@andrewchen

Get the newsletter · 2018 essays (PDF) · Featured · Recent

Social Gaming Summit tomorrow – see you guys there!

Charles Hudson of Gaia invited me to attend the Social Gaming Summit tomorrow in San Francisco. Should be a lot of fun! I'll write a quick blog covering the conference, to sum it all up.

Agenda below:

10:00am – What Makes Games Fun?

We all like to have fun, right? What is it about games that makes them so fun? Is it gameplay? Social interaction? Achievements and accomplishments? Our panel of thought leaders will share their perspectives on what it takes to build a fun game and why building fun into games is more difficult than it looks.

» Erik Bethke – CEO, GoPets
» Dr. Ian Bogost – Founding Partner, Persuasive Games
» Nicole Lazzaro – President, XEODesign, Inc.
» John Welch – Co-Founder, President & CEO, PlayFirst
» Jeremy Liew – Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

11:00am – Casual MMOs and Immersive Worlds

Many so-called “casual MMOs” and immersive worlds are casual only in the sense that the point of the game is not to bash gruesome looking monsters or the game isn’t set in a sci-fi fantasy world. The engagement story around existing and upcoming casual MMOs is real and very compelling. This panel will discuss what it takes to build a successful casual MMO that users love to play.

» Min Kim – Vice President of Marketing, Nexon America
» Patrick Ford, VP Marketing and Community Development, K2 Networks
» Kyra Reppen – SVP and GM, NeoPets
» Craig Sherman – CEO, Gaia Online
» Joey Seiler – Editor, Virtual Worlds News (moderator)

1:30pm – Asynchronous Games on Social Networks

There are a lot of interesting asynchronous activities happening on social networks. Some of them are traditional games, others are games in disguise. Join us and hear from some of the leading voices in this space share their views on how to build great gameplay characteristics into social networking applications and what opportunities exist for gameplay to take advantage of the social graph.

» Siqi Chen – Founder, Serious Business (Friends for Sale)
» Blake Commagere – Founder and VP Engineering, Mogad
» Shervin Pishevar – CEO, Social Gaming Network
» Mike Sego – Developer, (fluff)Friends
» Andrew Chung – Principal, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

2:30pm – User Generated Games in Social Networks and Virtual Worlds


Games are one of the most popular activities on social networks and virtual worlds. Increasingly, users are taking it upon themselves to create games and entertainment of their own within the context of existing online environments. Curious as to what’s driving this behavior? This is the panel for you.

» Daniel James – CEO, Three Rings
» Jeremy Monroe – Director of Business Development, Sports & Entertainment, North America, Sulake Inc.
» Ted Rheingold – Founder, Dogster and Catster
» Cary Rosenzweig – President and CEO, IMVU
» Dean Takahashi – Writer, Venture Beat (moderator)

4:00pm – Building Communities and Social Interaction In and Around Games

Social networking and games go hand in hand. Whether it’s taking advantage of the relationship data in social networks to build novel gameplay or building community among people who play games, game developers are discovering clever ways to build real communities around the games they’re developing. Hear from our panel of thought leaders about what it takes to successfully integrate community and social interaction into the next generation of games.

» Jim Greer – CEO, Kongregate
» Amy Jo Kim – CEO, Shufflebrain
» Mark Pincus – Founder and CEO, Zynga Game Network
» Dave Williams – SVP, Shockwave, AddictingGames
» Brandon Sheffield – Gamasutra (moderator)

5:00pm – Monetization and Business Models for Social Games

There are a handful of viable (proven) business models for social games. How should game developers go about choosing the best business model for their games? Our panel of experts will share their thoughts on the various business models and how to think through the right one for a given game.

» Jameson Hsu – Co-Founder and CEO, Mochi Media
» Matt Mihaly – CEO and Creative Director, Sparkplay Media
» Mattias Miksche – CEO, Stardoll
» David Perry – CCO, Acclaim
» Ravi Mhatre – Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners (moderator)

PS. Get new updates/analysis on tech and startups

I write a high-quality, weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.

Views expressed in “content” (including posts, podcasts, videos) linked on this website or posted in social media and other platforms (collectively, “content distribution outlets”) are my own and are not the views of AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) or its respective affiliates. AH Capital Management is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply any special skill or training. The posts are not directed to any investors or potential investors, and do not constitute an offer to sell -- or a solicitation of an offer to buy -- any securities, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment.

The content should not be construed as or relied upon in any manner as investment, legal, tax, or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Any charts provided here are for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, I have not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. The content speaks only as of the date indicated.

Under no circumstances should any posts or other information provided on this website -- or on associated content distribution outlets -- be construed as an offer soliciting the purchase or sale of any security or interest in any pooled investment vehicle sponsored, discussed, or mentioned by a16z personnel. Nor should it be construed as an offer to provide investment advisory services; an offer to invest in an a16z-managed pooled investment vehicle will be made separately and only by means of the confidential offering documents of the specific pooled investment vehicles -- which should be read in their entirety, and only to those who, among other requirements, meet certain qualifications under federal securities laws. Such investors, defined as accredited investors and qualified purchasers, are generally deemed capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments and financial matters. There can be no assurances that a16z’s investment objectives will be achieved or investment strategies will be successful. Any investment in a vehicle managed by a16z involves a high degree of risk including the risk that the entire amount invested is lost. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by a16z is available at https://a16z.com/investments/. Excluded from this list are investments (and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets) for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly. Past results of Andreessen Horowitz’s investments, pooled investment vehicles, or investment strategies are not necessarily indicative of future results. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.