month.
BlueStacks has built partnerships with some of the top mobile developers in the world, such as Halfbrick, Glu,
GREE and hundreds of indies.
Clark Stacey is the co-founder and CEO of WildWorks, a leading developer of online worlds and F2P games for kids (formerly called Smart Bomb Interactive).
In 2010, the company launched Animal Jam, an online playground for kids who love animals.
Incorporating educational content in association with National Geographic,
Animal Jam connects tens of millions of children worldwide and is the largest online social network for kids in North America.
From their studio locations in Salt Lake City and Amsterdam, the WildWorks team of 125 developers
is now extending the Animal Jam experience into mobile games and other media.
VP Business Development
Dan is vice president of business development at HyprMX,
a multi-screen monetization platform delivering premium brand advertising.
He is responsible for developing partnerships with major mobile publishers and ad tech providers.
Prior to joining HyprMX, Dan managed games-related initiatives and partnerships for Flurry’s publishing services.
Previously, he led the global business development team at 6waves. Dan joined 6waves from Microsoft Game Studios,
where he was both a lead producer and a senior business development manager.
VP Business Development & Strategy
Aeria Games Europe GmbH
Founder & CEO
Super Lucky Casino
Nick was an original member of the games incubator, YouWeb (OpenFeint, Crowdstar, Agawi, Spaceport, etc.).
From YouWeb, Nick moved to Offerpal/Tapjoy and led early publisher development efforts, closing deals with Zynga,
Playdom, EA, and more. Nick left Tapjoy to form Super Lucky Casino, a leader in the cross-platform mobile casino space.
John is a games industry veteran with over 25 years of industry experience.
He’s been involved in the building of several large scale,
massively multiplayer game platforms and selling them to industry giants.
Prior to starting OpenWager, John started and ran Meez.com,
a leading teen-focused social media community which today has over 8 million users.
Throughout his career, John has held executive roles at companies such as Stadeon (CEO),
Yahoo (GM, Mobile Games), Shockwave (SVP Operations), and SegaSoft, where John was VP of Technology.
Lead Game Designer
Andrej Golovkov is the lead game designer of the indie game studio PowerPlay Manager based in Bratislava, Slovakia.
He has been supervising 5 projects in this position, and they have been released as browser games or on Facebook.
He has been working as a game designer since 2005.
CEO & Co-Founder
An award-winning producer with over 12 years of experience in the entertainment industry,
Dave has played a critical role in leading the development of numerous successful projects for AAA game studios and Fortune 500 companies.
By channeling his drive and ambition,
Dave is helping to build Hyperkinetic Studios into a world-class studio of experienced artists,
designers, and programmers with a fresh take on the industry.
Co-Founder & CEO
Ivan has over 11 years of experience in the gaming industry.
In 1999, Mr. Tkachenko joined The Web Production and served as CTO.
In 2002, Ivan co-founded and served as CEO of Kenjitsu and VP of Nikitova.
Oberon Media acquired Kenjitsu in 2007 where Ivan served as studio director at Oberon/I-play.
Since May 2011, Ivan has been CEO of Signus Labs.
VP Business Development
Playtika pioneered the social casino industry in 2010 and was acquired very early on by one of the largest casino companies in the world, Caesars.
With repeatedly successful titles like Slotomania
, Bingo Blitz
, Caesars Casino
and WSOP poker
Playtika consistently holds the title of the largest social casino developer of the globe.
As VP of business development, Elad is in charge of all M&A activity as well as heading strategic partnerships for the company.
Chief Commercial Officer
Sr. Analyst, Consumer Insights
Stephanie Llamas is the senior analyst at SuperData Research,
where she heads Consumer Insights research for all digital gaming sectors.
She has almost 10 years of professional experience in social and digital media,
as well as an academic background in the sociopolitical history of video games.
Stephanie holds degrees from Northwestern University and New York University in digital art and video game theory.
Aurora Klæboe BERG
VP of Business & Marketing
Aurora Klæboe Berg is responsible for business development and marketing at Dirtybit - a gaming studio that successfully
got it’s game Fun Run
to top the US App Store with a $0 marketing budget.
She holds an MSc in Comm.Tech Engineering and Entrepreneurship from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Her efforts in the Norwegian start-ups scene was recently awarded with being named the DigIT 2014 Women of the year.
VP of Marketing & Co-Founder
Bjoern Bergstein is a product manager at Tivola Publishing – a company founded in 1995 with a great experience
in developing entertaining and educational games for families.
Bjoern joined Tivola after he founded his own individual development studio Bubo Games.
Before Bjoern stepped into this business, he studied game design and game production. His game LabRATory
the Newcomer Award 2012 and was nominated as Best Casual Mobile Game 2013 in Germany.
Now he is responsible for the casual game department at Tivola and supports the company with his background as a indie developer.
With his experience in game design and producing, he manages new visions and the requirements of new productions.
CEO & Founder
Dmitry Terekhin is the CEO and founder of Nekki, a Russian mobile games developer with more than 12 years of experience.
Nekki is a self-funded company with over 100 employees.
Today Nekki’s games have more than 180 million players worldwide.
The most successful titles are Vector
and Shadow Fight 2
Legal Counsel and Data Privacy Officer
Director of Engineering
With more than seven years of development under his belt, Justin is a full stack game developer with extensive iOS experience, and has built all aspects of a game from front end UI using Unity, to back end server code in .NET Framework and C# with extensive knowledge and experience with Swift. Justin currently oversees Dice with Buddies
and other chart-topping apps at the premier entertainment network Scopely. Justin manages a team of talented iOS developers worldwide and has worked on a wide variety of client and mobile applications. As the sole creator of Dice with Buddies
, Justin built the server platform, iOS client, and initial art for the game.
VP Business Development
Head of Business Development
Leonard Frankel oversees all biz dev activities in Plarium, the largest hard-core games developer on Facebook. The company’s strategy series includes titles such as Stormfall
, and Total Domination
Leonard is richly experienced in both business and technology; he is responsible for locating investment opportunities in various markets for Plarium. He is also leading Plarium into mobile and browser platforms, establishing collaborations, and locating new technologies and services.
Head of Marketing
Eric Seufert is a quantitative marketer with a passion for blending real-world problems with large amounts of data, econometric frameworks, and analytical systems. His professional specialty lies in programmatic statistical methods and predictive forecasting for freemium products. Eric received an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Economics from University College London, where he was an Erasmus Mundus scholar. Eric joined Skype immediately out of graduate school and subsequently held marketing and strategy roles at Digital Chocolate and Wooga, where he is now the head of marketing. Eric is also the author of Freemium Economics, published by Elsevier in 2014, and is the owner of Mobile Dev Memo, a website dedicated to mobile app development.
Director of Talent, Culture & Fun
Jillian Mood is the director of talent, culture & fun at Magmic,
a leading mobile game company, and has been working as an HR Leader for over 10 years,
specializing with entertainment companies.
Along with all things talent, she plays a key role in keeping Magmic’s culture exciting and positive.
In the last two years, she has moved into a role more focused on external branding and collaboration,
setting up key partnerships for the company that are taking it to the next level.
She has jumped (loudly) into the video game industry by setting up exciting industry initiatives,
joining the International Game Developers Association,
helping launch one of the biggest game conferences in Canada and has started speaking internationally.
She has some creative and progressive ways of running HR and loves to share them.
Programmer/ Game Designer
As programmer and game designer at Rumpus,
Alexander has a passion for coming up with new game mechanics and improve the ways games are made.
He loves game jams and have attended and organized quite a few over the years.
Besides working on Bertram, He also organises the Unity Meetup Group in Bristol.
Tiny Red Camel
During the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure to do marketing for leading IT companies,
financial institutions and pharmaceutical giants. And this year, I have started playing. Finally.
Founder & CEO
Image and Form
Brjann Sigurgeirsson is the everlasting CEO of Image & Form, a game development studio in cold, windy Gothenburg, Sweden.
The company has had tremendous success on mobile with Anthill, and on Nintendo 3DS and Steam with SteamWorld Dig.
the binary family
Thorsten has created over 50 casual games since 1989.
Over the years, he has worked with a kaleidoscope of business models that include paid, freemium,
ad-financed, skill gaming, and subscriptions (his favorite).
He currently spends his time creating intelligent trivia games, crossword puzzles, and other brainy entertainment.
While he waits for the current dominance of virtual currency-based F2P monotony to fade again,
his team is focusing on an entertaining weather app that has created its own niche in the market.
Olga is a co-founder of PlayToMax,
a team of professionals with more than eight years of experience in game development
and one of the leading companies in the HTML5 gaming market.
In the last three years, PlayToMax has focused its core activities on the development
of highly productive HTML5 browser games for mobile platforms, as a universal solution for the market, and yet achieved great results.
Dmitri I. DUBOGRAEV
Founder & CEO
Founder and Managing Partner
Team Lead, Unity 3D Developer
Vitaliy is game developer passionate about his work. For the last 2 years he has been working at Nravo on various projects,
starting from native iOS games and finishing mobile RPG game, which will be the subject of his talk.
He believes that the gaming industry could evolve much more quickly if everyone would share their experiences.
Executive Producer, Mobile Publishing
Game Developer, CEO & Co-Founder
Dejan Omasta was born in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is currently living in Sarajevo.
He has general big experience with IT technologies as a programmer and game developer.
He went on from working as pipeline developer and R&D on 3D feature film production to Indie Game Developer,
Co-Founder and CEO of a fearsome indie game studio.
Co-Founder & CEO
Jussi is an experienced gaming executive with a decade of experience in strategy games.
Having played games his whole life and 20 years of experience in making them he has worked in various roles inside the industry,
giving him a broad understanding of both game development & publishing.
Hernan Lopez is the Warchief and founder of Epic Llama Games, a game company focused on the casual game market founded back on 2008.
He and his company have developed more than 30 titles in the past years and have a lot of experience on the field to share.
State of Play Games
Katherine Bidwell established the indie games company State of Play in 2008,
and specialises in the design and animation of hand-crafted games, often using pencils, papercraft and laser cutting to create game art.
At State of Play she developed the IGF-nominated puzzle adventure game Lume
, as well as the hand-made sequel Lumino City
which involved the creation of a miniature city out of paper and cardboard, including working lights and electric motors.
Founder & CEO
Storm Bringer Studios
Albert Custodio has worked for several multinational companies, focusing on finance, marketing and strategy.
Currently, he is the LiveOps Manager at Social point.
He is responsible for LiveOps events and monetization in Live games,
which brings in a monthly contribution of 35% of the net revenue for the company.
Social Point’s game, Dragon City, can boost being in the Top 10 grossing games in the US multiple times.
Albert received his BA and MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona.
CEO & Co-Founder
Peter Warman is CEO and Co-Founder of Newzoo, the games market research and consulting firm,
servicing clients across all game business models and continents, such as Valve, Microsoft, EA, Wizards of the Coast,
Nvidia, Plantronics and Changyou.
After being responsible for sales and business development at Europe’s largest interactive agency (LBi),
he was responsible for internet development at Reed Business and operated as commercial director for a MMO for kids.
Peter is a frequent speaker on the business aspects of the games industry.
Peter enjoys opera as well as good German techno.
Margaret Wallace is an American entrepreneur who focuses on gaming, digital media and technology.
She is chief executive officer at Playmatics, a design and development company that sits at the intersection of brands,
narrative, gaming and transmedia. The company has been a part of several award-winning products,
including "Breaking Bad: The Interrogation" and David Cronenberg's "Body/Mind/Change" - winners of CableFAX and MUSE Awards, respectively.
Playmatics is an institutional partner with the Made in New York Media Center, a New York City initiative.
In 2012, Wallace was named one of Forbes' "12 Women in Gaming to Watch" and in 2014,
she was listed by Fortune as one of "10 Powerful Women in Video Games."
Head of Game Analytics
Christoph Safferling is an economist and applied econometrician.
He has many years of academic experience in building economic models and working with data.
Having finished his PhD analysing economics of online games,
he moved from academically dissecting game metrics to a more hands-on approach.
He now leads the game analytics department at Ubisoft Blue Byte in Germany,
and is in charge of monitoring the online games The Settlers Online
, Anno Online
, Silent Hunter Online
Panzer General Online
and Might & Magic Heroes Online
VP Corporate Development
General Manager EMEA
SoftLayer, an IBM Company
Jonathan Wisler is a technology veteran who has been driving innovation,
profitability and international expansion in technology companies for close to 15 years.
Prior to SoftLayer, he was a Principal at Magnify Consulting where he helped technology startups
with international expansion and developing scalable operations.
Before this he spent 8 years at Kodak Gallery growing the business unit from an idea to an international market leader.
At Kodak, he was responsible for hosting and developing a global web to print infrastructure on a limited capital budget.
He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a major in economics.
KUULUU Interactive Entertainment AG
Jendrik has been developing games for over 25 years and has released and produced more than 100 games on various platforms,
is Co-Founder at several companies like Tagtoes, a publisher of smart gaming apps for kids.
Currently working as the executive producer on the Linkin Park Recharge game project at KUULUU interactive entertainment AG.
In his role Jendrik is responsible for overseeing the whole project and driving the team towards launching
the project on the various gaming platforms, the open BETA of Linkin Park Recharge on Facebook was started September 2013.
KUULUU creates social and mobile games for leading artists, celebrities and communities which enable them to add new value to their brands,
increase their footprint on social networks and strengthen relationships with their audience.
Chief Creative Officer
Hyperkinetic Studios LLC
Chief Product Officer
Mobile Gaming Hall of Fame-inducted game designer/producer Scott Foe is a sixteen-year veteran of the games industry
who began his career as a member of the team that developed and launched the Sega Dreamcast
the world's first online games console.
Foe's Reset Generation was the first free-to-play game nominated for an Interactive Achievement Award
and was listed by Pocket Gamer beside Angry Birds
as "one of the most-important handheld games of all time."
While at Nokia, Foe designed the world's first social/mobile games network.
Sr. Online Games Supervisor
Teut Weidemann is a senior games specialist and consultant for Ubisoft Blue Byte.
He was a part of the team who created The Settlers Online
, the browser game of the year.
Teut has been working in the games industry since the 1980's and has shipped over 100 titles on multiple platforms.
After working for Apple Computer and Microsoft Games, he founded his own development company, Wings Simulations, in 1996.
The company shipped the highly awarded Panzer Elite for Psygnosis, a former Sony company.
After selling his company, he joined CDV as CTO where he oversaw all development.
Since 2007, Teut has been working as a consultant assisting gaming companies to become successful online.
Lead Game Designer
Coming from the old world of brick and mortar FLGS’s and pen and paper RPGS,
Anwar Dalati joined Innogames in 2009. After working on a variety of titles,
he’s been heading the game design of Forge of Empires
, Innogames’ successful historic city building strategy game.
Founder & Creative Director
Peter Molyneux is one of the best-known names in the international world of computer games.
He co-founded Bullfrog Productions in 1987 and created a new genre of computer games,
“the god game” with the release of Populous
Bullfrog was sold in 1994 to Electronic Arts and Peter became Vice-President.
In 1997 Peter left Bullfrog Productions and Electronic Arts to form a new games development company Lionhead Studios.
In April 2006 Lionhead Studios was sold to Microsoft Corp and Peter was appointed as Creative Director of MGS Europe in 2009.
In March 2012, Peter left Lionhead Studios and Microsoft Corp, to start a new company called 22cans.
Their first project Curiosity - What’s inside the cube?
was released in November 2012 on mobile devices
and has been downloaded over 4 million times. Peter and his team organized a successful Kickstarter campaign for Godus
in December 2012, which is now in development at the studio. Their motto is “a great team with a great idea leads to a great success.”
Guy is a co-founder and CEO at Sidekick games, an Israeli game developer for mobile, VR and seamless interfaces.
Since 2010, Sidekick has been lucky to be working with game-changing technologies from Leapmotion, PrimeSense, Realsense and Oculus.
Prior to Sidekick, Guy co-founded and headed the business of Double Fusion,
a leader in the ingame advertising space and founder of Cellular Magic, a multi-user mobile game platform provider.
Robby Yung is the CEO at Animoca Brands, a leading developer and publisher of mobile games for global audiences that trades on the ASX.
At Animoca Brands, Robby focuses on both publishing as well as creating games from their library of licensed intellectual property.
Previously, Robby was the Co-Founder of Redgate Media, which was sold to Inno-Tech Holdings,
and Co-Founder of One Media Group, listed on the HKEx. He began his career in the wireless business at Metromedia,
building fixed and mobile wireless networks in China and Indonesia in the early 90's.
Vladimir Funtikov is the CEO and Co-Founder of Creative Mobile,
where he is dividing his time between business development and design of key products.
Vladimir has been involved in the gaming industry since the early 2000's,
taking on a number of roles from freelance level design to game programming.
In 2011 he co-created Drag Racing, which became one of the most downloaded Android games of all time.
In his role as CEO and Co-Founder of CM Vladimir has helped the Estonia-based start-up
become a capable publisher with over 200 million installs across its portfolio of 1st and 3rd-party titles.
Paul is a partner in the London office of Osborne Clarke,
which is widely recognized as Europe's leading law firm for the interactive entertainment industry.
Paul specializes in commercial transactions and regulatory issues relating to content licensing and distribution
through new media platforms and applications, including digital distribution,
streaming and web-based services. Paul also regularly advises on the regulatory issues relating
to the creation and exploitation of digital entertainment products and services including age ratings, broadcast and telecom regulations,
collecting society issues, data privacy, virtual currencies, e-commerce and betting and gaming regulations.
Alex Nichiporchik is the CEO of tinyBuild. Before co-founding the company, he spent years writing about video games, being a
professional gamer, and most recently creating A10.com (a leading web game site) while working at Spil Games."
Sajjad Gholizadeh is the art director at Bearded Bird. He leads a team providing all aspects of art design,
including character and environment design, textures and art style.
He is a qualified self-taught artist. Sajjad has spent 10 years as an art director, director, concept artist, texture artist,
storyboard artist, layout artist and a 2D animator, which taught him the importance of art design.
Prior to starting his game & animation art, Sajjad has been a traditional painter for another 10 years.
Before joining Bearded Bird in 2012, Sajjad worked for 8 years for a various organizations, including “Didar Blue Sky”,
“Arad” animation studio and “T20”.
Sajjad was mostly responsible for leading the art team, character concepts and 2D animations.
Founder, Designer, Producer
Those Awesome Guys
Nicolae Berbece (Xelu) is a game developer who used to have awesomely long hair that was soft to the touch.
He is currently working on Move or Die, a fast-paced competitive multiplayer game scheduled to be released later this year on Steam.
He also produced, designed and created the art for other titles such as Concerned Joe ,
Kawairun and a handful of older browser games created across 5+ years of game development.
Growing up with a computer in the house, he got interested in game development by modding titles like Counter Strike 1.6
and Warcraft 3 back in the 2000's, developing a taste for games with innovative mechanics in the process.
He worked online with many programmers, artists and musicians from around the world, developing games in both online and local game jams.
VP Business Development
Fabian lives in Seattle, America's fastest growing city, where he represents Overwolf as vice president of business development.
Before joining Overwolf's management team, he served as an advisor to the company.
Since joining the games industry in 2004, he has held multiple business development roles at Big Fish Games, UBM,
Outspark and Social Growth Technologies. Fabian is passionate about our industry,
and is grateful to work alongside so many interesting, smart, and for the most part, nice and friendly people.
Plan of Attack
An expat American living in The Netherlands, Audra has over 10 years of high-level video games communications experience.
With a career spanning San Francisco, New York, Madrid and now Amsterdam, Audra has experience with multi-lingual,
multi-cultural campaigns and has helped studios big and small obtain high quality corporate and product exposure.
Game Designer & Co-Founder
Spooky house studios
Pavel Carpov is one of the Co-Founders of Spooky House Studios - a self-publishing game development studio
that brought to the AppStore's Top 1 free games Bubble Explode
and Rail Maze
For the past 5 years actively participated in game design and development of most of it's products.
Ice Pick Lodge
Game Designer and Executive Producer at Ice-Pick Lodge—one of the oldest and most bizzare Russian game development studios.
Eats waffles, but doesn’t particularly enjoy them.
Ricardas is a former games journalist and editor, currently responsible for all Nordcurrent communications and social media activities.
He overlooked a recent growth of company's
Facebook fans to 1 million and manages continuous expansion and creative engagement of Nordcurrent social community.
Tanja is a Chief Operating Officer of a company that grew from 30 to more than 150 skilled enthusiasts and fans of games just in a year.
Loves gamedev people and is a puzzle addict.
World of Tanks Blitz, Wargaming.net
Alexey has more than 8 years of experience in mobile development, starting with J2ME games and BREW platform.
After the DAVA team joined Wargaming.net, Alexey moved from development into management positions.
He is now responsible for the development of World of Tanks Blitz
which is the first mobile cross platform MMO shooter developed and published by Wargaming.net.