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Licensing Expo Opening Keynote Explores the Future of Gaming image

Licensing Expo Opening Keynote Explores the Future of Gaming

Las Vegas, NV – Licensing Expo, the world’s leading event dedicated to licensing, brand extension and collaborations, announces today 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, NV, 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 products 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 IP or the revival of heritage titles.

Panelists include Nick McWhorter, Director of Global Licensing, CD Projekt Red; Doug Rosen, Senior Vice President, Games and Emerging Media, Paramount; Maya Rogers, CEO, Tetris; and Ivo Gerscovich, Chief Business and Brand Officer, SEGA of America; moderated by License Global’s own Ben Roberts, Content Director, a part of the Global Licensing Group.

Nick McWhorter, Director of Global Licensing at CD Projekt Red, is renowned for growing global brand successes like The Witcher and Cyberpunk in merchandise and pop culture space. Prior, McWhorter worked with Dark Horse Comics for 16 years, where he managed licensed publications and products based on intellectual property (IP) from studios, animation, video games and more.

Doug Rosen is Senior Vice President, Global Games & Emerging Media at Paramount. In this role 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.

Ivo Gerscovich, Chief Business and Brand Officer at SEGA of America, has transformed the Sonic the Hedgehog video game brand into a top transmedia franchise, and built a rapidly growing, award-winning team, including being named one of Variety’s Entertainment Gaming Leaders. Gerscovich’s prior experience includes with companies such as Paramount Pictures and Vivendi Games.

Maya Rogers, CEO of Tetris, leads all worldwide business initiatives of the Tetris brand, one of the leading and most distinctive video game brands and franchises in the world with a history that spans 40 years. 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. Prior to joining Tetris, Rogers has steered development efforts for Sony Computer America, American Honda and more.

“Licensing Expo is where we plant the seeds for how we creatively approach emerging trends we see across the market. 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,” states Anna Clarke, Senior Vice President of the Global Licensing Group, which produces Licensing Expo. “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.

To learn more about Licensing Expo and register to attend, visit

About Global Licensing Group
The Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets, a subsidiary of Informa plc (LON:INF), is the licensing industry’s leading tradeshow organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together. The following events and information products are produced for the licensing industry by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing EuropeLicensing Expo Shanghai and License Global. Global Licensing Group events are sponsored by Licensing International.

About Licensing International
Licensing International is the leading trade organization for the $340+ billion global brand licensing industry. Licensing International’s mission is to foster the growth of brand licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners, and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, more than 1,500 Licensing International member companies in over 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events. Visit for more information.

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