Randy Pitchford to speak at GamesBeat at The Game Awards

Randy Pitchford, founder of Gearbox Entertainment, will speak at our next event, GamesBeat at The Game Awards on December 7 at LA Live’s Grammy Museum.

We’ll be holding a half a day of panels on gaming’s intersection with culture, such as gaming and Hollywood. Our theme is “Pixels to Pop Culture” with all that suggests. You can sign up here and use this code GBGA23DEAN100 for $100 off the ticket price.

I’m happy to confirm today that Randy Pitchford, who is an actual magician and the creative mind behind the Borderlands series, will do a fireside chat with Ari Arad, filmmaker and creator of game adaptations such as the Uncharted film (the Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg film from 2022 that generated $407 million at the box office) and the upcoming Mass Effect series on Amazon. 

Johanna Faries is general manager of Call of Duty.

Our other speakers include Johanna Faries, general manager of Call of Duty at Activision. (We’ll be highlighting her in our next speaker post. We also have Annie Belfield of TikTok, Peter Levin of Griffin Gaming Partners, Russell Binder of Striker Entertainment, Jordan Fragen of GamesBeat, Meg Tucker of Games at Google Cloud, Mike Delaet of Mattel, Michael Metzger of Drake Star Partners, Danny Bilson of USC Games, and Mike Minotti of GamesBeat.


GamesBeat at the Game Awards

We invite you to join us in LA for GamesBeat at the Game Awards event this December 7. Reserve your spot now as space is limited!

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Randy Pitchford

Pitchford has been in the video game industry for more than 30 years and is the founder of the Gearbox
Entertainment Company, which develops and publishes award-winning and best-selling video games
through its subsidiaries, Gearbox Software and Gearbox Publishing, and produces groundbreaking film
and television content. It’s now part of the Embracer Group.

Gearbox is a recognized triple-A studio and was nominated as a “Best Place to Work” by the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Business Journal. Pitchford has created, developed, produced, directed, written, designed, and otherwise driven or significantly contributed to some of the most successful and famous video game franchises of all time.

From leading the creation of the critically acclaimed, record-breaking original franchises Borderlands and Brothers in Arms to helping build industry-leading, genre-defining games with licensed properties including Half-Life and Halo, Pitchford is one of the most impactful and respected video game developers in the world.

His credited titles across generations and platforms have sold more than 100 million units generating billions of dollars in revenue. Pitchford is commitment to bringing joy to lives of others is manifest in more than video games through various charities.

In 2009, as executive producer, Randy Pitchford launched Borderlands, the fastest selling new video game brand of the year. Borderlands was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC, and other digital platforms worldwide in October of 2009 to earn universal critical acclaim and record-setting
sales. He has 700,000 followers on X (formerly Twitter). Gee, I hope he tweets about us.

Ari Arad

Ari Arad is president of Arad Productions.

Ari Arad followed in his father Avi Arad’s footsteps and has spent his career in the film and television industry, bringing to life adaptations of his favorite comics, video games, and graphic novels.

Ari began his journey at Village Roadshow. In 2001, he joined Marvel Studios, where he was an executive
producer and co-producer on numerous adaptation films including Ghost Rider (Columbia Pictures), and the critically acclaimed Iron Man (Paramount Pictures).

In June 2006, Ari embarked on a new venture, cofounding Arad Productions with Avi Arad. As president, he produced films such as Ghost in the Shell (Paramount Pictures/Amblin Partners), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Columbia Pictures), and Uncharted (Columbia Pictures).

Ari’s current slate includes films based on Borderlands (Lionsgate), Naruto (Lionsgate), One Punch Man (Columbia Pictures), Metal Gear Solid (Columbia Pictures), and several other eagerly anticipated projects. Additionally, Ari is expanding his creative horizons into television with upcoming projects like Mass Effect (Amazon Studios). And Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto recently tweeted that he is working on a live-action film based on The Legend of Zelda with Ari’s father Avi Arad.

Ari Arad will talk about the broad trend of games and its intersection with Hollywood, and we’ll have a familiar figure, to be announced later, who will speak in a fireside chat with Ari.

Pixels to Pop Culture

Russell Binder is founding partner at Striker Entertainment.

First, I have to point out we’re not affiliated with The Game Awards. Geoff Keighley’s thing will likely draw more than 100 million viewers to a total celebration of gaming. We’ll be happy if we can get 250 people to fill the lovely Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum at LA Live. You can think of us as the unofficial preshow for the official preshow. We’ll have a fine party the night before on December 6 and an intimate event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or so on December 7. It’s going to be a small group.

We still have room for sponsors, and I am still recruiting speakers. Our theme is a familiar one, but it feels like it is happening on a grand scale. It’s so grand, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook.

Our theme is Pixels to Pop Culture, and that is a recognition that gaming culture has become mass culture. Once the domain of nerds, it’s now part of the mass market. We see signs of that everywhere. This year, we saw gaming rise even higher with The Last of Us on HBO and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which generated $1.36 billion and was viewed by 169.84 million people.

One of our previously announced speakers is Russell Binder, founding partner of Striker Entertainment, a longtime Hollywood agency. He sees a hub and spoke model for entertainment. At the center of that hub is an intellectual property, such as a world created by amazing artists, and the spokes are media like games, movies, TV, toys, comics, tabletop games and more. When it works well, we get awesome transmedia experiences like Mattel’s Barbie.

Striker’s clients include AMC, ScottGames, WonderStorm, Media Rights Capital, Ghost House, Alcon Entertainment, Dread XP, Squanch Games, and Mythical Games amongst others. Properties, both previously and currently represented, include:  The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, Pacific Rim, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Kick Ass, TED, Terminator Salvation, The Umbrella Academy, and many others. Striker has built on behalf of its clients $4 billion retail programs for The Twilight Saga, The Walking Dead, Angry Birds and Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Peter Levin is managing director at Griffin Gaming Partners.

Binder will be one of our speakers alongside Peter Levin, managing director of Griffin Gaming Partners, and they can speak to the behind-the-scenes work that happens to bring together big entertainment deals.

Griffin Gaming Partners is one of the biggest venture capital funds singularly focused on the video game sector. Prior to Griffin, Levin served as president of interactive ventures, games & digital strategy at Lionsgate where he stood up their gaming business. He also ran Nerdist Industries, which was acquired by Legendary Entertainment in 2012. Levin was an early investor in and advisor to Rovio (Angry Birds) and helped put in place their wildly successful global licensing and merchandising program.

See you at our event!

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