Third annual Business of Games Summit to promote fast-growing gaming and esports industry

Ohio University’s third annual Business of Games Summit on Feb. 23, 2021, held virtually this year, will focus on the trends and opportunities in the fast-growing gaming and esports industry.

The Business of Games Summit will feature sessions from prominent entrepreneurs, software and hardware developers, publishers, investors, marketers and players. Students, educators and the community can register for the free virtual events and learn the various aspects of the gaming and esports industry. The summit will also cover the aspects of the industry that are often overlooked, such as business development and marketing.

“Students will be surprised to discover just how many professional avenues are available in the gaming industry,” said John Bowditch, director of the Game Research and Immersive Design (GRID) Lab. “I have seen my GRID Lab students graduating and going on to do things I never would have imagined. All students should learn about these opportunities first-hand and enjoy a fun event at the same time.”

The summit will kick off with welcome remarks at 10:15 a.m. by the Center for Entrepreneurship Director Paul Benedict, Bowditch, Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth and event emcee DJ A-Roc. Industry icon Chris Volpe will then offer a “State of the Industry” address. He is president of Multivarious, founder and executive director of GDEX, and president and founder of Ohio Game Developer Association. Volpe remains a leading advocate for making Ohio a hub for games and esports innovation.

“We all know games rock. When you do what you love, it doesn’t have to feel like work,” Benedict said. “Our summit speakers will share the tremendous opportunities and explain how they did it and how you can too.”

Students interested in a career in the gaming and esports industry are recommended to attend the “Proving your parents wrong: Jobs in games and esports” panel at 12:30 p.m. Recent OHIO graduates will discuss their experiences in landing a job and offer advice to prospective students.

Ivy O'Shaughnessy, CASE Resident for Esports Initiative and co-founder of Bobcat Esports, said attending the alumni panel will be especially useful for students.

“They can learn different techniques and methods for problem-solving with real-world examples,” O'Shaughnessy said. “Our successful alumni Lemar Daniels, head esports coach at Lourdes University, and Matthew Shiflet, social media coordinator for professional esports team Boston Uprising, will teach students how to get involved in the industry and convey their future profession to family members.”

The summit will conclude with a keynote address by OHIO alumnus Matt Benson, founder and CEO of eFuse, at 1:20 p.m. Through a company initially conceived at Ohio University, Benson has successfully raised over $5 million in funding and secured over 500,000 users, all before turning 24. He was recently named to the Forbes 30 under 30 Gaming list.

“As the industry grows, it is important for individuals to keep the discussion going about how the industry can be changed for the better,” O'Shaughnessy said. “Hosting the Business of Games Summit allows for industry professionals, students and game enthusiasts to have a voice in the everchanging industry.”

These free virtual events are hosted by Ohio University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the Scripps College of Communication and TechGROWTH Ohio. The Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

In order to receive the Twitch links for these events, register here.

February 5, 2021
Hardika Singh