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Our Hollywood and Games panel — a long-awaited love affair — will take place on May 21 at the GamesBeat Summit 2024 event in Los Angeles. (You can get 25% discount with this code: gbs24dean25).

The panel is entitled, Hollywood and Games: A Long Awaited Love Affair. The speakers include Derek Douglas (head of video games at CAA and investor at Connect Ventures), Maureen Fan (CEO of Baobab Studios), Josh Yguado (CEO of Jam City), and moderator Peter Levin (managing director of Griffin Gaming Partners).

Mario, Arcane, Sonic, Fallout, Five Nights at Freddy’s, The Last of Us. We are seeing an unprecedented number of Hollywood adaptations of games, and audiences seem to love it. The Super Mario Bros. Movie has generated more than $1.36 billion at the box office, and I’m told there are more than 40 game adaptations into movies in the works.

It makes sense, considering Hollywood has a risk aversion these days — but games have a built-in audience and the franchises have not yet been over-mined, like comics.

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Games were left on the sidelines in part because Hollywood and games are cultures and industries that didn’t always get along.

Peter Levin is managing director at Griffin Gaming Partners.

Now games are the new comics for Hollywood while games are getting a new marketing engine. On this panel, we will hear different perspectives on this new trend from the heads of a game company, film company, Hollywood agent, and game investor.  

Levin, managing director of Griffin Gaming Partners, will be the moderator of the session. He has been a longtime advocate of Hollywood and games, and he helped plant the seeds of the Fallout show. Levin was formerly president of Interactive Ventures, Games & Digital Strategy at Lionsgate. He also ran Nerdist Industries and was co-president of digital strategy at Legendary Entertainment.

Maureen Fan is CEO of Baobab Studios.

Fan is CEO and cofounder of nine-time Emmy-award winning and leading independent interactive animation studio Baobab Studios, whose mission is to “Bring out your sense of wonder. Inspire you to dream. Make YOU matter.” Baobab has released Invasion!, Asteroids!, Jack, Crow: The Legend, Bonfire, Baba Yaga and Namoo all to commercial and critical acclaim.

Baobab’s most recent release, Oscar-nominated Namoo, was acquired by Warner 150 and is now streaming exclusively on HBO Max. Namoo won the 2022 Annie Award for Best Special Production and was named Best Animated Short from the 2022 Gold List Awards.

Recently the studio announced two deals with Disney+ – Intercats and The Witchverse. The Witchverse is an animated anthology series based on the Emmy-winning VR short film, Baba Yaga and Intercats is an animated sitcom with ‘’Ralph Breaks the Internet’ writer Pamela Ribon.

Fan has held leadership roles in film, gaming and the consumer web. She was formerly vice president of games at Zynga, where she oversaw three game studios including the FarmVille’s, which contributed 40% of the company’s revenues.

Derek Douglas is head of the games department at CAA.

Douglas is based in the Los Angeles office of CAA. He represents the leading independent developers and studios behind multi-million-dollar franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Dead Space, XCOM, The Forest, The Banner Saga and Layers of Fear.

For nearly two decades, Douglas’ expertise has revolved around securing financing and distribution for games, facilitating conversations with game publishers, investors, acquirers, and IP holders, in addition to representing game IP for film and television adaptations. Furthermore, he successfully led the acquisition process for the studios behind Left 4 Dead, Evolve, Titanfall, South Park: The Stick of Truth, The Outer Worlds and Remnant.

Yguado is the cofounder and CEO of Jam City, a leading mobile game company based in Culver City, California. Founded in 2010, Jam City is the creative powerhouse behind juggernaut titles including Disney Emoji Blitz, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Jurassic World Alive, DC Heroes & Villains, and Cookie Jam among many other popular games, netting more than $4 billion in lifetime bookings to-date. At any moment around the world, tens of millions of players are enjoying Jam City games.

Previously, as COO and president of Jam City, Yguado was responsible for overseeing the company’s operations, growth strategies, and game portfolio, which has repeatedly dominated the top-grossing charts of Apple, Google, and Amazon’s app stores. Josh was the driving force behind several of Jam City’s milestones including the acquisition of global game studios, exponential user growth, and new product launches. Jam City currently owns and operates game studios in five countries, with over 900 employees. The company has raised more than $650 million in funding to date from some of the industry’s largest strategic and financial investors.

Before launching Jam City, Josh was vice president of Fox Entertainment, where he helped Fox in its acquisition of Myspace, creation of Hulu, and launch of new television networks. He also led strategic planning for MTV Networks and Nickelodeon and oversaw corporate development for Univision.

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