The combined experience from across industries that has helped shape our vision about why, and more importantly “how” brands can effectively create a lasting brand affinity for the companies they lead.


There’s something very exciting happening in the industry right now. We’re seeing a true critical mass of gamers of every stripe participating in core Triple-A titles. This means the types of stories we can tell, and the appetite for them for across a wide gamer base, will only keep growing for the foreseeable future.

Kirsten Duvall


The goal of every marketer and business is to build a strong connection with their customers. In my experience, one of the best ways to create that is through compelling storytelling and immersive brand experiences. Done right, it’s a large step ahead of traditional marketing engagement strategies.

Joanne Carter


It’s truly amazing to see how far gaming has come in just a few short decades. It’s been one of the great honors of my life to be a part of it, and it’s one of my great thrills to see more brands and creators taking the opportunity to create some of the emotional connections that only gaming can bring.

Otto Berkes


Gaming has fast become the #1 form of entertainment on planet Earth. Major brands certainly COULD sit out the chance to plant their flag in the industry and inspire forms of fandom they’d never previously imagined …but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Shahid Ahmad

Director, Strategic Content, PlayStation Europe (FMR)


Marketers underestimate the power of gaming. With attention span being a scarce commodity, decreasing every year, games have the power to engage users – young and old – for minutes and hours on end. With the right message weaved in, it can unleash unlimited potential for any product or brand’s story.

Sudhir Diddee


When I look at how Xbox Live has grown, now at over 90 Million active monthly users, I think about where things will be in 10 years across all platforms. It’s easy to feel like we’re only just scratching the surface of the importance gaming will play in our lives and how we interact with the people and things we love.

Drew Johnston

DIRECTOR, Microsoft Game Studios (FMR)


Advising a corporate client means looking beyond their business model, and deep into the culture and vision behind the brand. More and more, it’s there that we find the seeds to so much more than simply quarterly revenue, and can often grow these into projects and franchises that redefine what the company is known for.

Mark Edwards


Just when I think I’ve seen it all in gaming, someone comes in with a vision that blows open what we thought was possible. That’s the ongoing excitement of the medium, and it’s an open playground for brands.

Tasos Kaiafas

Director of Gaming, AT&T, former editor in chief PC Gaming Magazine


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Kirsten is an accomplished veteran of the interactive entertainment industry who has spent her career helping developers be successful on platforms ranging from console to PC and web to mobile and AR/VR. She brings over 25 years of experience in Business Development, Partner Relations, Strategy and Sales and Marketing roles and has worked at companies including Unity, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Activision. In 2014, Kirsten was honored to be named one of Fortune’s 10 Powerful Women in Video Games.


Joanne is a results orientated marketing professional with expertise in leading brand strategy and innovation internationally to achieve results. She’s obtained direct experience of European and global markets and is a consummate expert in consumer led marketing and holistic brand management.

She designs and delivers marketing strategies that engage with audiences, develop results, and can challenge thinking and lead change cross functionally within marketing teams and across cultures to drive business and deliver brand impact.

She consistently places consumer and business outlook at the core of strategic planning and delivery.

Some of her specialties include; brand and product development, social and partner management, marketing campaigns, campaign personalization and optimization, content management, relationship management and innovation, financial projections, advertising.


Otto is currently CEO at Acendre, a leading provider of talent management software solutions for government and regulated industries. An Xbox co-founder, he had an 18 year career at Microsoft where he drove groundbreaking hardware and software innovation in computer graphics, home entertainment, mobile devices, and cloud services. 
He moved to HBO in 2011 to build the HBO GO streaming service, and as CTO, to lead the technology division and champion the company’s overall digital transformation. He subsequently joined CA Technologies as EVP to spearhead new product incubation and to direct the company’s shift to subscriptions. Otto is co-inventor on 13 patents, a recipient of Microsoft’s Xbox Founder Award, an Emmy Award, and an Edward R. Murrow Award, and is a published author. He is currently an advisor to Airtime, a director at Acendre, and a trustee at the University of Vermont.


Shahid has been named one of Games Industry International’s Top 10 Persons of the Year and 100 Top Influencers in the British Games Industry, Develop’s 25 People that Changed Games, one of MCV’s Brit List 100 and received Develop’s Publishing Hero award for his team’s role in opening PlayStation up to developers and for commissioning over 100 titles, including No Man’s Sky, Hellblade, The Persistence and Velocity 2X. In his 39th year in the video games industry, Shahid podcasts on “Remaster” at Relay FM, writes the much loved industry newsletter “Dancing Monkeys”, mentors developers for PlayStation Iberia and is on the advisory board of the BGI. He is the author of “Papa Can I Be”, illustrated by Faryal Ahmad, a short illustrated book of verse for children. He writes songs and composes podcast music and was the producer of the recent cult classic “Floor 13: Deep State” on Steam. He created “Virtue Reality”, the first game to be commissioned by an Islamic NGO, which turns the F2P model upside down.


Sudhir Diddee is the founder of Station 99 a startup focused on delivering efficiencies in Radio Advertising . Prior to Station 99 Sudhir spent 18+ years at Microsoft in a variety of Engineering and Marketing roles across a variety of businesses ( Developer Marketing, SQL Server Marketing, OEM and Worldwide Partner group). Sudhir led several initiatives at Microsoft including the very first IAMA at Reddit, First Twitter campaign and several marketing gamification campaigns delivering tangible results across segments.


Drew is a senior gaming technology and business leader with 25+ years of experience in the video games and e-commerce industry. Specializing in business development, program management and software development in e-commerce, online game services, and software SDK/APIs for game developers and publishers. Adept at business development, identifying client needs, designing solutions, and managing cross functional teams to achieve business objectives. Team leader skilled in advising and coaching teams to reach their potential.   

He bring experience as diverse as his time as Amazon’s Senior Program Manager working on special projects, to his tenure as the Open Gaming Appliance President, and Microsoft’s Gaming Team.

He lives in Seattle with his wife.


Mark Edwards is the founder and principal of Edwards Creative Law, an entertainment law boutique with offices in Ottawa and Toronto and a practice that extends to every common law province in Canada. Mark’s personal focus is live-action and animated films and series, video games, and digital media.

Whether acting for Canadian producers and studios or for the US and foreign buyers of their products and services, Mark brings nearly 25 years of experience structuring, funding, financing, producing and exploiting linear and interactive media to ensure that his clients minimize their risks while maximising the benefits of Canada’s favourable production environment, low dollar and generous production tax credits.


Tasos is an innovative and strategic leader with over 25 years of experience developing business strategies and launching new products. He’s highly skilled in managing large business development and marketing budgets, creating strategic partnerships, and leading worldwide teams, currently bringing his talents to AT&T, leading their product marketing efforts. His passion for technology and people drives businesses forward, helping spur significant growth.

He boasts extensive experience in the gaming industry, including being the patent owner for using a mobile device as a game controller.