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GamesBeat Summit 2023: Why Hollywood and games is finally working out


May 8, 2023
GamesBeat Summit 2023: Why Hollywood and games is finally working out


Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.

I’m very pleased to announce that David Haddad, president of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will be doing a fireside chat with me at our GamesBeat Summit 2023 event on May 22-23 at the Marina del Rey Marriott in Los Angeles.

The in-person event will be accompanied by a third day of virtual content on May 24. You can use this code GBSDEANNEWS for a 40% discount on tickets. On our 15th annual event, which carries the theme The Next Level, Haddad will help us flesh out our theme on Hollywood and games.

Haddad, who is also chairman of the Entertainment Software Association, will provide his insights from leading the most successful gaming operation inside an entertainment media company. The company has had hits with Hogwarts Legacy, which has sold more than 15 million copies and generated $1 billion in sales. Warner Bros. Games has also done consistently well over the years producing hits from its 11 game studios over the years, and Hogwarts Legacy comes at a critical time for the crossover of games and Hollywood.

We’re also going to feature Robert Kirkman, founder of Skybound and creator of The Walking Dead. He will be moderated by Marcus “DJWheat” Graham of, vice president of community at Fortis, and will be introduced by Dean Takahashi and Jon Goldman in a session sponsored by Facebook Gaming.


GamesBeat Summit 2023

Join the GamesBeat community in Los Angeles this May 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.

Register Here

They’re going to talk about one of the key themes of the conference: Hollywood and Games — Are they one ecosystem, and if so, how has that changed? In our interview, Kirkman noted the value of writers rooms and how they could produce enough characters, narratives and storylines to feed the voracious appetite of fans for franchises such as The Walking Dead.

Games and mass culture

Outsider director gets to see behind the curtain.
Outsider director gets to see behind the curtain.

Gaming as a culture used to be dwarfed by the movies. But times have changed, as just about everybody is a gamer now and gaming revenues have far outpaced the Hollywood box office.

Video games have long been a source of inspiration for Hollywood. From the early days of arcade games to the latest blockbuster titles, games have provided rich source material for movies and TV shows. But what happens when the relationship between games and Hollywood goes the other way?

The key to shows like The Last of Us on HBO was that the show was an adaptation. Having watched the whole season, the show is clearly not a repeat of the game, and it is meant to reach a wider audience with the richly detailed world and gripping storytelling of Naughty Dog’s video game. This is not just another version of The Walking Dead, or Resident Evil, or Night of the Living Dead. The same goes to the Super Mario Bros. Movie, which has grossed more than $1 billion.

Yet it’s great to remember that as we export gaming culture to become the new mass culture, that we focus on exporting the best elements of the gaming subculture and leave out the worst elements — like toxicity, harassment, and misogyny. That latter topic is the subject of a fireside chat that I will have at our event with Google leaders Leo Olebe of YouTube Gaming and Moonlit Beshimov of Google for Games.

More Hollywood and games

Gotta go quickly.
Gotta go quickly.

We’ve got another panel that will explore how Hollywood’s vision of games has evolved over the years, and how it is shaping the future of the gaming industry. That panel will be moderated by Rachel Kaser of GamesBeat and include Maureen Fan, Baobab CEO; Dmitri Johnson (Sonic the Hedghog), cofounder of Story Kitchen; and Ted Schilowitz, futurist at Paramount Pictures.

Lastly, we’ll also have a conversation with the mild-mannered creator of Cyberpunk, Mike Pondsmith. Pondsmith is the creator of Cyberpunk and founder of R. Talsorian Games. He will be interviewed by moderator Jane Chung Hoffacker, CEO & Co-founder, Incredible Dream, a tabletop gaming company. Pondsmith’s Cyberpunk franchise has spawned huge titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 as well as Cyberpunk Edgerunners, a Netflix animated television show.

We will hear from experts in the fields of film, television, and gaming, who will discuss the challenges and opportunities of adapting games for the big and small screens. From the creative process of adapting game narratives to the technical challenges of translating gameplay mechanics to a visual medium, we will delve deep into the intersection of games and Hollywood.

Mike Pondsmith is CEO of R. Talsorian Games and creator of Cyberpunk.
Mike Pondsmith is CEO of R. Talsorian Games and creator of Cyberpunk.

While times are tough, I still think it’s worth it to gather at the industry’s center at the GamesBeat Summit and contemplate the big questions facing gaming. Our themes include surviving in the downturn, generative AI, user-generated content, mental health, sustainability, mobile gaming, diversity, blockchain games and the metaverse. Over the years, we built GamesBeat Summit into THE event to meet the gaming thought leaders.

Whatever the latest gaming trend is, whether it’s at the core of the industry or on its edge, we expose you to the best thinkers — and let you draw your conclusions about what could disrupt gaming next.Our commitment to our GamesBeat community is to sort through the hype, follow the money and analyze the business trends. What do I mean by community? Well, I regularly introduce game startups to a list of 45 venture capitalists who focus on games. More than a quarter of those VCs recently wanted to be introduced for the first time to Richard Garfield’s new startup Popularium.

We also try to create a real community. We’ve offered free codes to bring eligible people to attend our Women in Gaming Breakfast (code: GBSWIGB23) and our first-even Diversity in Gaming Breakfast (code: GBSDIV23) at this year’s event. About 51% of our speakers come from diverse backgrounds. We hope you come to our in-person days and engage in the meals, networking and thought-leadership sessions.

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.

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