In search of mobile gaming at Collision 2016

Hot new tech conference shows promise for gaming startups

In search of mobile gaming at Collision 2016

Now in its third year, Collision - the hot new tech conference produced by Paddy Cosgrave’s Web Summit team - had an epic show as 11,382 attendees from 106 countries descended on New Orleans to pitch alpha, beta and ready-to-launch startups to an impressive lineup of top tier investors, partners and press.

Speakers included rockstar VCs Chris Sacca, Tim Chang, and Rob Coneybeer, tech gurus Robert Scoble, Brian Solis and Jeff Pulver, sports stars Brett Favre and Mick Foley, and top reporters from CNN, NBC, ESPN, ABC, USA Today, WSJ, The Guardian, Mashable, The Verge, Ars Technica, Bloomberg, Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Reuters, Business Insider, BuzzFeed, Slate, Daily Beast, Wired, Complex, Refinery29, Marie Claire, The Onion, and Upworthy,

NOLA tech and gaming on the rise

“We started Collision in Vegas in 2014 with just 1,500 attendees, quickly grew to 7000 in 2015, and then realized we’re were evolving into more than just content and exhibits," said Mike Harvey, Collision’s Head of Communications.

New Orleans is the perfect city for this which is why we’ve come here and why we’ll grow here.
Mike Harvey

"Collision is about the networking where people make meaningful connections, not just on the show floor, but during afterhours over an evening drink. New Orleans is the perfect city for this which is why we’ve come here and why we’ll grow here."

In fact it's so vested in the emerging NOLA tech scene that during the conference Collision raised over $10,000 for the non-profit code school, Operation Spark, selling 100 $100 Collision 2017 tickets in just 8 hours.

“It’s really tremendous to have Collision’s support,” said Max Gaudin, Operation Spark’s COO.

“Having funding to teach NOLA youth Javascript in 4-6 months lets us provide higher paying career opportunities to those struggling financially and provides a steady stream of talent for the tech boom here.”

The state’s generous tax credit, with 25% off payroll expenses and 18% off production costs, is fueling the frenzy over the explosive growth in digital media and software development.

As a result game developers are setting up shop in the Big Easy, with Gameloft, High Voltage Software and inXile leading the way.

So, where was gaming?

In the heart of Collision’s show floor was Startup Village, a finely curated collection of 630 hopefuls with pickup lines like “Do you like drones?”

Featured were transformative lifestyle apps and tons of VR, but despite being a key driver for emerging tech adoption and monetization, gaming was surprisingly absent.

Among the many gems showcased were: UpHail which price compares Uber, Lyft, and other car services in over 100 cities; Scandy, an app which transforms panoramic photos into 3D globes; and Grok + Banter’s bus shelter display ads that use sensors to track eye movements.

Taking a glimpse into the future, View, the smart glass manufacturer with its half billion dollars in funding featured at the show by USA Today has the potential to become a surface for AR gaming.

Collision will be returning to NOLA May 2-4th, 2017 and stay tuned. I have high hopes that there will be a gaming track.

Tech reporter Martine Paris covers trends across mobile, games, AR VR, wearables and IoT, the intersection of emerging tech, music, video and culture, and how to get featured, funded and monetized. You can typically find her at shows with a mic in her hand interviewing industry's leading voices. Follow her @contentnow.