2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Gaming's Next Gen: Will AAA or Indie Games Win?

#sxsw #AAAvsIndie

After years of speculation the next generation of gaming consoles have arrived, but does gaming's future belong to traditional publishers producing AAA games or have indie and mobile game creators and the advent of new business models changed the shape of the games industry irrevocably?

Games media veterans GameSpot's Ben Howard, Midnight City’s Casey Lynch, and Red Robot Labs Inc. John Davison will lead a discussion about the challenges publishers of core, big-budget franchises face as well as how emerging companies in the mobile and indie scene are changing all expectations about the games industry and its future.


Ben Howard

VP, Programming

CBS Interactive

Ben has 15 years of broadcast and web experience in the consumer content space - with 7 years in the Video Games industry - as a Producer, Head of Video, Publishing Director and VP with over 10 years working with digital media, creating and managing digital content creation, product development and revenue generation. He is currently VP of Programming & Content for CBS Interactive's Games division, overseeing the global content strategy for brands such as GameSpot, Giant Bomb, GameFAQs and Comic Vine.


Casey Lynch


Midnight City

Casey Lynch has worked as a writer and editor covering the video game, music, and entertainment industries since the mid ‘90s, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief of IGN since 2011. Casey left IGN recently to found and become Vice President of Publishing at Midnight City, Majesco Entertainment’s indie publishing label. Midnight City provides publishing, promotional, and business support to independent developers, and has released indie titles like Slender: The Arrival, The Bridge, Blood of the Werewolf, Double Dragon: Neon, and more.

Starting in 1992 at the Los Angeles Times, over the years, Casey's work has appeared everywhere from the Village Voice and New Times to GamePro, Hardcore Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. He has been quoted in and appeared on the BBC, ABC, CBS News, Associated Press, Washington Post, and more.

John Davison

Dir/GM Content & Publishing

CBS Interactive

John Davison founded the website What They Play, described by the website as 'the family guide to video games' which provided editorial work that explained to parents the need to know about the controversial points about games which might appeal to a slightly more adolescent audience.

On September 24th, 2009, What They Play was sold to the IGN network and by the 6th of October that year Davison became the Executive Vice President of Content at GamePro magazine and its website.

In 2010 John joined the GameSpot as Vice President of Programming for CBS Interactive Games.. This position oversaw content for GameSpot, MetaCritc, GameFAQs. John Davison has since left CBS Interactive Inc. and has joined Red Robot Labs as the Director/GM of Content and Publishing.

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