Let the Mobile Games Begin

A Panel Discussion

62 minutes, 28.8mb, recorded 2005-01-27

Cell phone entertainment is hot and growing fast, which is why SofTECH is bringing a panel of experts together to discuss pending business opportunities.

The global entertainment software market is currently estimated to be in excess of $3 billion. Cell phone games alone are currently $200 million to $300 million in the United States, and between $800 million and $1 billion globally. Over the next several years, the world market for this industry is expected to grow to more than $8 billion.

Are 3D games just around the corner? What does this mean for the classic games like Tetris, Frogger and Pac-Man? Wouldn't we all like to know if this is a good time to get in on the action? These are some of the questions to be addressed by SofTECH's panel of experts. If you are a game enthusiast or simply want to get into this market, you will learn:

  • What types of games are being developed
  • What is actually selling today
  • What is expected to sell in the future
  • Will the major video game companies such as Electronic Arts dominate this business?
  • Is it too late to enter the market?
  • Who is actually buying these games?
  • Where is the hand set technology going in the future?

Meanwhile, the venture capitalists are watching. More than $150 million in funding has been invested by top tier VC firms within the past 18 months.

Please join SofTECH and a panel of experts on January 26, 2005 for this discussion. Michael Nelson, a SofTECH Board Member, is the producer and moderator of Mobile Games in coordination with SofTECH's Program Chair Bob Suess.


Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson has a deep marketing and general management background in both the consumer products and game industries. He was president/COO of Hasbro/Microprose during it's major growth phase prior to its sale to Hasbro Toys. He was also responsible for building the Tetris brand line with over 40 million units being sold globally during its long life span. In addition, Nelson launched Falcon 3.0, the best-selling flight simulation of all time, and he was responsible for growing the Star Trek franchise.

Prior to Microprose, Nelson was president of Velocity Entertainment, best known for its action simulation, Jet Fighter, and the first successful multi-player game, Spectre. As chief marketing officer for GTE Entertainment, he introduced two of the most successful graphic adventures titles in the PC industry: TimeLapse and Titanic, as well as the highly acclaimed and innovative NCAA Basketball. Prior to his game Industry experience, Nelson held senior marketing positions with Fortune 100 packaged goods companies, including The Clorox Company and Mars Inc.

Nelson received his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.


Michelle Bushneff
Vice President of Production
Digital Chocolate

Michelle Bushneff oversees product and creative development at Digital Chocolate, a venture-funded start-up developing entertainment, lifestyle, and social networking applications for mobile phones. Prior to joining Digital Chocolate, Bushneff consulted to companies in the entertainment, education and lifestyle markets while co-founding a media company that developed original properties. Bushneff has also served as an executive producer at LeapFrog, responsible for launching and expanding the LeapPad product line through new content development and strategic licensing partnerships. Bushneff started her career in the consumer software market, holding various positions at Broderbund and The Learning Company including creative director, executive producer and Vice President of product development responsible for several of the company's most successful original and licensed properties.

Digital Chocolate was founded in 2003 by software gaming pioneer Trip Hawkins and is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, as well as angel investors, including Bob Pittman, former COO of AOL/Time-Warner and founder of MTV. The company is based in San Mateo,
California with its European headquarters in Helsinki, Finland.

Laurence Holland

In addition to being Founder, President and Creative Director of Totally Games (totallygames.com), Laurence "Larry" Holland is co-founder of TimeLapse. He has designed and developed computer and video games for more than 20 years. Holland has led the creation of many of the industry's most successful and critically acclaimed titles, including the X-Wing family of games, developed for Lucas Arts Entertainment Company.

Holland began designing original PC games in 1984 while working on Strike Fleet, a modern naval simulation for Electronic Arts. He has developed several of the most successful "franchise games" of all time, including Star Wars universe products and Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance (1999), X-Wing Collectors Series, S-Wing vs.TIE Fighter, TIE Fighter andX-Wing. Additional titles include Star Trek: Bridge Commander.

Holland graduated from Cornell University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Anthropology and Prehistoric Archeology.

Steve Palley
Wireless Gaming Review

Lately of Dartmouth College -- where he concentrated primarily on geopolitical analysis and drinking games -- Steve Palley is as pleased as punch to have made the difficult transition to wireless entertainment as WGamer's new editorial geek. Palley's still looking for a gaming system that recaptures the innocent, unbounded joy of his first NES, which he purchased in 1986 for $200 and is still in perfect operating condition. Well, ok, its ORIGINAL operating condition.

Benjamin Stingle
Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Benjamin Stingle is an Analyst at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Stingle brings prior experience in venture capital to his role at Draper Fisher Jurvetson,having served in the software group at Battery Ventures, in Wellesley Massachusetts. There he focused on discovering and evaluating new investments in early and growth stage technology companies.

Prior to joining Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Stingle worked on the first behavioral field study of the Silky Sifaka (Propithecus candidus), in Marojejy National Park, Madagascar. He began his investment experience interning under Bill Miller, manager of the Legg Mason Value Trust.

Stingle is a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University, with a BA in Biology(benjamin@dfj.com). He was very involved in the funding of Mforma, a leading global publisher and distributor of wireless entertainment content. It is number one in the United States and Europe and a leading provider in Asia and South America.

This presentation is part of a series of events produced by SofTECH.

This free podcast is from our SofTECH series.