Learn from Ubisoft, Bandai Namco, King and Recontact Games at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5

Who’s speaking at the next Pocket Gamer Connects Digital conference? Revealed: the first set of confirmed contributors for your first conference of 2021 (February 8-12)

Learn from Ubisoft, Bandai Namco, King and Recontact Games at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 kicks off our series of conferences for 2021 on February 8th to 12th, and we’re excited to announce our first speakers for the online conference!

Taking place completely online, over 1,500 virtual attendees from all around the world will hear from more than 250 expert speakers of the games industry across 14 conference tracks.

Each talk, panel, keynote and seminars will be streamed live, recorded and made available on demand, so with a ticket you can interact with our speakers during their talks through our Q&As or catch up at a later time if you’re unavailable for the stream.

The Pocket Gamer Connects conferences - we’ve hosted nearly 30 of them now, both live and online - are famous for the number and quality of expert speakers, and in 2021 we will welcome new faces as well as regular contributors to the (virtual) stage to share their case studies, insight and advice with you. To give you a teaser of what’s to come, we’ve prepared an incredible first list of speakers. Read on to find out who you'll hear from online at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 in February.

L-R: Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, Simay Dinc, Aileen Bergman, Karim Farghaly

One of our most popular new tracks is Industry Visions & Values, in which speakers address company culture and wider advocacy issues. Melanin Gamers’ founder Annabel Ashalley-Anthony will be there, hosting a focused session on gaming and activism. Payload Studios’ HR and facilities Manager Khally Saarman-Jones defines diversity culture in an indie studio.

Meanwhile, Recontact Games’ producer and co-founder Simay Dinc features on a panel called “More Than Just A Business” which covers how to create games that make a real difference.

More than mobile

Elsewhere, on the Global Trends track, Ubisoft’s UA expert Aileen Bergman features on a panel which analyses what 2020 has taught the games industry, and what to expect now. Ampere Analysis’ senior analyst Louise Shorthouse provides an overview of the profile of gamers.

Remember that despite the word Pocket in the title, our conferences cover PC and console as well. In the Big Screen Gaming section, BANDAI NAMCO’s senior director business development Karim Farghaly discusses with a panel what to expect in the PC and console games market after the vaccine. Playdigious’ CEO Xavier Liard looks at the pros and cons of bringing AAA PC and/or console games to the mobile space.

Greenlight Games’ CEO and founder Dean Day looks at Nintendo Switch digital and physical publishing.

L-R: Xavier Liard, Sabrina Carmona, Klaus Kääriäinen, Leyla Johnson

Insights for game makers

Over 70% of our attendees are typically involved in game creation, and we have plenty of track content lined up to keep them informed. For instance, King’s executive producer/senior director Sabrina Carmona shares what she has learnt in 10 years of game development. Nifty Games’ CCO Pete Wanat and CEO Jon Middleton unite for a fireside chat where they share their expertise and advice.

Leyla Johnson looks at what to what degree are we flexible while designing a game, what choices we prioritise, and what are simple mechanics vs complex mechanics.

Historical strategy games rely on historical stories of components. Mohawk Games’ CEO Leyla Johnson looks at what to what degree are we flexible while designing a game, what choices we prioritise, and what are simple mechanics vs complex mechanics.

Lightneer’s CEO Mark Cochrane and Jestercraft’s CEO Klaus Kääriäinen feature on a panel which focuses on creating ever-lasting hypercasual experiences.

Azur Interactive Games’ business development lead Yana Vesnina leads another session on hypercasual publishing. Meanwhile, Black Snowflake Games’ CEO and founder Filipp Karmanov and Kukouri Mobile Entertainment’s CEO Kim Soares appear on a panel with other speakers to discuss what to expect in the social gamers market.

Roundhill Investments’ thematic equity research associate Mario Stefanidis looks at games as a service.

Elsewhere, StarBerry Games’ CEO and co-founder Antti Hattara looks at the process of turning an idle game into a merge puzzle. And SG Interactive’s live ops manager Omri Arad focuses his session on live ops in the new age.

L-R: Yana Vesnina, Afsar Ahmad, Louise Shorthouse, Joakim Achrén

The business case

The games industry may be fun, but it is, of course, a business. We have tracks dedicated to the financial side of running a games company, from seeking investment to monetizing your games.

Inder Phull discusses how brand partnerships and celebrity collaborations can drive growth for your titles

Gameberry Labs’ co-founder Afsar Ahmad and Niko Partners’ senior analyst Daniel Ahmad discuss lessons learnt in game monetisation with a panel.

Is M&A the right way to go? Elite Game Developers founder and CEO Joakim Achrén discusses with a panel what some of the key points you should know before making a big decision for your company are. ICO Partners’ CEO Thomas Bidaux looks at crowdfunding for video games.

Deck13 Interactive’s narrative director Christian Fonnesbech and Shadow’s CEO Mike Fischer discuss with a panel deciding on your IP, whether it should be known or new.

Co-development remains a hot topic for 2021. Starloop Studios’ game producer Marc Paüls and Tangelo Games’ product owner Raúl Pérez Bernabé unite for a session on the pros and cons of collaborating with an external team. Auroch Digital’s CEO Tomas Rawlings looks at working with non-gaming companies and organisations.
Graphite Music’s director and head of music and innovations’ Inder Phull discusses how brand partnerships and celebrity collaborations can drive growth for your titles.

HipHopGamer’s Gerard Williams hosts a session on being exclusive.

Black Sail Games’ CEO and founder Dan Olthen explores the evolution of the game distribution market and what it means for developers and publishers.

Wingman AI Agent’s director John O’Malia takes a dive into the state of the art of autonomous systems and what it means for games.

L-R: Thomas Bidaux, Marta Waydel, Tomas Rawlings, Inder Phull

Film, music, TV, comics and more

One of 2020’s strongest additions to the track line up at our conferences was the Beyond Games track, in which speakers from other disciplines discussed the crossovers between games and other media.

In February, Vantan Inc.’s CEO Hiromi Ishikawa looks at Japanese culture and the influence of anime, fashion and films in games. Portobello’s co-founder Marta Waydel looks at the intersection of games and fashion.

More is always better!

And that’s just for starters! We’re thrilled to reveal that we’ll also be joined by:

  • Axis Game Factory, Tammy McDonald, CEO
  • Big Fish Games, Christin Overton, Director of Production
  • Colossal Influence, Kristian Sturt, Head of Influencer Marketing and Talent Management
  • Kukouri Mobile Entertainment, Jaakko Markkanen, Community Manager
  • Outfit7, Xinyu Qian, CEO
  • Stand Up To Cancer, Andy Steig, Influencers and Gaming Community Director
  • ZeptoLab, Adam Zelenay, Live Ops Manager

In the run up to the event, we’ll reveal more of the incredible speakers joining us for our fifth digital conference.

L-R: Tammy McDonald, Xinyu Qian, Christin Overton, Andy Steig

Book now and save $395

Hear from all these amazing speakers and more at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5! Book now and save up to $395 with our Super Early Bird prices.

Events Writer

Charlie is the Events Writer at

You can catch him on Twitter @CharlieScowen_ talking about anything gaming, TV or football related whilst also sharing too many memes.