TORONTO, CANADA • April 20 - 21, 2023
CANADA'S PREMIER VIDEO GAME BUSINESS CONFERENCE
10AM-5PM, Registration opens at 9AM
The XP Game Developer Summit is back!
Returning to Toronto for its 4th year, the XP Game Developer Summit will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle on April 20 & 21st, 2023.
Level up with global networking, world-class speakers, exclusive panels, masterclasses, a Business Lounge, a dedicated Esports Lounge presented by Encore, Canada’s largest game showcase, and more! The XP Game Developer Summit is the premier business-to-business conference for the Canadian video game industry.
Our partners at MeetToMatch will be on hand to deliver targeted networking and business-to-business experiences for international investors, publishers, developers, and service providers to connect and discover new business opportunities.
what to expect
The right connection can change your life. Meet industry professionals, investors, publishers, studios and more!
Panels & Masterclasses
Tap into the expertise of industry thought leaders and level up your knowledge tree.
Play a ton of innovative titles – no quarters needed!
Esports Lounge presented by Encore
Connect with business and players in the fast growing esports industry.
AWS Promotional Credits Offer
Apr 20: 10:30AM – Pier 2
Moderator: Carl-Edwin Michel
Participants: Jayson Hilchie (ESAC), Lucie Lalumiere (Interactive Ontario), Jean Jaques Hermans (La Guilde), Loc Dao ( Digi BC)
What does 2023 hold for the Canadian video game industry? Industry experts weigh in on our triumphs and our challenges; and what they will be in the coming year. What developments will shape the future of our industry? Who will predict the next viral trend? And how will the Canadian video game industry look as we enter 2024?
Apr 20: 12:30AM – Pier 2
Moderator: Kristian Roberts (Nordicity)
Participants: Damon Baker (Kepler Interactive), Pontus Mahler (GTR), William Bertin (Plug-in Digital)
Hear from publishers from around the world and different backgrounds on what they look for when it comes to investments.
Apr 20: 1:30PM – Pier 2
Presenter: Jason Della Rocca
Despite the influx of capital and new game-focused venture funds, scoring a juicy VC deal remains elusive for most developers.
This session will uncover the underlying truths of how venture capital works, and how it differs from other sources of funding.
Concepts such as business model and ambition alignment, the effect of traction and proof points, the timing of funding rounds relative to risk, and the impact of the co-founding team will all be explored.
VCs play by VERY different rules than publishers, and you need to understand what they invest in, how their economics work, and what kind of red flags and roadblocks will turn them off.
Finally, a VC-oriented pitch template will be reviewed to reinforce these differences.
Apr 20: 3:00PM – Pier 2
Moderator: Jason Lepine (XP Gaming)
Participants: Shelley Coultish (CMF), Norma Rossler (Red Meat Games), Ericka Evans (Phantom Compass)
Join us for a conversation with studios Phantom Compass with Ericka Evans and Red Meat with Norma Rossler together with CMF’s Shelley Coultish as they discuss their path to being funded by the CMF and share tips on how you can find funding for your next project.
Apr 20: 4:00PM – Pier 2
Presenter: Ritesh Thadani
A high level comparison of how ‘Debt’ can be a viable option to fund the growth of a studio. It addresses the key questions founders and studio leaders need to be asking when trying to assess funding options. The session will dispel some of the doubts that arise when evaluating ‘debt’ as a source of funding.
Apr 20: 11:30AM – Pier 3
Moderator: Mohammad Agha (Magmic)
Participants: Tom Frencel (Little Guy Games), Jay Deverest (Deloitte), Jure Grahek (Zebedee)
This panel explores what the Web3 gaming landscape will look like in the future, if any. After a very tumultuous 2022 what’s next for this nascent and controversial niche of gaming.
Apr 21: 11:00AM – Pier 2
Moderator: Julien Coll (CDRIN)
Participants: Serge Landry (Ayming), Mark Witzel (IRAP)
The Canadian government wants to support your company’s research initiatives, and they’ve made available a wealth of resources and supports for just that. Learn about the advantages of conducting your own research, what counts as research, and the various incentives available to you for funding it including grants, subsidies and financing.
Apr 21: 11:30AM – Pier 2
Presenter: Chloe Giusti (ID @Xbox)
101 session on publishing your games on Xbox. Learn about the simple steps to bring your content to the platform through the ID@Xbox program and familiarize with
the development environment and tools available, Game Pass, and marketing best practices. Get set to maximize your success on the platform!
Apr 21: 12:30PM – Pier 2
Moderator: Miriam Verburg (Bloom Digital)
Panelists: John Nguyen (Xsolla), Rachel Chu (Gameloft), Almir Brljak (Sinn Studio)
Marketing a game comes with dozens of challenges, many unique to different platforms. In this panel, we’ll be discussing and comparing the challenges marketers face when marketing their games on different platforms.
Apr 21: 3:30PM – Pier 2
Presenter: Jason Della Rocca
We all know that promoting your game is critical to getting noticed in the deluge of titles… yet, few embrace the concept of product design as the most critical aspect of marketing. Meaning, how can you design discoverability directly into your game in order to boost commercial potential? This session will explore ways games are intrinsically shareable, memetic, watchable, or otherwise socially accelerated – both as a way to make games more engaging and commercially viable. Concrete game examples will be provided to showcase these discoverability methods and approaches.
Apr 21: 3:00PM – Pier 3
Presenter: Ryan Miller (MRC)
Ryan explains how your company can maximize the results of your collaborations with Canadian post-secondary institutions. Tailored towards Game Studios and those working with real-time engines, this talk focuses on project suitability, management techniques, split of responsibilities, and strategies to ensure effective project outcomes with students, faculty, and applied research centers.
Apr 20: 11:30AM – Pier 2
Participants: Chris Blackwell (AWS)
In this session, learn how to set up your game development pipeline in the cloud. Discover how game studios are adopting AWS cloud game development solutions that empower developer and creator teams to work anywhere in the world.
Apr 20: 12:30PM – Pier 2
Presenter: Samuel Bass (Epic Games)
Take a trip through the Unreal Engine ecosystem with Epic Games evangelist and content developer Samuel Bass, digging into the newest Unreal Engine 5.2 features, learning useful tips and tricks as we explore the vast suite of tools that exist within and alongside the engine… including ones you can build yourself!
Apr 20: 1:30PM – Pier 3
Moderator: Matt Lavoie (Vibe Avenue)
Participants: FX Dupas (Vibe Avenue), Simon Ashby (Audiokinetic), Eduardo Vaisman (Ubisoft)
Would you have guessed, 20 years ago, that game audio pros today would use tools like Wwise, have terabytes of samplers for music, that binaural audio would find its place in the VR world and have something as powerful as the Tempest Engine chip running 3D audio on a PS5? Would you have guessed that tools today could emulate actors’ speech, compose music and that Free AI tools could write lyrics? So this is now… What’s tomorrow? What is the future of game audio?
Apr 20: 2:30PM – Pier 3
Moderator: Oliver Smith (Accelbyte)
Participants: Rich Skorski (GenPop Interactive), Serge Poueme (AWS)
How can a backend infrastructure enhance the storytelling of a single-player game? What are some of the most innovative and successful examples of single-player games that have used a GBaaS, and what made them successful? If you’re a game developer looking to improve the player experience and engagement of your single-player game. You’ll hear from industry experts about why you could be missing out by not having a Backend for your single-player games in this session. We’ll discuss the importance of data analytics, community engagement, and quality-of-life features in creating a successful single-player game.
Apr 20: 3:30PM – Pier 3
Moderator: Carl-Edwin Michel (CGA)
Participants: Dominic Hudon (Behaviour Interactive), Nam Lesage (Behaviour Interactive), Camille Quintart (Behaviour Interactive)
Go behind the scenes at Behaviour Interactive with dev team members Dominic Hudon, Nam Lesage and Camille Quintart! As the title suggests, they’ll talk all aspects of tech at Behaviour: challenges, games as a service (Dead by Daylight!), data, and career opportunities at the largest Canadian video game studio, just to name a few… Don’t miss out!
Apr 20: 4:30PM – Pier 3
Presenter: Jure Grahek (Zebedee)
A look at how the concept of money in games has evolved in the transition from pre-digital to digital games and the connected “online era” we’re in today, as well as a look ahead to what’s coming, based on latest in-market and in-development games. We will take a close look at how novel game mechanics involving real-value nanotransactions (less than $0.01) drive enormous increases in player monetisation and community engagement, and the new path forward this offers the games industry in a post-IDFA/ATT world.
Apr 21: 11:00AM – Pier 3
Moderator: Spencer Idenouye (SIRT)
Participants: Guillaume Laforge (Autodesk), Mai Ao (Side FX), Andrew MacDonald (Cream Productions)
Universal Scene Description (USD), a framework for the interchange of 3D computer graphics data originally developed by Pixar, has been used in the animation and VFX industries but how can it be used in game development? What are the advantages of USD for game developers? What complexities are involved in integrating USD with the game development pipeline. Join our panelists of experts as they discuss how this framework could best be used in future game development pipelines.
Apr 21: 12:00PM – Pier 3
Moderator: Vahe Vardanian (CDRIN)
Participants: Stef Corazza (Roblox), Alexandre Peyrot (Gearbox)
New AI tools such as Stable Diffusion have stirred conversations around the world about the utility and ethical use of AI tools in game development. Should artists be concerned about the rise of AI in game development or is AI’s role purely supportive?
Apr 21: 1:00PM – Pier 3
Participants: Russell Sng (Unity), Antonio Miceli (Mega Power GameS)
Game development can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and libraries, you can streamline your workflow, save time, and reduce costs – all while creating amazing games. We will be diving into 10 tools and libraries that every Unity developer should know about. From asset management tools to animation libraries, we’ll cover a range of useful resources that can help streamline your workflow and cut down on development costs. We’ll also be providing live demonstrations of some of these tools, so you can see firsthand how they work and how they can benefit your projects. Whether you’re a seasoned Unity developer or just starting out, this presentation is sure to provide you with valuable insights and tips for making the most of your time and resources. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your Unity development skills and take your projects to the next level!
Apr 21: 2:00PM – Pier 3
Moderator: Anthea Foyer (Sector Development Officer, IDM office)
Participants: Maria Beck (Sweet Baby), Kate Tremblay (Soft Rains), Victoria Evans (Digital Vic)
Working in narrative doesn’t mean just being a writer! As a craft and a discipline, narrative touches almost every aspect of video game development. Join Victoria Evans (content designer), Maria Beck (narrative producer), Kaitlin Tremblay (narrative director) in a conversation moderated by Anthea Foyer (IDM sector officer) as they discuss what narrative is and looks like beyond just writing.
Presenter: Pejman Babaei
To make fun and successful gameplay experiences, designers and developers must consider players’ diverse preferences and expectations and design games that cater to different play styles, skill levels, and motivations. Gaining a better understanding of player behaviour and gameplay experiences can help identify and resolve potential problem areas before release.
This talk aims at small-to-medium-sized studios wanting to introduce data-driven decision making into their gameplay experience design. We will discuss approaches and data sources that game designers can use to gain valuable insights and inform their design decisions to create more engaging and successful gameplay experiences.
Apr 21: 1:30PM – Pier 2
Presenter: Sébastien Croteau (Monster Factory)
Monster and creature sounds are generally created with animal sound libraries or software that manipulates or modifies the human voice. Discover a brand new approach regarding the creation of those sounds and the voice techniques used by metal vocalists to create them. You will learn all about this new trend, the advantages of using a human voice instead of the traditional methods and how metal vocalists can help with your vocal stunt work and extreme sounds in your project.
Apr 21: 2:30PM – Pier 2
Participants: Austin Yarger (University of Michigan)
From Undertale to Roblox, “overnight hits” are fueled by the unromantic grind– years of contract work, obscurity, frugality, tech / talent buildup, and experimentation– keeping the lights on for that big hit just around the corner. Join University of Michigan gamedev lecturer Austin Yarger as we explore the struggle for sustainability, indie funding models, midwestern success stories, long-term technology refinement / reuse, and other ways to stay in the game.
Apr 20 11:30AM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge
Moderator: Carl-Edwin Michel
Participants: Neil Duffy (eFuse), Chris Lamarucciola (Parrabelum Esports), Bryce Eldridge (MLSE)
With esports stocks plummeting and teams and orgs making significant cuts to their staff, the health of the once burgeoning gaming esports industry seems to be wavering. But it may not be the case. Hear from esports teams, infrastructure and league organizers as they share their insights on where the industry is right now and where it’s going.
Apr 20 12:30PM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge
Moderator: Dave Throop
Participants: Amar Sidhu (Amar-VR Law), Caroline Vani
Discover what it’s like to have a professional career in the exciting world of esports with our diverse panel of industry professionals, who will share their unique journeys and valuable insights into building a successful career in this rapidly growing field. This engaging panel discussion will cover a wide range of topics, including the panelists’ personal stories of how they built their careers, day-to-day responsibilities, the types of jobs and professions involved in the industry, and its future. Attendees can expect to learn about various roles and opportunities within the industry, as well as practical advice on how to turn their passion for gaming into a fulfilling profession. The session will also feature a Q&A segment, allowing the audience to engage with the panelists and gain personalized guidance on their career aspirations. Don’t miss this chance to unlock the doors to a thrilling career in esports!
Apr 21 12:30PM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge
Moderator: Dave Throop
Participants: Reed Trimble (Bad Moon Talent), Laura Sjolin (Overactive Media), Bryce Eldridge (MLSE)
As the esports and gaming landscape continues to evolve, so must the way brands activate within it. Join us for a panel discussion on the rising trend of esports and gaming sponsorships. Our panel of experts will delve into the various ways in which companies are leveraging esports and gaming as a marketing tool and the benefits it brings for both the brand and the gaming community. From increasing brand awareness to reaching new target audiences, our panelists will discuss the various ways in which companies are utilizing these sponsorship opportunities. Additionally, the panel will discuss the potential for future growth in this area and how brands can effectively navigate and make the most of the esports and gaming sponsorship landscape. This is a must-see event for anyone interested in the intersection of gaming and marketing.
Apr 20: 2:30PM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge
Participants: Krista-Lee Malone, Noel Brett
Video games and gamers are often blamed for the rise in toxicity in the surrounding culture. It has come to a point where some are even rejecting the label of “gamer” due to a growing acceptance of negative stereotypes around the identity. Games and game culture do not exist in a vacuum, however, and this is ignored at the peril of our passion and our industry. Toxic masculinity, incels, and the rise of hate group participation, just to name a few of the issues facing us today, is not a gamer problem – it is a societal problem – but it is within this society that games exist and are made. This begs the question, if game culture isn’t the problem, how might it become a part of the solution?
Apr 21: 11:30PM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge
Moderator: Kendryx Linscott (WIGI)
Participants: Brianna Roett (Red Bull Gaming Hub), Chantelle Ouano (WIGI)
We’ve made great strides as an industry in the past couple of years to help ensure that all individuals feel like they can pursue their passion for video games. But as far as we have come, we can go further! Join our panel to explore how the video games industry can adapt simple principles to ensure that women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are being included in the industry. Our panel will go over the amazing feats that marginalized individuals have accomplished and how leaders in our space can be more actively involved in creating inclusive spaces. Attendees of all levels are welcome to participate in this panel discussion as there is something for everyone!
Apr 20 1:30PM – Pier 5 Esports Lounge