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Editor's Picks: 5 top sessions at Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle on May 13th to 14th

PocketGamer.biz senior editor Craig Chapple looks at a selection of the must-attend talks at this year's show

Editor's Picks: 5 top sessions at Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle on May 13th to 14th

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 is just two weeks away from kicking off on May 13th and 14th.

The conference will host 125 speakers across 80-plus sessions over 13 tracks.

Not just sessions, there’s also The Very Big Indie Pitch, networking opportunities via the SpeedMatch and Investor Connector (and more generally the Pitch & Match meeting system), the CGX Mentor Lounge and, of course, the Global Connects Party.

There are always many interesting topics and talks and shows, but it’s the ones that offer meaningful insights that attendees can then learn from and implement in their own work that are the best sessions. The five below or just some of the sessions that I think will deliver on that.

Don't forget you can still register for the show here.

Superstar Session: Global Trends in Hyper-Casual Games

Who: GameAnalytics director of customer operations Ivan Bravo
When: May 13th, 9:40am to 10am
Track: Trade Trends

It’s not a new trend for 2019 - and depending on what you really think of genre, you may state it’s in fact a very old style of gaming - but hyper-casual games are still in vogue and are certainly chart toppers. For some developers and publishers, these titles, powered by ad revenue, have become very lucrative indeed.

To help unravel the opportunities in this space, GameAnalytics director of customer operations Ivan Bravo will deliver a Superstar Session on the Trade Trends track called ‘Global Trends in Hyper-casual Games’.

He’ll present fresh benchmarks for casual and hyper-casual games, offering a deep dive into retention metrics and emerging trends, along with ideas for retaining and re-engaging high-value players.

Speed Panel: Working with Brands

Who: Exponential Entertainment CEO Dave Long, NBC Universal EVP, games and digital platforms
When: May 13th, 10:20am to 10:40am
Track: Trade Trends

Brands is one of the big hot topics in games right now, given how the world’s most famous names are increasingly looking at opportunities in the gaming space, which can open the door to hundreds of millions of highlight engaged users.

This session includes Exponential Entertainment CEO Dave Long and NBC Universal EVP for games and digital platforms Chris Heatherly, both of whom have a wealth experience of working with the world’s biggest brands including Harry Potter, James Bond and Jurassic World, to name a few.

Panel: Culture and Diversity

Who: Geogrify CEO Kate Edwards, Spry Fox CEO David Edery, LBC Studios CEO Solon Bucholtz, Masquerade Media president Dayan Paul
When: May 13th, 12:20pm to 1pm
Track: Trade Trends

Diversity, company culture and crunch have been big issues facing the US games industry, and are particularly hot topics right now in Seattle.

So this session, hosted by former IGDA executive director and Geogrify CEO Kate Edwards should offer some real insights. She’ll be joined by Spry Fox CEO David Edery, LBC Studios CEO Solon Bucholtz and Masquerade Media president Dayan Paul.

The Game Industry Scenario in China – And the Value a Local Publisher Can Provide

Who: NetEase Vice President Ken Li
When: May 13th, 2:20pm to 2:40pm
Track: East Meets West

China’s games market is the biggest and most lucrative in the world, so having some understanding of how it works can be a real advantage.

To provide insights is none other than Ken Li, vice president of NetEase. The publisher is one of the biggest games companies in China, responsible for hits like battle royale title Knives Out and MMORPG Fantasy Westward Journey, to name just a couple.

Fantasy Game Pitching

Who: Geogrify CEO Kate Edwards, East Side Games Communications Manager Lidi Giroux, Niantic Labs game designer Laura Warner, AuthorDigital CEO Serena Robar.
When: May 14th, 4:40pm to 5:20pm
Track: The Indie Track

To end the show on a light note, our panel is presented with five obscure indie game screengrabs - both mobile and PC - and asked to pitch what they think the game should be in two minutes or less. The audience will then vote on their favourite pitches before the details of the real games are revealed.

You can check out the full schedule for Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 on May 13th and 14th right here.


Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.