In this week's Roundtable, the squad dives into the recent announcement of Age of Empires Mobile, sparking debates on whether it will meet the high expectations of its loyal fanbase or simply blend into the crowded market of 4x strategy games. We then shift gears to discuss the surprising success of Balatro, a poker roguelike game from a solo developer that turned profitable within just an hour of its release, highlighting the trend of unexpected hits in the gaming industry this year. The conversation takes a somber turn as we examine Sony's decision to lay off 900 employees, with a notable focus on PSVR developers. Lastly, we delve into the growing concerns among Apple Arcade game developers, who report a deteriorating partnership environment. Join us for all the latest games business news with Dave EltonFelipe Mata, and host Devin Becker.

Big thanks to GRID for making this episode possible. GRID is a game data platform providing esports data infrastructure, analytics, and distribution solutions to leading game publishers including Riot Games, Ubisoft, and KRAFTON. If you're a fan, developer, or entrepreneur with an idea for a live data-powered project, make sure to apply for GRID Open Access, get free access to official data, and start creating today! To learn more, visit

This transcript is machine-generated, and we apologize for any errors.

Devin: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another Naavik round table with myself, the host, Devin Becker, and and two fantastic guests as usual, Dave and Felipe. How are you guys doing today?

Dave: Doing well. Thank you. Doing well. How about you, Devin?

Devin: Doing good outside of introducing myself. Apparently we wanted to mention briefly as well.

I think some of this will be at GDC. So with that coming up, if you guys are planning on being out there, make sure to email, hit us up you can hit us up a [email protected]. Try and find out about some meetups. I'm not sure if we'll have anything publicly arrangeable anything like that, but definitely try and stay in the loop.

We also have a discord, things like that. So make sure to check that out and hopefully we'll have lots of cool stuff going on because I know a lot of us, a lot of industry people in general, be a GDC, especially without E3. I think this is like the big thing to go to now for everyone who just wants a game thing to go to.

So definitely make sure to check it out. We do also have a lot of good game topics today, leading up to GDC, I'm sure we'll have a ton after GDC as well, no doubt, but some good ones today, I think a lot of interesting stuff happening in the space, still some new games both on mobile and on, and steam some interesting stuff going around with stone.

It was Sony in terms of like shifts and apple arcade, as well as just some discussion around live ops that we can kind of becoming a live ops discussion itself, where we're continuing to service that discussion. So why don't we just get right into it, Felipe, there was something you wanted to share around a mobile game that I think a lot of older gamers might be interested in.

Felipe: Yeah, exactly. I think that many of us are excited to hear that Age of Empires is coming to mobile. So it's been announced that the game is expected to be released in August 2024. And you can already pre register on the mobile app stores. And there is a set of rewards that you will get by. producer in now.

The developer is Timmy is part of a Tencent and is the same developer as Return to Empire. And indeed if you see some of the videos that have been presented intro and other, like more extended videos that have been shared some influencers, you can see some relevant resemblance between Return to empire and the new version of fetch of empire so Probably having the same developers not just a pure coincidence, but they're probably like reusing the expertise and indeed that some people comment that Could be maybe a port of the game that is working very well in china to the western markets that could make sense because It will have many features proven.

The promise of the game is to have the ca, the classic gameplay that mo most of us fell in love with from the regional PC series, but simplified and optimized with controls more in line with mobile. mobile devices. The features that it will include is like larger scale world exploration where you can explore vast map and build empires, the siege battles, and then you will have both PvE campaigns and PvP mode.

So you play against other players. There is not much details that have been shared beyond the right now that will be like The few characters there are some that has been presented in the in the webpage. So some historical heroes, and you can see very good and polished animations of each of them.

And then to begin with, you will have four civilizations, French, Byzantines, Romans, and Chinese. I don't know, guys. What do you think? It looks exciting to me, at least it brings a lot of memories back and at least I feel like I will try it, definitely, and I hope that I don't put as much hours as I put in the original because otherwise my life is ruined.

Dave: I'm definitely looking forward to it. I've been playing Age of Empires since the very first one, probably the same as you, Felipe. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I do think that it's a, solid choice and bringing Timmy in as their development partner and they bring a lot of expertise there and, crafting the large scale.

Games. I just really look forward to playing it.

Devin: Yeah. Definitely Timmy is like show with Pokemon unite and call it duty, but they're pretty good at handling some of these properties and in mobile doing like a good job with them. So I think it's good. The, I guess the big question I have is how much is close to what's the original, did well that people want because presenting this in the light of a command and conquer the infamous continued struggle to release something that actually is command and conquer, and not just a reskin of something else. Like obviously they have that newer one that just looks like a reskin for X game.

And this is there the chance that this is just a reskin for X game as well? Or is this something that like actual. Age of Empire fans are going to be like, Oh, actually I'd want to play this, not just throw open my mouth when I see it kind of thing.

Felipe: Yeah. I feel like this is a quite tricky, right?

Because on one hand you want to keep the essence of the original games, but all it's true that it's not the same platform and the dynamics of the place are different and probably like experiencing the same game in mobile would be. Not as, as good as splitting it in PC.

So of course you need to make some trade offs and these decisions should like maybe be to bring some innovation but making it more playable in mobile through that. So

Dave: the monetization side will think for me, be one of the questions in terms of how intrusive will that be?

What are the elements that they're looking on monetizing from the timers perspective from. What are there units that are only available through monetization? So I think for me, it was just the implementation of that side of things will be will be a question mark for me and something definitely want to get through as well as the UI question.

Felipe: Yeah. I think this is a very interesting question because normally for X games in mobile and try to have a small user base. That most of them pay, but here with Age of Empires, you have a very big brand with a lot of fans over the years. So I guess that you will need to be a bit more, I would say, concessive to the players that just want to casually play and don't want to pay.

Devin: Yeah, I think we saw like Civilization, for example, get changed pretty significantly when they started trying to make mobile games, like these older style games from PC. They do feel like there may be a little bit hard to port as well to mobile, even if you weren't to try and modernize them from the monetization standpoint, things like that, just UI, UX with controls and things like that.

You're not on mouse and keyboard anymore. I do remember seeing, like when I was looking through Ubisoft stuff before they had done okay with Might and Magic re releases, for example. Like older ones, uh, on mobile that were like, just basically emulating the old ones. Obviously they phased that out over time.

That was like early, earlier days when there was like attempts to do a lot more like PC ports or console ports. So it would be interesting to see, in general, like Call of Duty, for example, was a pretty significantly different game in a lot of ways. From like the desktop or console version, but I think it did keep a lot of the essence of the game pretty intact while still changing a lot of the other elements.

So I guess that's the question is can they just keep the core enough the same that people like this is what I wanted, but obviously it has to change in some way. Otherwise like it becomes, just burning another brand. Like I said, like we would command and conquer is a good example of them continuing to like not.

Do that brand justice to the point where, it's like when blizzard announced Diablo for mobile, that sort of, Oh God, this, kind of thing whenever they announce it, but a new command and conquer game for mobile, that kind of thing. I just wonder, obviously we had some other games like, like Arclight rumble that were, that.

Better, much better recepted or received as opposed to, just try, I obviously like they could just call it something else other than age of empires and not have that risk, but then they don't get the the ease of marketing that they get. I just wonder also though, is there, do you think there's a large enough.

Age of empires audience that play mobile games, because obviously like it does skew a bit older only in the sense that it's an older game. Like the, the fan base probably goes back a bit more than, fortnight or something does. So obviously we all play mobile games here and we're a bit older there's, it's not like we're against it. I just wonder if the audience is really there for it or not.

Felipe: Probably. Yeah, probably is there, but not playing this type of game. So mobile, so not playing for X, maybe play more casually.

Dave: And it was, this hasn't been the first time that they've released stage of empire titles on mobile as well.

They did have Previous titles, at least one that I know of that was more mobile centric. Namely age of empires castle siege, um, which was both iOS and Android but that was launched a number of years ago, back in 2017. I think it was.

Devin: Was that pitched more as a spinoff kind of thing rather than a mainline title then?

Dave: Yeah, no, it was a separate, sorry, it was 2015 for iOS, 2017 for Android.

Devin: So quite a while ago. Is this one being pitched, Felipe, as more of a spinoff or as more of a mainline title, like sequel kind of thing?

Felipe: This one, I feel like it's the Main title. So I feel like that there will be many elements from return to empire that they put it here, but like Lisa would say, from what you can see there is like the age of empires game for mobile.

Devin: Okay, cool. Hopefully it does good. Obviously it's nice to not burn the old brands and do the justice and, build a new audience around it rather than just like milk a franchise. So I do hope that's good. Like I said I have some faith in Timmy as a developer. They've done a pretty good job.

With a lot of these games, I think, obviously opinions probably differ on their, their development style, but I think they've done a pretty good job at least making high quality experiences. Also hopefully that works out. Obviously I do wonder then, is this getting.

Like the Chinese release, you said, maybe this is already a game. That was the Chinese game getting ported or, is this something that's likely to come out? I mean, Obviously they have to deal with the lights getting approved and all that sort of thing, but, being Chinese developer, you think that would be an important thing for them to accomplish.

Felipe: Yeah, I would say it's not just a port because it's the game is named Age of Empires Return to Empire. So it's already using the brand and otherwise it would be more like just translating the game. And adapting like a little bit to, to make it more fit to Western audience.

So I feel like it's I would say probably it's a 2. 0 version of this one and then making it for the Western audiences.

Devin: Okay, cool. Hopefully that comes out good. Speaking of. Older games that uh, have a long standing audience with a new twist on them. I wanted to share an interesting success story since we've had a lot of those lately, most recently held diverse to empower world.

There was another one that I think probably parallels a bit more vampire survivors, which is ballot row. If you've heard of it, it's definitely been doing quite well. It is a rogue like poker game, which means. Poker is a core mechanic, but at the end of the day, it's like a roguelike deck builder sort of thing, in line with something like slay the spire, but not necessarily.

I think that's a comparison that probably draws a lot more analogies than are actually there, especially as the developer admits, he only played slay the spire, like just to see what their controls were like as specifically tried to avoid a lot of influences, which I think is interesting in itself.

So the big story here is that because of being a smaller game by a single developer. And on a publisher that mostly publishes smaller titles on Steam was profitable within one hour. And that's pretty good for, you hear that stuff with like Kickstarters like, Oh, funded in an hour. So like that, where that's really just, they set the number low.

This is the case where the game itself is profitable within an hour. To be fair, this developer was mostly developing it as on his off time. On his vacations as a hobby, things like that. So when it says become profitable, I'm not sure if that necessarily implies whatever he was paid by the publisher.

That, became profitable as in, it made more money than that or any mark. It doesn't sound like there's marketing for the most part, other than a demo that made the rounds. So I can't imagine there was a lot of costs there, but it is pretty interesting to see another small game. When we're constantly talking about layoffs and cutbacks and games that come out that flop and things like that, to see these independent developers make these games, just whatever they want to make and just iterate on it and iterate on it and make it really good and put it out.

And then. Be successful without huge amounts of marketing. Like I think held diverse too was another example that where there wasn't a huge amount of marketing. It just dropped all of a sudden. So it is really interesting to see this as a trend. Obviously it's not something you're going to bet on, right?

You're not going to be like, I'm going to quit my day job and I'm just going to start making. A game. And then it's going to be successful to be clear. This developer had been developing games for a long time, mostly just for fun, friends and family games. He wasn't employed as a professional game developer.

He was just working a kind of normal day job and just occasionally, on his vacation time or whatever, working on this game, just cause he thought it'd be fun. And it was just like, Oh, I'll take this poker mechanics and make this new more of a game. He was, I guess, inspired by. Seeing luck be a landlord, which was a slot machine deck building game, which is when a genre that has actually had a few different entries in different places that have always been a fan of that particular idea, which is interesting, but.

Never even actually played the game, just saw videos of it and was inspired and then went off and just was like, Oh, this would be a fun idea. I'd already been working on a game with cards in it. Let me just make this. And, this is not a game with huge amounts of monetization stuff. It's not some live service thing.

It's not some crazy game, tons of DLC and things like that. It's just small little indie game, pretty cheap. And I think vampire survivors is a good analogy, similar idea where a dude just made something because he wanted to make it while on vacation and continue to iterate on it because people liked it.

And in this case, I think it's one of those things that you can't really depend on, which is, streamers just picking it up. I think in this case, like I, I tried to look into how the marketing actually happened for this. And it was really just as some YouTubers picked it up. And then of course, I think there's like a bit of a copycat nature you get.

Where, YouTubers see other YouTubers doing stuff or Twitch streamers see other Twitch streamers playing something and it has that virality because they're like, Oh, I'm going to try that too, or people are interested in this. So I'm going to play it on my stream as well. And obviously you get lucky or not, but what are your guys thoughts in terms of this kind of development where you're just like, Hey, I'm just going to make what I think is good.

I'm a solo developer. I'm not going to quit my day job over it. But in this case, he did end up losing his job and then just worked on this more full time. Obviously that sounds risky. What are your guys thoughts in general on that sort of mentality around development?

Dave: I wouldn't bet the farm on it, but those, these types of passion projects are the ones that often do have that opportunity to kind of break through the noise when it's something interesting, something a little bit more unique to to what's out there.

And, you're not, as you said, Devin, it was profitable within a very short period of time, but it's costs were also really low, right? It's a single player or a single developer trying to build something that he considers fun. And with that, you need to find a niche, a niche audience.

And that's all you really need in order to, be a real success at it. Will we see more of it? The number of games that appear on Steam each and every day does make that difficult. There's a lot of noise out there, not at the same level, obviously, as you see inside the app store or inside the Android play store.

But there is that still that challenge to try to break through the noise. But I think when someone offers something, that's a little bit more interesting, a little bit interesting take on on what is out there right now, it certainly does have that opportunity. And especially if it's something that's know,

Devin: It's funny to call it niche when you got 30, 000 people online right now playing it

Dave: alone.

Felipe: Yeah. From my side, I really love this kind of stories, right? Like I feel like it make you reflect on how privileged we are to work in games and be. that our day job when you see people that have other jobs and in their free time they develop games for fun, right? So we are lucky to be doing a fun job for our daily job.

Devin: I'm curious to like on your guys's thoughts on this where I noticed that one of the aspects that seemed to help quite a bit was having a demo in the sense that a demo for a game like this really conveys the core gameplay very quickly, right? It's because it's a relatively simple game. If you're playing with poker hands and you're able to modify your deck over time, but you're basically playing with poker hands and that's what you're.

Taking advantage of this, discarding, drawing, playing hands. Obviously there's a little twist here and there to that, but like being a simple thing, that's easy to understand, but also being able to get hands on with a demo I've noticed demos have been something that, that pretty much had died for a while on steam and things like that.

And I think part of that was people would play, they'd be like, Oh, I get the idea, but I don't need to buy the full thing. And then I noticed demos had made a comeback over the last, maybe a couple of years, a lot of that tied to their sort of pseudo festivals. That they're running like next fest and things like that where they put out a demo.

That's like a time limited demo And I can tell you the number of demos I have in my steam library that are expired that I can't play From meaning to play them from those festivals. But i'm curious like in this case I think it did have a positive impact on getting people to convert even looking at the trending chart for the demo alone on steam charts was actually pretty high for just a demo.

Do you think this is something that is worth paying attention to for game developers? This idea of actually spending more time and effort on the idea of a demo, especially with wishlist being so important to steam these days in terms of marketing?

Felipe: In my case, I'm not very close to developing games for steam.

But I would say that's basically what we do in mobile. So mobile, we make a prototype that we call it a demo or whatever depends on the studio. They didn't call it a demo themselves. And then you put it in front of some players and you get some metrics and you understand if this is something that they like or not.

And also you get some info. On how you could make it better, right? And what's which direction you need to focus more. So I definitely think that this is important and useful before you put a lot of effort into building the whole game.

Dave: I think the, with the demos though, on the PC, though, I think it's a slightly different approach than what we're used to on the mobile side.

Maybe a bit more of a marketing. Aspect to it rather than looking for data in terms of what it's retention looks like. um, I am like, I am a fan of having demos out for games. The reason being is especially right now people they've got a limited amount of money to spend in their entertainment budget as costs go higher and higher and across all of the entertainment spectrums, people are, are going to be putting their money where they think they're going to get the most entertainment.

And being able to try something out um, before you buy it, I think does give you that opportunity to get really excited about something. If if it's not, if it's a pre release demo or if it's a demo that's available right away that, you feel like, Hey, this is something that's really interesting, exciting, something new.

I'm going to go and buy it. Especially when it's something that is a genre that is outside of the norm or a game that's outside of the norm. It gives you an opportunity to see that it is something that's. Fun and interesting. And yes, you do want to go spend some money on it. I do think that when people are putting demos together, they do need to go forward with creating a demo that makes people want to take that step to going and buying the full thing, not to that, as you were saying, Devin, they've played this and I'm like I know what the game's I've experienced everything I think there is. So why do I need to go buy it? It does need to be put together with a, with an intention of how am I going to convince the player to purchase? So I think in that aspect for the, it says share that that sense of what is my, what's my conversion going to look like that you, that we need to have inside mobile.

From much more of a, for that marketing perspective of how am I going to convert demo players into purchases?

Devin: I think it's interesting in light of free to play versus the PC side, because the PC side, we're talking about games that cost money up front to play, right? It's not free to play.

You can't just download them. And I think steam in general has had a tumultuous relationship with free to play, but in terms of its main audience, generally, like it has a free to play section, things like that. But those tend to be like, MMOs and some other games that, that make some sense to be free to play on scene, but in general, free to play mobile type mentality hasn't really done well on there, but it is interesting to see some strategies around cause I think back to shareware being like a big thing in the day and you had shareware discs and then you remember console games with demo discs.

Where it was like a good way to advertise your game as well. Cause it's a limited thing. How many of us just played that first level of prep of the rapper, like a million times. And when it's okay, I got to buy the full game. But in this case, I think there's an interesting twist to this around steam specifically in the ability to control that I hinted at earlier, which is this idea around if you release the demo during a time when the game's not purchasable.

And it's playable for limited time. And then by the time the game comes out, the demo shuts off and then it is no longer possible to cannibalize the sales because unlike demos that were like shareware ones and stuff back in the day that people could download and play whenever they wanted in this case, since it's running through steam, it can be shut off and you just can't play it.

Like maybe you could some way through offline mode kind of thing, but in general, they can actually turn off the demo that you've downloaded earlier. And now it can't actively cannibalize sales. So I do wonder if there's something there in terms of being able to take some of the advantages of free to play, which is allowing people to try out your game in a crowded marketplace where the two hour refund thing isn't enough to get a lot of people to buy games combined with the idea of okay we can actually prevent this from cannibalizing sales actively.

And instead the conversion isn't. Demo to sales is demo to wishlist to sales on release, right? Like it's a marketing tool now instead of a individual conversion tool.

Dave: No, I agree. Certainly definitely looked at as a marketing tool as well as looking at how can I set it up, especially so that.

People feel like if they've experienced something inside the demo, are they actually able to bring that into the main game and feel like they, the time that they spent inside that demo isn't actually wasted time. It's, it gives them that leg up and going into the main game itself.

Devin: I saw Ubisoft promoting that with skull and bones, like this idea that there was like, you could play it.

A certain amount of time they've essentially done a demo off their own game, but not called it a demo. It's just like a limited, you can play a limited number of hours or whatever, and then your progress will convert into the main game. Like they make that clear because they know it's a huge grind, but they're also making it clear that will translate.

And I think that's an interesting point is that is your demo time wasted? Are you putting effort into progress and then saying Oh, am I throwing that away to start over the main game? And I think the big. Point with that I run into is like, uh, do I have to do the tutorial again? That's the part you're like, okay, yeah Let me just skip that part because I already know how to play the game from the demo, right?

So I don't know i'm just interested in this as a trend going forward as games run into difficulties pushing sales Any of these new strategies that may help the other thing? I want to just briefly mention on this game was it does seem At least for me personally, it's scratched this itch of like having a solitaire type game open where it's just in the background like, you know, Marvel snap tended to have that category, but that also tends to be a little more attention sinking and that you're playing against another person with time limits, whereas this can just be kind of open, you can play.

As you play like solitaire or something like that. This idea of having these sort of idle games, obviously that makes it so there's more people online playing it, if they're just leaving it open, I do wonder if there's a, obviously we have idle on mobile, but if there's this certain market niche for.

Replacing Microsoft solitaire on desktop in some ways, right? These sort of background games, these games, you can casually play in the roguelike category, especially they're going to be different every time, but you do feel like you, you get a little bit better, so you make progress more on a skill level and not necessarily always on a meta progression level, but then also the game roguelike same with solitaire, right?

If you lose the game, whatever, it doesn't really matter. You don't feel bad. Same with this kind of game. All it runs over if that's fine, I can just start a new one. Is this kind of a category, like the way we saw cozy games evolved as a category, right? Do you guys think there's some potential here, whether that be on desktop or mobile, but especially on desktop where I doubt console has this kind of thing, but do you guys think there's something there?

Dave: I think to some degree, I think even like even some of the hyper casual games or hyper casual games for me were like that. There were just things that, whenever I just went to play and then came back, it wasn't about having a huge investment in time where I felt like I needed to sit down and.

Consciously block out an hour. Cause I know I'm going to be in front of the TV or in front of the PC for that period of time. It's more of something of, Hey, I'm going to go, I can play and spend the time. And I can go away without feeling a sense of concern that something's going to happen while I'm away from it.

So I do think, yeah, it's one of those easy things to have that just a couple of moments of escape, escapism before going back to real life.

Devin: Definitely need that. Especially if you're doing it like this, I feel like alongside the work PC, right? Where you're, if you're allowed to play games on your work PC, it seems like a good one, as you said, low anxiety when it comes to, okay, let me get some work done and I won't feel bad leaving it open kind of thing.

I don't know. I just, I think there's maybe a little bit of a space there for similar reasons to cozy games, whereas people are looking for a different type of game style when it comes to, like you said, not blocking it out. Like we do have at least steam deck, I think is helping. Create a space as well for a different style of gameplay.

That's more portable. Now we also have the, what if you're on your work PC and now that everyone's working from home, suddenly there is the potential for your work. We see to allow games because you're not using a lot of times a actual work PC. It's your home PC that you're working on. Some thoughts there, but on the opposite side of things, unfortunately from one man, solo developer to a whole bunch of people that may become solo developers soon we have some continued campaign of layoffs being a trend here, but I think with an interesting take on it from Dave.

Dave: Yeah, unfortunately Sony continues the unfortunate trend of the last while of announcing a large scale layoff. They've announced that they're laying off approximately 900 employees from its PlayStation division, which is about 8 percent of its global headcount. Now the layoffs will also affect a pretty wide variety of their studios, including Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla Games Fire Sprite, uh, as well as some of their technology groups.

And the biggest one obviously is the closure of their London studio. And this comes, just a few days after Sony announced that they missed their PlayStation 5 sales target. And they're also looking at some of the challenges around what those margins are inside the cost of games.

Sony President Totoki took the opportunity to talk about where they're looking at refocusing some of their efforts, um, and looking at putting more of its resources towards its PC and mobile. Stating delivering and sustaining social online experiences, allowing PlayStation gamers to explore our worlds in different ways, as well as launching games on additional devices, such as PC and mobile, require different approach and different resources.

While that's all good, talking about where they're, where they're looking to bring the focus to the future. That unfortunately does have the impact on a large number of employees for this across the studios. For me, interestingly, as you look at, the largest impact obviously being the London studio and FireSprite were a couple of the studios where they were focusing on VR efforts for PlayStation.

And if we can think back to the release of the PlayStation VR 2 Sony had some pretty lofty sales targets for the PlayStation VR. And ended up not true according to them, but it does seem they had set some lofty goals and then they had to bring those back. And, with, you're looking at the overall sales of PlayStation VR now trying to figure out how are they going to focus their their time and effort now that it does look like the uptick is not where they want it to be.

They're trying to look at what are new ways they can bring the PlayStation VR tech to other platforms. So looking at bringing The the VR to, to PC. So for me, it's on the VR side of things inside PlayStation. It does look like they are moving away from PlayStation or from VR development. But while at the same time trying to offer more opportunities for their current titles as well as any future titles to, to reach more people not just on the PlayStation five, but.

Across on the PC platform. My question to you, gentlemen, is do you see this really as a change in Sony's efforts towards VR? Does this potentially look at how much effort they're going to put towards a VR headset for PlayStation 6 when it comes out? Does this, is this another situation where, VR really, again, had that moment of excitement about, it's a new platform.

The things we can do VR are fantastic. And then, uh, unfortunately being let down that the sales just aren't there to really help support.

Devin: Kind of reminds me a little bit of Sony's handheld business with the the PSP and the Vita they tried a couple of times and the generations, then eventually we're I don't know, maybe this isn't for us after all.

And then you get the portal instead. Obviously the portal in a way is actually closer to the PSVR in that it's connected to the main platform as its kind of main thing. But it doesn't surprise me considering we also saw another company that's really fixated on, VR and other technology, other feature technologies kind of battle out, which is Ubisoft, basically after the flop recently of that Assassin's Creed game, Ubisoft was like, you know what, we love doing VR stuff, but it's just not there right now, or just not, we're not going to, And then on the other hand I find it interesting when you look at Capcom, what they did with like Resident Evil four, which was like, Hey, let's take something that we, people like that we think had a unique visual perspective that we can then maybe translate something interesting in VR.

I don't know if that was a huge profit for them. I don't know what the numbers ended up being, but I think I remember seeing it being relatively successful for at least remonetizing an older game with a. Minimum level of effort to port it. Is there maybe more possibility there when it comes to Sony, if they're like, Oh, well then we'll just port some of our games over instead of focusing on pushing on hardware and incurring these huge costs.

Maybe we can just remonetize old games. Like the way they're like, Hey let's, let's push out last of us remastered. The same sort of mentality and like, let's, let's at least monetize VR, but keep our costs and dedication to a really low until the market's there.

Dave: I do wonder even if they are going to go that far, just because the two main studios are two of the main studios that had that VR expertise.

Have either seen, a reduction. In personnel or being closed. I do think that certainly is the opportunity. I think probably more the case of let's look at scaled down games rather than trying to create a very large scale VR experiences I do think that there are some games that, are just absolutely phenomenal in VR and just love playing them.

And I do, I was at Capcom when they were first doing some of the first VR versions of some of the Resident Evil stuff and some of the senior exec staff couldn't play the game. There was like, I'm out, play for a little while and just say, I'm done. This is just too scary. Forget this.

So I do think there are some games that, that work very well inside the platform. I still love playing a number of VR titles, but I think overall the biggest challenge is that the marketplace just isn't quite there. For a large scale and potentially the amount of effort and costs that, that Sony was putting towards them.

And I think they're just going to see if they can open up the platform to as many developers that are interested in doing it and hopefully bring in more players, widen their potential player base that way first, and then go back and see, do this make sense to, to reinvest inside that space for them.

Devin: Felipe, thoughts?

Felipe: Yeah, I feel like for me, I was thinking that I don't know if you see it like that, but I think like for VR is still there hasn't been like this mass market product that really makes you buy the VR. And that's probably on one hand I would say probably if they stop betting on finding that product, then it doesn't matter what you invest in making the hardware, because you lack the product that will drive the people to get that for their home. But probably. Will make sense to in order to find that not focus so much on the graphics and all that stuff and focus more making it fun and maybe to focus on that you need a smaller team and even the bigger team is more destructive.

Then because you need to keep a lot of people busy doing things that are uh, relevant to the product that you're making, but maybe what you need there is more exploration with a smaller team. And that's probably part of the command that they have now is that. Okay. Yeah. Get back to. Squaresphere or try to think in innovative ways.

I'm using this as a interface for playing games and find that killer product that will make us tons of units of this. And probably in that sense could make sense. It's always unfortunate to, to hear this news.

Devin: Sadly, I guess that means a lot of experienced VR devs on the market. I feel like it started new VR studio and make that bet.

I did notice something interesting too. When we're talking about mass market and trying to find like a killer app is that um, you know, meta went from Really heavily promoting beat saber as their easy entry. This is exciting. This is why you want vr Into now they're pushing the workout app constantly.

I'm seeing ads for it on streaming services and YouTube and things like that pretty frequently. So they're very heavily leaning into okay, if you don't want, as a gaming machine, this is now a workout machine where people obviously spent a bunch of money on workout machines. When you look at Peloton, stuff like that.

There was obviously this idea that, okay, maybe there's money in home gyms and that sort of mentality. Obviously that's semit tangential gaming 'cause it's still gaming, right? They're still gamified it a bit, but it's clearly like more of an app. And I do wonder if the killer app ends up being an app and not a game in that sense.

Like obviously they're betting that to an extent, as well, because they're putting a ton of money into that. And they obviously hope horizon worlds gets to the point where that actually makes sense too. But do you think if we just, stop treating it as like a game console and treat it like a smartphone.

Instead, obviously that's what Apple's doing, right? Like with the vision pro do you think that's maybe an angle where that it makes more sense? Cause apps generally don't have huge teams the way games do. They don't necessarily have the huge costs. You're not gonna spend a hundred million developing a simple app.

And obviously beat saber was an example of game. That was probably a small team as well. But do you think like maybe there's some more future in thinking that direction and less about, oh, we just need to be a big game studio and make big games.

Dave: I think there are studios out there right now that are still along those lines.

They've done well. If you look people that were working on for the original quest. Or the quest two, those were team sizes, especially even further back go back to the HTC headsets. Some of the original stuff that valve was doing, those were teams that were small teams and they were focused on trying to find the fun.

And I do think that is probably the only real, the only team size that I would bet on right at this very moment, until we start seeing the market size increase. And I think that's the only way to really be able to have that level of sustainability as a company inside the VR marketplace is.

Small teams dedicated on finding, that fun experience without incurring a lot of costs in the development. And then once you do find that thing that, people really love playing, then just keep building on that. And, in the background, trying to find that the next thing that's a lot of fun, but yeah, I agree.

It's small teams right now and focus on the fun.

Felipe: And I guess it's the strategy that many companies are following now, right? Like Removing a budget from more risky. Projects and putting that more on the safer bets. So yeah, doing these risky times that you get this compromised.

Devin: I would say they almost could like de risk a little bit by training to take an existing franchise or brand and kind of build on that.

But the assassin's creed game, I think shows that even that isn't really a huge surefire path to success because that flopped. And you think that would have been a strong success because you. This is a good fit in a lot of ways. Like even the fiction of the game almost makes sense, the VR headset.

So it's, it seemed like a natural fit, but then clearly didn't work. And it certainly wasn't Ubisoft's first attempt at trying to do VR. Now that some of their attempts weren't half hearted, like the Star Trek one was not really. As good as it could have been. So they have had examples where they haven't put maybe enough effort into it, which was, that was probably a small team project as well, but they did show the potential to do something interesting that they just didn't take far enough, I think, but it isn't the question is, if we're talking about, trying to find the market and if it's, do we think it's still actually core gamers that own VR headsets?

Are we talking about people that maybe the problem is we're trying to build for the wrong audience? With these games. If the kind of people that own a VR headset generally, aren't the kind of people that own a PS five, then maybe there's just the mismatch that we're building for a lot of the times, if a fitness app is really the killer app or music based rhythm games actually turn out to be a lot more successful, which I think they generally have.

And I think some of the other music oriented games besides the beat saber have also been. Pretty consistently effective sometimes for even for overlaps with the workout Sort of genre that maybe it's just hey, this is a different market We need to stop thinking of it as a console And treating it like one and treat it as the way we did with the app store where it's Oh, maybe this is actually a different kind of market We need to think about this a little bit differently even though we had to take that approach right where it Thought oh saw hey There's potential to be actually appealing to a different market than we normally do and still find ways to occasionally cater to that overlap.

Felipe: I think it's interesting because probably it's not just that is not the same audience, but also is I would say the, maybe not the same moment that uh, so maybe you want to play a game and you want to chill down in the sofa and be relaxed.

And the VR experiences tend to require some activity. That's why probably the gym Could work because it's like, okay, now I want to do some activity. Oh, I put this and I do the activity and I feel more immersed and I blah, blah, blah. And it's more a connection with the mentality of the player at that moment.

Then probably other, other games that are requiring the player to some action while they are maybe not even having a prepared environment for that. that's probably the main reason for not jumping into it. And also, I don't know, it's like this experiences in the beginning, like maybe need to be more social.

And in that sense, maybe you prefer going to a VR place together with your friends that is more equipped and you will have much more fun. And you can go several times before you They spend the same amount of buying the hardware for your home.

Dave: I think that social aspect really is one of the challenges.

Like just being able to share an experience, the understanding of how how much more powerful being inside of VR experience can be and with, experiencing it that way versus experiencing that same thing on a flat screen, it doesn't really sell. The feeling that you're there, like having a, watching a video of someone walking along a piece of wood, that's an inch high and, and looking at it from the outside, you're like how is that grossing?

How is that scary? Or how does that listening sort of feeling you put a VR headset on? And then have that person walk across that one inch beam, but have it look like you're on a, an I beam that is hundreds and hundreds of feet inside the air. And you are scared, crapless, even though you know that thing is only like an inch high and you can't kill yourself if you fall off.

It's that sort of thing. That's really hard to sell without actually experiencing it. And I think that's one of the. Bigger challenges of VR, um, definitely in terms of the expanding that the marketplace going from games into fitness. I think where what we're seeing right now is that, yes, we're expanding the different.

Marketplace of central marketplaces. It's just the penetration depth isn't there, like the number of players that are the core game players are interesting thing. VR it's just a small group that really feel the compelling need to go out and buy the hardware and play the games.

And so I think as we go out into the fitness side of things, yeah, we're going to find the same thing that it's, we're broadening the. Broadening the audience, potential audience, but the depth of actual people that that convert into actually playing in that is will still be fairly shallow.

Devin: Felipe had a good point though. It is like, as, as a core gamer myself still, like I found over time, even when I was playing games, they become, they became like a workout excuse instead in the sense that I think like what you said, Felipe, that made a lot of sense to me was this idea that the.

Intention of what you want to do with VR kind of has to be physical, or it's like a mismatch to what you're doing. I'm not going to play ballot row when I want to be playing, a beat saver and vice versa. And so I started, ended up looking at my quest to as like a workout machine, I'm like, okay, I'll play, this game To play, to just get a workout, to like do it for whether it's a music game or whatever the music games tended to be the ones that worked the best because it was like, it felt like I was playing a game, even though I was really working out pistol whip was the name.

I was trying to think of pistol whip actually became my workout game, even though it's a game and a music game for that, right? You just tweak it to be more settings. That makes sense for working on. And I was like, that was my workout routine was like pistol whip and like a drum simulator game. Like it was a really good drum game because that was a great upper workout.

And it's just kind of funny how it still shifted towards that mentality of like, do I want to be physical right now? Otherwise I'm probably not. The other thing I noticed is outside of workout and music, the thing that keeps getting mentioned, and I think is interestingly, one of the best kind of is seems to be scaring yourself in horror, whether you're talking about the plank experience or resident evil or just these horror experiences, even when I've done VR amusement stuff in other countries and things like that, it tends to be horror.

And so it's kind of funny that it, that is and we do see actually a lot of horror games, even on a PC and console become a niche lately, especially these kind of indie ones, partially led by stuff like five nights at freddy's leading into these other ones, like even lethal company is still a horror experience and these survival based games that are also overlapping with horror.

Tend to be like a trending thing. So it is interesting. And you talk about social experiences, maybe it's more fun to watch people get scared sometimes than it is in that, at least for, streaming experiences and stuff like that, watching people freak out and scream. And I'm curious when you mentioned the social stuff, then how well among us and roadblocks have done, because those are two geared more towards social experiences that like, I'd be curious to see the numbers, farther out now that the release was a while ago, especially for among us, because that's a port that didn't necessarily need to happen. But I'd be interested to see if that actually made a difference in roadblocks. On the other hand, it's more just let's be on every platform. So I don't know if you're really going to get like a huge shift for that one, but it would be interesting because there's not really a great UGC platform a lot of times for VR outside of, some more niche sort of things.

But anyways uh, moving on to other platforms that are also struggling to find a huge marketplace just in the interest of time, apple arcade. Going through some interesting uh, I guess, growing pains at this point.

Felipe: Yeah. So yeah, on Apple Arcade there's been recently an article by mobilegamer. biz that was showing some conversations with different developers and publishers that are working with with Apple Arcade lately, and that has been like saying change in the performance.

Or the revenue they're get, they're getting from working on a arcade. There are some concerns that were shared in this article that there is a declining in payout both in a upfront that normally you got when you close the deal with them, but also in the per play bonus pool.

Payments there have been also some canceled projects and some strategy shift that is not clear and all of these mentioned overall is very difficult to working with Apple on especially in upper arcade because of lack of transparency and communication. There's seem to be a shift in Apple that probably is not cascading fast enough, or it's not probably even marketed.

So probably some developers are struggling because of that. They don't know exactly that they are changing the focus and then they try to keep to fit in the previous strategy that no longer they are willing to invest. So current focus it's more on family friendly games with big IP games for kids.

Probably can see that the upper gate is very relevant to parents that want to have a experience for kids that are free of ads and like control. You had, that there is quality. So probably that's what they are seeing. And that's why they are focusing there also. Trying to get some uh, repurposed free to play games with the ads and in apps removed as they call them, the app store grids.

And in general, there is very limited marketing support for developers, like even just like getting promotion in the app store, things like that. So probably that's also making them struggle and seeing like the. the money that they are getting from this is being lower and that there's no support from them.

And I feel like probably all this has get worse with eruption of Netflix their games subscription here. Netflix is pushing hard for making their space here and probably are offering much better deals and that's creating like probably an inflation there they're giving more than what the platform generates, to make market size.

And probably that's what creating also the situation. And there were some comments of like upper arcade developers, like getting the feeling of being punished because also having signed with Netflix on some deals. Probably now is the underlying fight between the two platforms trying to keep the.

The leadership on this type of subscription and all this we're commenting about some underlying issues of lack of passion of an investment from the Apple leadership compared to other ventures like music and TV. And that also the payment instructor and how you get paid is not clear. It's a black box.

So you don't know also either how to improve your game that is live or how to create your next game in order to. to make it more more engaging or, more, more profitable in the, in this platform. Yeah I don't know what you feel about this. They have some experiences like not very close with Apple Arcade and indeed.

Just hearing my my, my colleagues speaking about how was the relationship with the counterparts, I feel that I already reached a similar conclusions here I don't know, feeling that probably there is a shift of strategy or you are talking to some people on Apple, but eventually there are some of this is being taken upwards that are not cascaded well.

Downwards and these are the communication points that you have and things like that. So I don't know what do you think Apple Arcade needs to do in order to keep relevant and keep growing?

Dave: So I've developed games for both Apple Arcade and Netflix. And I definitely will say this the person I was working directly with at Apple Arcade, that was a fantastic experience.

I loved working with a gentleman, I won't mention his name. He was a manager for our game and for our studio. And there I felt like we had a really good person that was able to, listen to us work through any challenges in that. Now, that being said, I think what you're talking about in terms of but the overall Apple strategy is that I agree is something that is certainly challenging in terms of what is it that they're trying to do with it as a platform?

How does it fit inside the overall Apple ecosystem? I certainly do think that there are a lot of questions around what is it that they're really trying to do with it. It certainly is that concept of, being able to provide a place, a safe place for people to play games free of ads, free of IEP.

And I do think that the games that are built, specifically for. The environment for, for apple arcade do a really good job of that. Like it really does feel like it's, a game of old where you paid your doll, you paid your money and then that was it. There were no ads, no, no sales pitches for why you should do any IEP.

I think where it does fall down in many times from the games that I've been playing inside Apple Arcade is with some of the app store greats where they've taken games that you can tell were built for a free to play business model and all they've done is just pull out, Like even a lot of the stubs are still there for, Hey, you can buy this for a dollar 99 only it's now, Hey, you can buy this for free.

And there's still like a lot of the remnants are there. It's not like they were able to spend a lot of time pulling out all of those free to play. Components and fill in the holes that were actually left, the holes still feel like they're there. So I do think that's where some of that really is falling down where, they're trying to bring games that have done really well inside the inside the app store in a free to play environment and bring them inside inside the app store, but they still feel.

Broken in a way, just because the, they were made to be played a certain way with a certain business model in place that's been stripped out, but the UI hasn't caught up to that.

Felipe: Yeah. It's like playing poker with a real money. Yeah. Yeah. It's the, there's no, no interest.

Devin: And it’s fine.

Felipe: Okay that's a different case.

Devin: He'll throw in the callback.

Dave: But I definitely do see, there certainly is a difference in strategy between, what Apple is doing and what Netflix is doing. And there's a difference between how they structured their deals bonus pool versus no bonus pool. The types of games that they're going for.

Apple's certainly more focused on the family friendly than what you see inside Netflix. Netflix certainly can't say that they're family friendly and then bring in all of Grand Theft Auto into their category portfolio. And they're really, you do see that difference in terms of what it is that they're trying to do, what kind of audience they're trying to bring across.

Devin: I think there's a, an important contrast as well between the two with Netflix and Apple, like in terms of both monetization and strategy, which is that Apple is charging directly for the service, right? Like you are paying, you're getting these games. Whereas Netflix is doing it similar to what Amazon prime did, Originally, which is like, well, we're just going to add it to what you're already paying for your subscription service.

So in a way, it's more of just a cost outlet. Like it's not something that's making them profit. Netflix for the most part, in theory, this could be making Apple profit, like probably isn't just based off of the cost. Although I imagine they're trying to close that gap, which is probably why the payouts are going down.

But Netflix has another agenda here, which is. They can push for transmedia stuff, which means they're going to take properties that are successful, like stranger things Marcos, things like that that they can try and translate into other games, whether those already exist and they bring them in or are ones that are just, Hey, this is a pop popular IP on our service.

Let's try and include this kind of game. Even I found it interesting that Ubisoft did a brand new Rainbow Six related game. They released about a week ago Rainbow Six Small, S M O L, which was just totally like this. Sort of random thing. And it's, and I'm changing the thing. I'm like there's been no rainbow six, show or anything on Netflix, but they did actually have captain laser Hawk recently where they, where Ubisoft did a lot of stuff with them.

And then you see like legal legends actually has a fair number of games under here that, that Netflix sponsored. So they are sort of playing out these transmedia game properties and things like that. Like it wasn't a captain laser Hawk game, but it wouldn't shock me to see one. And so I think it is interesting, like different agenda.

Apple has apple TV plus, but I don't think we're going to see like a lot of those shows turn into games on apple arcade. It's probably even different divisions within the company that don't really have that overlap in communication. You're talking about that hierarchy, right? Of course, netflix is a little more like we're a media related company and everything's under this media umbrella And it makes more sense.

So I think there's like a difference in synergies difference of business models In terms of how their approach is. But at the end of the day, like both of them are probably losing the company's money more than making the money. And it's more about like market share and acquiring customers and keeping customers and things like that.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah. They're not meant. I think that is something that Netflix is trying to figure out. How can they monetize off of the. The games and what that model ends up being, it's a good question. If it's more of an ad supported, are they going to add in some potentially some IEP opportunities, but make them much more um, either early access or additional cosmetic types of things.

I do expect that Netflix will be diving pretty hard into figuring out how can they. Get some additional monetization out of their titles. Whereas I don't think that will end up being a situation, Apple. And I definitely do agree, Devin, that Apple's the, their movie division, their music division, their games division I think they very much are divisions, like they are silos that focus on what they do and they aren't necessarily probably similar to Sony, right?

Devin: Where like they have some trees of media opportunity, but they're pretty different businesses within the umbrella.

Dave: I think so. And it's, certainly not the, as you said, Netflix as a company, I think is structured differently and they are looking for more opportunities to have those transmedia opportunities throughout for all of their properties.

Devin: I guess the question then for you both is like, uh, you know, Netflix aside, looking more at Apple arcade and Google play pass. Do you think these business models even make sense? Obviously it was like a, Hey, let's try and offer a premium curated. for some games and apps to allow people to try stuff out without having to spend money and like a different angle on free to play to make it not free to play, but where it's just free to completely play.

And obviously as you said, that's wonky in itself, where if you did build for that, do you think in general that these sort of premium services for a non really premium price, makes sense because they can't just keep jacking up the price to accommodate for inflation, right?

They're not going to, I mean, you see that with the streaming services where they maybe go up by a dollar, every other month, it seems at this point, but then they start to be like then we've got to figure out how to put ads or whatever. Is there even possibility for the fact that both Google and Apple now are an ads business?

Is there then possibility for ads to be injected, but ads to be injected provided by Google and apple into these services where it's not just random ads They are the ad provider and that way when you're participating in apple's ad services, you know You're getting put into these games where in theory It's maybe a more qualified audience because they're willing to pay for that premium service And therefore like maybe it's actually good to get your eyes in front of there Like do you think there's sense there to keep the business alive or things like that.

Felipe: I think it depends a lot on when you, when we speak about whether that this makes sense. It depends a lot on the situation of the company and how much synergy they can put into this. And then also, which is the position in the market, right? Whether they're, they are a leader in this or not.

So I think like in, in this case the situation, as we said, is much more different for Apple than for Netflix, right? Netflix, I guess that they're trying to. To bring more engagement to their audience, to keep them more loyal to as there are other competitors, like having other streaming services, like they can have people renewing more time, the subscription and having them spend more time within their.

Ips and engaging in different ways and gain some markets and market position, right? And they could build synergies as you were mentioning from okay, I unlock first this content in the game, or I tease you what the new season is going to be. Or release a game in order to keep the awareness or the people excited about and IP while.

I'm making this in the next season or things like that, right? I feel in the other platforms it would be different, right? But I feel like for, and even for Xbox Game Pass, right? Like sometimes that you need to have a strategy behind the action, right? What's the strategy is I want to sell more Xbox.

So I have more people migrating from PlayStation to Xbox. Maybe I can. Accept, like having lower profits in order to gain more market and then eventually have like more chances of interacting with larger user base. So I think that all these needs to be taken into account and what the long term plans, not just looking at what's the sort of the result of all of it.

Dave: Yeah I do think that Netflix is in a much easier position in that regard than Apple is adding in ads goes completely against the brand promise of Apple arcade, right? So the brand promise of Apple arcade is it's, we're not going to hit you with ads.

We're not going to hit you with IP. It is about, we're going to bring you some quality games that you've you're basically paying for it with your subscription. And that's where any sort of monetary transactions going to, is going to occur. Netflix has said, none of that.

Netflix has said, Hey, with your subscription, you can play some games. They have no brand promise in there in terms of there won't be any additional monetization opportunities inside there, they've started off with with mobile games and, they, and they did all start off with no monetization requirements for the players, but that wasn't necessarily part of their brand promise.

Devin: Well, it's like, Hey, it's free. You get what you get. Come on. Yeah. You didn't pay really for this. Come on. No one subscribes to Netflix for the games.

Dave: But I do think, yeah, and then I think it's Felipe said there, it's about trying to create things that engage the consumers for in between seasons, the stranger things player or fans are going to engage with the games while they're waiting for a season five to come out.

But I do think that the brand promise that Apple Arcade has made is making it difficult for them to be able to figure out what are additional levels of monetization they can make outside of that initial subscription.

Devin: Do you think there's any strategy behind the idea of going family friendly in the context of Apple has struggled with the idea of in app purchases being a problem dealing with minors.

In the sense that like, you know, kids want to play all these free to play games. And then of course they start racking up bills and then Apple has to keep like adjusting how they do it at purchases. And they have to deal with all these huge refunds and all that stuff. So that's always been a bit of a problem.

Whereas let's say you're Apple and you go, Hey, you know what we'll do? We'll make it easy on parents. We will allow parents to just pay a little bit extra money a month, and there'll be this wide selection of games and apps that are okay for their kids. To be part of it's like YouTube kids or one of these Netflix kids mode, right?

Where there's just this idea of like, Hey, it's the sandbox your kids can play in with high quality games, because we've spent money to make them high quality that are not going to be something that, secretly drains your wallet throughout the month. And you can feel okay with your kids playing this.

Do you think there's some strategy behind that mentality? Like I said, similar to, Netflix kids or YouTube kids, the idea of kids safe sandbox area. Yeah.

Dave: I think that I do think there is to a degree, I don't know if it's necessary to the degree of Hey, we're going to make sure that parents aren't having those unknown charges for games.

 One of the games I worked on was one of the games that caused Apple to change a whole bunch of their policies around credit cards when people started getting 1, 000 bills because their kids were buying Smurf berries. I think it was more about providing an environment, as you said, you know, environment that for families to be able to play games where they felt safe from what?

Some people say our predatory practices in terms of pushing ads and IAP towards players. I don't necessarily think that they're looking entirely for the monetization side of things, stripping that out of games because well. They make a crap load of money from all of that monetization and they I, I really don't see them limiting themselves from there.

They've been working really hard to maintain that 30 percent cut on all the monetization for their games.

Devin: So very true. They definitely don't want to weed that out. It's just throwing it out there because as you guys are saying, you know, Kind of try and keep an eye on what is the strategy here.

And I think it sounds like from this news that maybe they're at that point where they are also asking themselves that question and trying to figure out what the future of that is. And obviously Google you got to imagine is in the same boat, but where, it's not as exciting to talk about Google's play pass, I think, as it is Apple arcade, right?

Even though they kind of the same thing, but anyways we'll definitely see where that goes in the future. And and I don't think it will. Probably lead to a apple arcade for vision pro anytime soon to help solve that VR problem. But you never know down the road. Right. I think it will avoid the games,

Dave: the games on apple arcade on the most part are available on vision.

There you go.

Devin: So there's one potential slight strategy. A very expensive strategy for those jumping into the vision pro, but definitely something to consider when it comes to trying to establish value for their

Dave: platforms. If you can afford a vision pro, you can afford to pay for the half work.

Devin: Yeah. I think you can afford the games too. They probably not have to do that, but yeah, definitely definitely interesting to see where that ends up going, right? Like I think we'll all be watching just in general subscription models over the next couple of years and see where they end up.

We got game pass, we all these other quote unquote passes and arcades and other things that are, all in a weird spot. And I think we'll see, obviously Microsoft's got a pretty relatively clear strategy. And I think the other ones maybe have yet to show it. So we'll see as we go forward. But I want to thank, of course, everyone for tuning in and Dave and Felipe as well.

Thank you for just joining in for a conversation that probably could go on much longer than we will. Force you to sit through, but hopefully you guys enjoyed it. Like a lot of uh, areas to explore, a lot of markets closing and opening up kind of at the same time, the sort of door closes, window opens kind of thing.

And an interesting, exciting opportunities for indie developers, I think, still potentially there. And I think that's good news amongst the less good news. But we'll definitely be here with a future mix as well next week. And and lots of exciting things to talk about going forward.

So make sure to tune in, but in the meantime, have a good weekend and we'll catch you guys next week.

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