Going to industry events is pretty taxing (days packed with meetings and evenings full of networking). Doing two events back-to-back is not for the feint of heart. I braved the bonkers big Gamescom (which includes GDC Europe and the Respawn indie gathering) in Cologne, Germany. Then flew over to San Francisco for the USA edition of Casual Connect. Some true event marathoners were in Shanghai for ChinaJoy the week prior!

And so, Gamescom continues to grow, with a record breaking 345,000 attendees. I was on stage 5 different times for various funding and business lectures/panels. While the show remains largely focused on the big league games, the ~50 titles in the Indie Arena were great to check out. We even had two of our Execution Labs studios on the floor: Tequila showing off Earthcore, and Sand Sailor demoing Black the Fall.

Heading over to SF for Casual Connect made for an interesting contrast. The heavy focus was on “app app pay pay” vendors… and every game on display on the floor was an indie game. Biggest surprise was that I enjoyed the Michael Eisner keynote ;)


Gamescom: The Sand Sailor crew setting up their Black the Fall booth. Danger!

Gamescom: The bustling floor of the Respawn gathering.

Gamescom: Giant syringe cocktail. Yummy!

Gamescom: There are booths literally from everywhere at Gamescom.

Gamescom: Will and Bruno of Thunder Lotus games showing off Jotun in the Indie Arena.

Gamescom: Tequila Games’ corner in the Indie Arena to demo Earthcore.

Gamescom: Martin Garrix plays the infamous WarGaming party.

Casual Connect: Michael Eisner conducts a lively opening keynote.

Casual Connect: View from the 45th floor of the Hilton Union Square, where the speakers are fed lunch :)

Casual Connect: I never miss a chance to hear Emily Greer (Kongregate) present!

Casual Connect: On the party bus… oh my…

Casual Connect: Main event party held at City Hall.

Casual Connect: Execution Labs co-founder Keith Katz (far right) hosts a deep dive on indie marketing. From left: Ken Seto (Massive Damage), Steve Escalante (Versus Evil), and Justin Bailey (Fig / Double Fine).