slides & audio(48 MB) We all know that the market for Casual Games is growing by leaps and bounds. But, how does this growth differ around the world? How do content needs for the leading international portals differ, based on the demographics they target? The panel members of this session lead some of most trafficked gaming portals in the world – representing North America, South America, Europe and Asia. This interactive session will be focused on each portal’s “wins” and “bombs” of 2007, plus some insight on their strategic planning for 2008 and beyond. If you’re a developer looking to find the biggest reach for your content – you will not want to miss this!
Delivered at Casual Connect Amsterdam, February 2008
Neal Sinno (email) Neal Sinno has been in the casual game industry since 2005 when he joined Game Trust. Neal Sinno has over 10+ years experience in Business Development, Product Development, and Sales. He has extensive knowledge in web-based applications, platforms and technology services. A seasoned sales and e-business product specialist, Neal has also held key leadership roles at LivePerson, Mellon Financial, The New York Times and Lucent Technologies. Neal graduated from Castleton College and is pursuing his MBA at Fordham University.
Kris Soumas (email) Kris Soumas is Vice President, Interactive, Lifetime Networks. Based in New York, Soumas is responsible for interactive content development and games for lifetimetv.com. During her tenure at Lifetime, Soumas has played the leading role in the launch of the popular Lifetime Games unit, as well as the creation of award-winning on-air campaigns featuring Lifetime Games. Since launching in 2005, Lifetime Games have become the top content section of lifetimetv.com with over 700,000 monthly uniques and dozens of original web-games. Soumas also oversees the new casual games publishing unit, which is releasing downloadable games beginning in 2007. The first title is based on the critically acclaimed web version, Lifetime RSVP. Previously she was Director, Content Development, New Media. Before joining Lifetime in 1999, Soumas worked for ABC Television. During 1995-1999, Soumas was an original member of the team that developed ABC.com and ABCNews.com. She produced Oscar.com from 1996 to 1998 as well as some of the network’s first interactive television applications. Prior to that, Soumas worked on CD-ROM game development for Creative Wonders, ABC’s joint venture with Electronic Arts. From 1991-1995 she worked on the production units at ABC In Concert and ABC News Peter Jennings Reports.
Riccardo Zacconi (email) King.com offers skill based tournaments, where players can compete against each other in skill games like pool or Mahjong and win prizes. Riccardo co-founded the company in 2003. Before King.com, Riccardo joined uDate.com as Vice President Sales and Marketing Europe. Prior to uDate he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital, with the task of finding new investment opportunities. He joined Benchmark after his first online company, Spray Network, an internet portal sold to Lycos Europe in 2000. Prior to his internet life, Riccardo worked for 8 years in consulting, at the Boston Consulting Group and LEK.
Peter Hofstede (email) SPILL GROUP is a global casual games distributor, with more than 30 portals and 60 million unique visitors per month. Within SPILL, Peter Hofstede is responsible for the game development department. Peter’s department co-operates with several external studio’s on a growing portfolio of quality games. Peter has worked in the games industry since 1997, by running a web games development studio. This studio was involved in the launch of the first Dutch Playstation game and the first Dutch movie licensed game. Peter produced several casual MMO’s and game related websites. He joined SPILL in 2007 and also lectures in game design and development at the school of Arts and Technology in Utrecht.
Bob Slinn (email) Bob Slinn is currently the Director of Entertainment at Yahoo! Europe.