Licensing Expo Opening Keynote Explores the Future of Gaming

Panelists are from SEGA, Tetris, Paramount and CD Projekt Red.

License Global

April 17, 2024

3 Min Read


Licensing Expo has announced the opening keynote presentation under the event theme, “Brands at Play.” Taking place May 21-23 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., Licensing Expo brings together thousands of leading retailers, manufacturers and marketers to connect, identify future trends and secure consumer product deals with the world’s most influential brands.

Roughly 48% of the global population consider themselves either casual or active gamers. With mobile gaming capturing more players than ever before, the video game segment is building a community of billions. It is now a foregone conclusion that gaming is the next major category for consumer product growth. This opening keynote panel, “Video Games: Driving Billions to Play,” explores the “why” behind gaming’s massive growth in popularity, what gamers look for in a brand and how the next franchise model will lead with video games, either from brand-new intellectual property (IP) or the revival of heritage titles.    

Panelists include Nick McWhorter, director, global licensing, CD Projekt Red; Doug Rosen, senior vice president, games and emerging media, Paramount; Maya Rogers, chief executive officer, Tetris and Ivo Gerscovich, chief business and brand officer, SEGA of America, moderated by License Global’s own Ben Roberts, content director, License Global.    

Related:Day 2 Keynote Announced for Licensing Expo

McWhorter is renowned for growing global brand successes like The Witcher and Cyberpunk in merchandise and pop culture spaces. Prior, McWhorter worked with Dark Horse Comics for 16 years, where he managed licensed publications and products based on IP from studios, animation, video games and more.   

Rosen oversees Paramount’s global games business and is responsible for the commercialization of emerging technologies including AR, VR and virtual worlds. This includes business development, creative development, marketing and production of games and experiences on all platforms, including mobile, console, PC, UEFN and Roblox.  

Gerscovich has transformed the “Sonic the Hedgehog” video game brand into a transmedia franchise. Gerscovich’s prior experience includes positions with companies such as Paramount Pictures and Vivendi Games.   

Rogers leads all worldwide business initiatives for the Tetris brand. Through Rogers’ game development, global licensing, marketing, brand management, merchandising and IP enforcement, Tetris has also expanded as a lifestyle brand, which has more than 90 licensees and promotional partners globally.  

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“Licensing Expo is where we plant the seeds for how we creatively approach emerging trends we see across the market,” says Anna Clarke, senior vice president, Global Licensing Group, which produces Licensing Expo. “These phenomenal global leaders in gaming IP are at the forefront of tomorrow’s leading brand extensions, tapping into what resonates best with their communities. Especially as this year we focus on all iterations of ‘Brands at Play,’ we are setting the stage by shining the light on gaming as the category of the future. Digitization impacts brand engagement and is a critical area to provide education and ideas into how we can expand.”   

As the gaming segment connects a community of billions globally, video games are quickly becoming the next major category for licensing growth. Licensing International reported 9.8% of the $340.8 billion global sales revenue of licensed merchandise and services in 2022 came from video games, software and apps.  

Over 300 exhibiting companies, including Paramount, LEGO, Warner Bros., Nintendo, Riot Games, The Walt Disney Company, Netflix, SEGA, Mattel, Crunchyroll, Minecraft, NASCAR and many more will be at Licensing Expo.  

Licensing Expo 2024 will be held May 21-23 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

Register for Licensing Expo 2024.

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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