Welcome Note: Mr. Albert Aoun, Chairman, IFP Group – Lebanon

Keynote speech from the Minister of Telecom

Keynote speech: Mr. Marwan Hayek, CEO, ALFA Telecom - Lebanon

Keynote speech: Mr. Burak Balik, Founder, Bogazici Ventures - Turkey

Center Stage
Develop on Android & Find Success on Google PlayRegister
Mohammad El-Saadi Business Development, Android Apps & Games in MENA and Turkey Google – UAE

Description: With over 78% of smartphones and 62% of tablets running on Android, Google Play is experiencing incredible momentum. Find out the Google Play team’s tips on how to improve your store listing and successfully optimize your game.

 

Workshop Area 1
Beginners Introduction to F2P & F2P Mechanics Part 1 (2 Hours Workshop)Register
Teut Weidemann – Consultant Blubyte/Ubisoft Germany

Description: Foundations, principles, and rules of F2P. This workshop teaches you everything you need to know to design an F2P game that has everything to monetize well.

 

Workshop Area 2
Recent Conditions of Asian Game Market and Ways of Collaboration with Japanese Game CompaniesRegister

Sho Sato Chief Analyst MEDIA CREATE Japan
 

Although Eastern Asia (China, Korea and Japan) becomes one of the largest digital game market all over the world, it is quite difficult for international game developers to enter this market.
Particularly, we've seen so many failures in collaboration between international game companies and Japanese game publishers.
This session provides you with the latest information about game market in Eastern Asia, and an effective way of working with Japanese game companies.

 

Center Stage
How Impeller Studios is building Starfighter Inc. with Distributed DevelopmentRegister
David Wessman - Lead Designer - IMPELLER STUDIOS - USA
Zach Hajj - Technical Consultant - IMPELLER STUDIOS - USA

Description:

•Working With Strangers: Team Building Across Multiple Time Zones
•Why Star Wars Is Complete Nonsense
•"Realism vs Fun" - Burnside’s Zeroth Rule of Space Combat
•MegaCorps & Mercenaries: Why We Fight
•Railguns, Nukes, and Lasers: How We Fight
•Monkey See, Monkey Kill - Inside the cockpit: our approach to VR & AR

 


Workshop Area 1
Google Play Games ServicesRegister
Shady Selim – Google Developer Expert – Freenlancer – Egypt (2 Hours Workshop)

Description: This codelab will teach you how to extend an existing Unity game to run on an Android device and integrate Play Game Services.  In this section, we will set up the Unity environment with all of the materials you will need to complete this codelab.


Workshop Area 2
Concept ArtRegister
Felix Mertikat Creative Wednesday King Racoon Games – Germany

Description: An insight on conceptual artwork, techniques of fast visual development and finding a unique style from the first sketches to the final artwork.

Center Stage
How can we apply Shiva's rule to the Middle East?Register
Honor Gunday – CEO & FounderPaymentwall – USA

Description:

- Talking about business opportunities and challenges in MENA region
- Failures of the region as well as potentials of the region
- Challenges that young companies face while expanding in new regions
- Inspiration from paymentwall's experiences (success and failure by becoming a global company)


Workshop Area 1
Beginners Introduction to F2P & F2P Mechanics Part 2 (2 Hours Workshop)Register
Teut Weidemann – Consultant – Blubyte – Germany

Description:  Foundations, principles and rules of f2p. This workshop teaches you everything you need to know to design a f2p game which has everything to monetize well.


Workshop Area 2
Applied Game Design: Theory VS Practice (For Students & Young Developers)Register
Fawzi Mesmar – Studio Game Design Director – King (Activision Blizzard) – Germany

Description: Introducing the definition and role of a game designer then exploring in detail how the theory is actually applied within a work place of a game development company.

Center Stage
What's happening in global mobile gaming world and the largest incubation center in the region: Game GarageRegister
Barış Özistek CEO Netmarble EMEA – Turkey

Description: Speech covers the popular games in different markets, how fast the mobile game environment is changing, and what the mobile game trend in different markets is. It also discusses the powerful sides of online mobile games and how they provide a long life cycle for a sustainable business. One of the largest incubation centers in the region "Game Garage" will also be briefly introduced.

Workshop Area 1
Players’ psychology: The key to a successful marketing strategyRegister
Katy Hana – Marketing Director – European Games Group Germany

Description: There are different ways to engage and interact with our players, but the real question is ‘what drives and motivates their actions?’ Is it a marketing or a game design question? We will apply behaviorism, cognitivism and Bartle’s players’ types to understand the psychology behind players’ actions and motivation.

Workshop Area 2
Getting the most from the VR experienceRegister
Walid Sultani CEO Digital MANIA Tunisia

Descrioption: Walid Sultani will share Digital MANIA’s one year and a half experience in producing VR experiences and games: the team’s struggle, fails, wins, and feedbacks.

Center Stage
CREATING THE PERFECT GLOBAL GAME LAUNCHRegister
Remco Smit –  Head of BD EMEA POLLEN VC United Kingdom

Description: Making the right preparations are crucial to a successful games launch, especially if you are planning to publish in the global app stores. How do you make it to the top of the app store chart rankings to maximise your earnings? Many reports suggest you need a vast budget to reach the top 25, and with an average 475 new games being published in the app store each day, promoting your game effectively has never been more essential to gaining traction. 

However, our research found that outside the Top 25 app store rankings, an increasing number of games are generating more than a million dollars in revenue a year, using smart user acquisition strategies to build a solid user base. So how do they do it? This session will explore creative and practical approaches to preparing for your launch, from understanding your metrics to ensuring you can rapidly inject funds into effective user acquisition in order to grow rapidly, even when you don’t have a million-dollar budget to play with.

 

Workshop Area 1
Tinkering is the key to creativity! (For NGOs’ & International Organization)Register
Jasmin Srouji Project Manager TINKERTANK Germany

Description: Through our wide experience in cooperation with several NGOs we can offer a guideline on how to create games workshop for kids and youth. Since 2015 we work closely with German organizations who coordinate the refugees coming to Germany and invite them to our maker space to join our program. The aim is to excite youngsters, to make creative use of materials, technology and electronics and to give them a space in which they can learn, invent and experiment together without limits. We focus on mutual recognition and appreciation because everyone can create something different but together we can create everything.

Workshop Area 2
Power of Localization & Local Marketing in Turkey & the Middle East RegionRegister
Aras Şenyüz – Mobile and Media Director – Netmarble EMEA – Turkey

Description: The speech discusses the region’s most successful mobile board game, Travelling Millionaire, and its award-winning breakthrough in marketing and localization. The presentation will deep dive into how mass marketing and TV affects downloads and KPI.

Center Stage
Publishers PanelRegister
Tomas Härenstam – Brand Manager – Paradox Interactive – Sweden
Baris Ozistek – CEO – Netmarble EMEA – Turkey
Joseph Shomali – CEO & Co-FounderPlay3arabi – Jordan
Nour Khrais – Founder & CEO – Maysalward – Jordan
Caglar Eger – Strategic Business Partner – Good Games Studio – Germany
Michele Baratelli – Marketing Director-SEMEA Gameloft – Italy

 


Workshop Area 1
Video Game Ecosystem in MoroccoRegister
Arif Yassine - CEO - Moroccan Game Developers - Morocco

Descritpion: A presentation about the history of the Game industry in Morocco that start since 1999, from the opening of Ubisoft Branch in Casablanca, to the creation of a school specialised in game development called Campus Ubisoft. And also the start of the community Moroccan Game Developers that aim to promote game development in Morocco. We will talk also about the challenge and opportunities that we are facing actually for the growth of the game industry in Morocco.

Center Stage
How to grow the Video Game Industry in Lebanon?Register
Vince Ghossoub – CEO Falafel Games – Lebanon
Former Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui – Chairman – Tech Hub Lebanon

Center Stage
Smart Strategies to Acquire, Monetize and Retain GamersRegister
Rachad Saddi Mobile Apps Consultant, Online Partnership Group Google Ireland

Description:  Users are providing you with many signals that enable you to be a lot better and smarter at acquisition, monetization and retention. The secret is to know how to find the data, interpret it and take action. Google is uniquely positioned to help you do this. Rachad Saddi from Google's OPG team will discuss new products for AdMob, Google AdWords and Google Analytics designed to help you.

Workshop Area 1
Apps for startups: the cycle to bring your App or game to lifeRegister
Mario Hachem CEO TEDMOB Lebanon

Description:  If you’re like me, you probably get a new app idea every single day– Countless wannabe Appreneurs think they have great app ideas but when it comes to actually creating them, they face the small hurdle of, well, not actually having the tech skills necessary to bring those ideas to fruition, or the know-how in monetization, or the skills in Product Strategy and so on…

Center Stage
Why Do You Like That Game? Techniques for Building Innovative CommunitiesRegister
Brie Code – CEO Ubisoft – Canada
Description: Every game development community is different, with its own set of constraints, goals, and talents. Instead of looking at WHAT other teams, studios, and communities do, it is helpful to look at WHY they do what they do. By identifying the underlying conditions that lead to innovation, you can craft a strategy that is unique and effective for your own community. Drawing on my 13 years experience at multiple studios, I'll highlight a few questions to ask yourself and a few steps to take to make better games.

Workshop Area 1
Grow your Business with GoogleRegister
Rami Jawhar Apps & Gaming Strategic Partner Manager (Emerging Markets)    Google Play

Description: Google is uniquely positioned to provide you with a holistic approach to growing your business. Be it new user acquisition or monetizing your existing user base, Google's analytics-integrated smart platforms will help you achieve your business goals. Rami will deep dive into new features and beta products that will supercharge your business.



Workshop Area 2
Meet MENA's top mobile games markets Register
Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh – Managing Partner – Gameguise – UAE

Description: The two most lucrative markets of mobile games in the region are revealed and compared side by side across a series of key indicators. Drawing from the latest industry analysis and fresh gamer studies, you will leave chock-full of useful insights and a clear understanding of the market landscape of these two giants.


 

Center Stage
Prejudice about the App StoreRegister
Teut Weidemann – Consultant Blubyte/Ubisoft Germany

Description: Many mobile developers do their first mistake right at the start of their project. This talk lists the most common of them specifically when developers use the app store as their main source of "how to do things". Pitfalls, traps, misconceptions are the consequence and I try to tell you how to prevent them.

Workshop Area 1
How to Successfully Launch Your GameRegister
Omar Ramirez - Business Development Manager - Pollen VC - Netherlands

Description: Do you believe that you have an amazing game idea? Great! Now the difficult part: making it happen. In this presentation, Omar Ramirez provides a checklist that you need in order to get there. Having a great foundation is the secret to success. Omar will share the failures and successes of most developers so you can effectively kick-start your launch.


Workshop Area 2
The Iranian Market from a Foreign Perspective — How to Monetize 80M IraniansRegister
Tim Werner – Managing Director – PrimeiroPay – Brazil

Center Stage
Payment Mix in Mena Region Register

Benoit Boisset - COO - Paymentwall - USA
Sahar Salama - General Manager - T-PAY - Egypt
Tim Werner – Managing Director – PrimeiroPay – Brazil

Description:

- Challenges of finding a payment partner in the region
- Challenges about not knowing the local market well enough to run business
- Next steps: getting Mena region attractive for international companies
- Carriers in Mena region
- Why Mena region didn't still apply mobile money, reasons and problem solving approach


 

Workshop Area 1
The Role of a CTO in Gaming StartupRegister
Osama Hussein – Co-Founder - TheWallGamers – Morocco

Description: Whether you are the sole programmer in your team or the one who is leading the development efforts within gaming startup, the role of CTO (Chief Technology Officer) is attached to you. If you are new to this journey, then this session gives you some expectations of what you'll find along the way.

Workshop Area 2
International Expansion: How do you grow your audience? Register

Jayvian Hong – Commercial Associate - Miniclip – UK
Description: This presentation describes how Miniclip expand its international footprint to reach audience beyond its core territories.
 

Center Stage
Paywall: Adjusting Fundamental Flaws in F2P Monetization DesignRegister
Fawzi Mosmar Studio Game Design Director King (Activision Blizzard) Germany

Description: In this panel we'll discuss the negative stigma that's associated with spending money in free to play games from a fundamental design stand point, how can this be altered and change those games so that they're an environment that users are more than happy to spend most of their time - and money - in.  We will also take a closer look at Japanese monetization techniques and examine case studies demonstrating its effectiveness.


Workshop Area 1
Game Garage ProgramRegister
Cem Kone – Managing Director StartersHub Turkey

Description: How to apply Game Garage, benefits of the program, and sharing the dream to create a global game studio from the region.

Workshop Area 2
StoryboardRegister
Felix Mertikat – Creative Wednesday – King Racoon Games -  Germany

Description: Storyboarding is not about telling a story, but explaining action and game play in a visual way. The art of storyboards brings together and materializes the vision of a team to help them work on the same project. Mood Boards also help finding a final style on the screen. The workshop will show short examples of easily creating storyboards.

Center Stage
How to be a Grownup IndieRegister
Tom Crago – CEO Tantalus Studio Australia

Description: Tom Crago reflects upon his own studio’s twenty-year journey from a two-man start-up to one of the world’s most respected independent developers. But this is no history lesson. Tom will share strategies and tactics around working with publishers, finding your market, and embracing volatility. He will get hands-on with development contracts and human resource challenges, and will offer insights into studio growth and business development. Tom’s presentation is built around a question pertinent to every indie developer: How do you make the transition from surviving to thriving?


Workshop Area 1
The Top 5 Traits of Successful Mobile Game DevelopersRegister
Anders Lykke - Head of Talking to People - PRIORI DATA GMBH - Germany

Description: Priori Data has been mining the app stores across 50 countries for the past 3 years. This talk dives in to the following topics:

  • How difficult is it to break into the app stores’ top charts - how many games make it and break it in this highly competitive environment?
  • What is the actual distribution of installs and revenues?
  • What sets the most successful games publishers apart and what can you learn from them?


Workshop Area 2
Trends in Modern European PRRegister
Nikolay Borzov – PR Director – Marchsreiter Communications GmbH – Russia

Description: Nikolay Borzov gives insights into what it takes to gain visibility for new games in European markets, current top communication strategies and trends, and/or a status quo of why YouTubers/Streamers/Influencers are so important these days. Nikolay will also explain why developers can’t just focus on these alone, and why traditional online & print press will be sticking around, although circulation numbers are decreasing for instance.

Center Stage
Goodgame StudiosRegister
Caglar Eger – Strategic Business Partner, Asia and MENA – Goodgame – Germany

Description:  The MENA region is increasingly becoming very significant for the F2P market. In his talk, Caglar Eger will elaborate on market entry strategies for F2P games in MENA and what are some of the pragmatic approaches that will help you stay ahead of the game. Smart partnerships, cultural understanding, and location are key aspects of bridging the way to MENA markets.

Workshop Area 1
Going Beyond Project-Based Learning Register
David Wessman – Lead Designer – Impeller Studios – USA

Description: Project-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered teaching methodology involving a dynamic classroom approach in which students engage in active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. This results in greater engagement and retention and students acquire knowledge and skills at a deeper level. In this talk we look at the innovations developed at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences Academy of Digital Entertainment. There are no traditional classes or exams. Students choose the professional roles they wish to learn, and form project teams to pursue their own educational goals. Assessment is based on their individual learning and professional growth.

 

Center Stage
APPetite: Global and MENA gaming trends, challenges and opportunities for games appsRegister
Jad Matta - Business Development Manager, EMEA - App Annie - UK
Amin El Husseini - Brand Management - MBC - UAE

Description: A look at the global and local app trends in mobile taking a closer look at what drives MENA market conditions: from distribution, the state of commercial opportunities driving games revenues in different sectors as well as consumer behviour and case studies…bring your APPetite and game face.

Center Stage
Studios Panel: Studios Discussing Development Matters from the Region & WorldwideRegister
Tom Crago – CEO - Tantalus Studio – Australia
Haroun Gharbi – Polysmart Studio – Tunisia
Brie Code – CEO - Ubisoft – Canada
Hassan Mehdiasl - CEO & Founder - SOURENA GAME STUDIO - Iran