FOR THE WIN! – Keynote program

Conference 25.05.2023.
Time 19 h
Language English
Location Bitef Theater
Price Free

FOR THE WIN! – Keynote program

SGA has announced the first details about the program of the For the Win! conference, which will take place on May 25th-26th to bring together the regional and European gamedev community in Belgrade, with speakers from companies such as Google, Outfit7, Two Desperados, 3 Lateral or Activision/Blizzard/King, as well as the organization ISFE, UKIE, EGDF, IGDA and many others

For the Win! conference is announced as the new meeting point for the European gamedev community, and is being held in Belgrade for the second time on May 25th and 26th, organized by the SGA. Over the course of two days, close to 300 professionals, students and all those who have a role within the ecosystem of video game development will gather in several locations (Bitef Theater, Kinoteka, Kolarac, Nova Iskra…), in order to connect and exchange experiences, as well as initiate new joint initiatives.

Speakers and delegates will represent more than 15 countries, including our entire region, Turkey, Romania, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, Great Britain and the USA. FTW! is a unique conference in that it is free, but can be attended only by invitation of the organizer or one of the partners.

However, those interested in getting involved can watch the exclusive keynote program, which is scheduled for Thursday May 25th, starting at 7 PM at the Bitef Theater. These lectures will serve as an ideal introduction to the main conference program that awaits us the next day at the Kinoteka. We will have the opportunity to hear three different views on the latest trends in the game development system:

Mike Sanders is the vice president for creative technologies at the legendary company Activision/Blizzard/King and he is coming from LA to Belgrade to get to know the regional scene, and will be talking about creative convergences between film, gaming and other areas;

Denise Farrelly, manager of applications and gaming at Google for the EMEA region will present the latest trends that this global company has identified through its platforms that support a large part of the world’s mobile gaming market;

Jo Twist, who will soon step down from the CEO position in the British association UKIE, will share with us the best experiences in building an environment for healhty development of the gaming industry.

On the special landing page dedicated to the event  you can now have a look at the first names of speakers, already about 30 of them, while the complete program and agenda will be announced around May 10th.

There is no doubt that during these two days, Belgrade will indeed become the epicenter of the gaming industry in this part of Europe, and open numerous new opportunities – for cooperation and new projects, but also for joint learning and direct networking of professionals from numerous countries.

In case you are curious, have a look at last year’s atmosphere.

The event is realized with the support of numerous partners, including the companies Google, Outfit7, 3 Lateral/Epic Games i Two Desperados, as well as organizations such as The British Council, USAID, SwissEP, MEDIA Creative Europe Desk Serbia, Serbia Innoveates, ICT Hub, Venture an Idea and the supercluster Creative Tech Serbia. The main media partner is Netokracija

Michael Sanders,
Vice President of Creative Technology and Visual Services, Activision/Blizzrad/King
About the lecturer

Mike Sanders is the Vice President of Creative Technology and Visual Services for Activision overseeing innovation in art, animation and production across Activision’s game franchises, most notably Call of Duty.  Mike is focusing on bringing film VFX quality to game development and emerging content markets.

He was previously Director of Visual Production for Industrial Light & Magic, collaborating with Disney divisions such as Lucasfilm, Pixar, Marvel and Imagineering and built much of the foundational creative technology of the ILMxLAB.  He has many patents awarded for digital production and virtual cinematography. In 2009, Michael was recognized by the Producer’s Guild of America as a member of their inaugural Digital 25 list for the most notable contributors to digital story telling.

Mike is one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts in advanced technologies for realism in computer graphics for films and games. He has over 25 years of experience in creating cutting edge imagery for more than 100 major motion pictures and AAA game titles. Mike has worked with most top directors and every major studio, including such memorable projects as the digital cast in Titanic, many of the effects in the Star Wars prequels and sequels, the behind-the-scenes tech that launched Avatar, and the believable characters in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Denise Farrelly,
Senior Lead, EMEA Apps and Gaming Business, Google
About the lecturer
Denise is a senior lead for the EMEA Apps and Gaming Business at Google, and has over 19 years experience in the media and tech industry. Prior to Google, Denise was one of Ireland’s leading media buying specialists having held the role of Head of Client Services for WPP owned Group M, Maxus. With over 10 years of media experience, Denise brings a unique blend of both publisher and platform owner insight to every project in her brief.
Today at Google, Denise is responsible for helping to drive Google’s apps and gaming partners’ revenue across the EMEA region. A core focus is to identify, support and develop the largest and most promising app publishers within EMEA. Denise is a strong and active advocate for driving diversity at Google driving Women@ & Community initiatives around education. Denise is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personal Development. Denise acts as a board member on Neurodiversity Ireland, which aims to put Irish communities on the map that are neurodiversity-friendly, as leaders that welcome and include everyone.
Denise holds a BA in Business Studies from Dublin City University and a MSC in Advertising from the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Jo Twist,
About the lecturer

Dr Jo Twist OBE has been the CEO of UKIE, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment since 2012.

With a 25-year background across interactive entertainment, technology, education, creative media and youth culture, Jo has wide-ranging experience in high-level influencing, stakeholder management and organisational change. She sits on a range of high-level boards, committees, and advisory groups, including the Creative Industries Council, Creative UK Council, and the AHRC Creative Industries Advisory Group, representing the games and interactive entertainment sector and advocating on its behalf.

She is a VP for games accessibility charity SpecialEffect, Patron of Safe in Our World mental health and games charity. She is also a King’s Appointed Trustee for Royal Historic Palaces, a Wiggin Foundation Trustee and stepped down as a BAFTA Trustee and Chair of the Games Committee in 2022. Jo is a Ravensbourne University Visiting Fellow and a Visiting Lecturer for Goldsmith’s University in the School of Computing. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and was awarded the MCV Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution. She was also named as one of the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 Most Influential People in 2019 and entered the Computer Weekly Hall of Fame in 2021. She was awarded her Doctorate on online communities, young people and identity in 2001.