2014 DICE Summit speaker lineup puts evolving game business models front and center

2014 d i c e summit speaker lineup suggests a focus on evolving games business models sundance digiovanni
Major League Gaming CEO and co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni

The initial lineup of 2014 D.I.C.E. Summit speakers is confirmed, and the names listed reflect the annual gathering’s focus on how game industry business models continue to evolve in new and unexpected directions. The theme of the show is “The New Golden Age of Gaming,” and the speaker selection informs that. All of these individuals fill critical roles in establishing new foundations for doing business in games, even as new hardware arrives to strengthen the more traditional income-generating models.

Look who’s talking

David Helgeson, CEO of Unity Technologies: Helgeson is at the top of a company responsible for delivering game development tools for the masses. Unity endeavors to work closely with independent developers and support their continued growth, to the point that the game engine bearing the company’s name can be obtained at no cost. It’s flexible enough as a development platform to support console/PC development, but the availability and ease of use have helped to make Unity the engine of choice for the majority of mobile game developers out there.

Clive Downie, CEO of DeNA West: DeNA West owns the Mobage gaming platform and is one of the most well-known providers of mobile, free-to-play entertainment out there. Downie handles the company’s operations and forward-looking strategy in the West. Under his leadership, DeNA has been able to form partnerships with brands such as Disney and bring out games like The Drowning, a mature-themed game that is built to appeal to a broad cross-section of people, many of whom may not self-identify as “gamers.”

Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO and co-founder of Major League Gaming: Giovanni oversees one of the foremost providers of eSports content in the world. While eSports has yet to really breach into the mainstream, it’s a rapidly growing business that’s inspiring a lot of looks and double-takes from industry leaders. DiGiovanni’s role at the company is specifically focused on growing the MLG brand and, through it, the eSports audience.

Ed Fries, Microsoft former VP of game publishing: During his tenure at Microsoft, Fries was instrumental in establishing the company’s first Xbox console as a player capable of competing with the wildly popular PlayStation 2. He helped bring about strategic partnerships with Bungie, creator of the Halo franchise, and was largely responsible for laying the foundations of Microsoft Game Studios. Although Fries left Microsoft in 2004, he continued to shake things up in the games industry, at a number of startups and, most recently, as an advisor working with the upstart Android microconsole developer, Ouya. 

The 2014 D.I.C.E. Summit is set to kick off on February 4, 2014 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. There’s still much more to be revealed about who will be attending, including the lineup of speakers covering the four main keynotes: Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain. Among the highlights of last year’s gathering was an on-stage showdown between Valve Software boss Gabe Newell and Hollywood superstar J.J. Abrams. In addition to chatting back and forth about the unique challenges of crafting stories for interactive mediums versus passive ones, the pair also used the occasion to reveal their plans to collaborate on … something.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Gaming

Niantic Labs sues hackers who help players cheat in Pokémon Go

Niantic Labs has filed a lawsuit against Global++, who is said to be behind the hacked versions of Pokémon Go and Ingress. The legal action comes as the developer is preparing to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Gaming

How Epic Games almost made the mistake of ending Fortnite

Former Epic Games production director Rod Fergusson said that he would have canceled Fortnite if he stayed with the developer. The game only started soaring in popularity when the Battle Royale mode was released a few months after launch.
Gaming

New Nintendo Switch models are reportedly already in production and coming soon

The rumored two new Nintendo Switch models have already reportedly entered production. Some of the components were moved out of China and into Southeast Asia, as Nintendo looks to limit the impact of proposed tariffs.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

Square Enix has no clue how many episodes Final Fantasy VII Remake will take

The initial release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020 will feature the part of the adventure that takes place in Midgar. Square Enix has no idea on how many episodes it will take to tell the full story of the original RPG.
Gaming

Nintendo 3DS nowhere to be seen at E3 2019, but apparently not yet dead

The Nintendo 3DS was missing at E3 2019, but it appears that support for the console will continue. No first-party games are planned for the device, but it offers a collection of titles that may still attract both old and new players.
Gaming

Microsoft reportedly wanted Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PlayStation 4

Microsoft reportedly considered launching Halo: The Master Chief Collection on the PlayStation 4 a few years ago. It remains unclear if the desire for the Halo series to make a platform jump is still there ahead of Halo Infinite.
Computing

Why OLED gaming monitors may be further from reality than we thought

Earlier this year, Dell showed us the promise of an exciting new future for gaming monitors with the reveal of the Alienware 55-inch OLED gaming display. We loved it. But according to new reports, it may never see the light of day.
Deals

Walmart cuts $300 off Dell Inspiron 5680 gaming desktop for gamers on a budget

If you're stashing money but want an upgradeable rig that will go a long way, then this solid deal on the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 with Intel Core i5-8400 is for you. It is now available for only $700 at Walmart.
Deals

Walmart drops sweet $20 discount on the Sony PS4 DualShock 4 Controller

Walmart is offering a $20 discount on the Sony PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Controller. New features include the touchpad, speaker, and light bar. It's also compatible with Windows-based PCs. This controller was originally priced at $60, but…