In this week's Roundtable, the squad unpacks the seismic impact of Nintendo's legal victory, securing a $2.4M settlement against the Switch emulator Yuzu, a move that has dramatically reshaped the emulation landscape. We then pivot to Netflix's strategic foray into gaming, spotlighting its latest coup in bringing the critically acclaimed indie darling Hades to mobile platforms, signaling a deeper commitment to integrating premium gaming into its ecosystem. The conversation shifts to the ever-evolving acquisitions landscape, including the recent sales of Saber Interactive's and Jagex, which hints at private equity's growing role in the gaming industry's future. Amid the flurry of industry upheavals, we also take a moment to shine a light on the positive trends and standout successes that have emerged early in 2024, offering a counter-narrative to the often gloomy industry headlines. Join us for all the latest games business news with Aaron BushAnil Das-Gupta, and host Devin Becker.

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We’d also like to thank Lightspeed Venture Partners for making this episode possible! With its dedicated gaming practice, "Lightspeed Gaming," the firm is investing from over $7B in early- and growth-stage capital — the by far largest fund focused on gaming and interactive technology. If you’re interested in learning more, go to

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

Devin: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another Naavik round table. I'm your host, Devin Becker. And with me, of course. Excellent guests as we usually have here. Aaron and Anil, how you guys doing?

Aaron: Howdy, great.

Anil: Yeah, looking forward to rocking the double A power today.

Devin: The double A power, that's right. If only my name started with it or we could have another D on here. We could be D cells, but yeah, I, we had GDC coming up. I'm sure a lot of you excited. I will be there and I believe Aaron will be there.

Aaron: Yeah, I will be there too. So quick plug, if you want to chat with me chat with Naavik about working with us in some way, whether you want to explore our consulting, some type of partnership, whether it's content related whatever is on your mind please let us know. We'll attach a link in the show notes, so it's just a quick form, fill it out, let us know let us know what you're interested in and I will do my best to get back to you.

I can't promise that I will be able to have time for everyone that submits. Time is scarce, unfortunately, but I'll make sure to get back to you no matter what. And even if we can't meet at GDC, maybe we can. Find another time.

Devin: Awesome. I've set up my own forum just for, play dates or something.

Definitely going to be a lot of, it's going to be a busy GDC from what I've heard from everyone that's the attendance, at least from the crowd that, we run in, it can be very high, I think this is probably the GDC I've been asked if I'm going to GDC the most. Yeah, it's usually a sign that everyone's going for them.

Anil: Yeah, I care code those sentiments. It feels a lot bigger than last year

Devin: Which is kind of given that you the layoffs you think people would be like I can't afford to go now because I don't work in the game industry temporarily something like that where it's but it doesn't seem to be the case. It seems like a lot of people are like, this is just an opportunity then to rectify that potential.

Anil: Yeah. I think as well, it's like a broader story. Times are a changing in the games industry. And maybe that means it's time for some bold moves and big announcements. And I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some of those. I hope so in GDC.

Devin: Yeah. Time to bring out the big guns and really capture the attention of everyone.

Speaking of good news, we have, some positive news in here. It's a bit of a mix, but in general, as usual, lots of things happening in the game industry. I don't think this year started off quiet and I don't think it's going to end quiet either. I think this is going to be as you just said, a pretty busy year.

Why don't we just jump into the first thing here, which is Maybe I'm not on the positive side, but we'll be, it will be interesting to see where it goes, which is Nintendo as everyone knows, is not a big fan of emulators, unless they're the ones selling the ROMs on their virtual console or Nintendo online thing.

In this case I guess reasonably looking at it as a piracy tool rather than as a, collector's fan sort of thing. Have sued the pants off pretty much Yuzu, a switch emulator for over two million dollars is what they ended up settling on. And of course, that emulator is just done at this point.

There's no way it's going to keep doing it. And that has already also shut down their 3DS emulator. They had it on the same umbrella. And basically through chilling effect shut down multiple other emulators even shut down Conversations about emulators in this case like on steam deck and just fan base channels pretty much the definition of a chilling effect from a lawsuit.

We'll see where this goes, but this was definitely while just chump change to nintendo. It's definitely A pretty big blow to emulators, which i'm not sure how much they were making You But I don't think it was this level and this is definitely a Sort of punishment level I think loss in terms of the amount for the type of thing.

And so in this case, obviously emulators are not necessarily, big business or anything like that in terms of the way people are looking at it. It's not necessarily something that drives business, but as I mentioned with the virtual console, that was a thing before. Nintendo is one of the few companies that is selling essentially emulated versions of their games.

Other companies tend to package them in like collectors, whether it be, like a pack of a few games or remasters, whatever. Nintendo's like, okay, we will basically, emulate and sell you access to that, which to be fair, then that's them saying we have a reason to sue you because you're basically pirating what we are actively selling.

It's not outdated things that are no longer accessible. Nintendo. Which, of course makes it back true. In this case, Switch games, of course, are not a virtual console. That's still a legit business. And you don't even see Nintendo even mark their own games down when they're old. The idea of somebody emulating them for the price of zero obviously doesn't sit well.

But, I guess the question is there anything you guys think this could have an effect on the games business? In a minor or major way, that is maybe not obvious.

Anil: I think it can do it in a kind of unusual way. From a business standpoint, no, it doesn't. It's a very small fry with the amount of sums that we're talking about.

But I do think this is an interesting story for a few reasons. I do feel that one thing we've seen recently is, look at Sony. Sony do now release their games on PC. Perhaps they have a one year exclusivity on their home console before they go to PC. But with the industry becoming more and more consolidated and margins getting lower, The ability to grow your revenue outside your own primary platform is something that many companies looking into now.

Nintendo have never done that. They've always resisted the urge to do that for years. They really protect their own platform, like almost to a mafiosi level. And that one of the reasons why, PlayStation became a thing is because people were fed up paying for the charges. So that the emulator, I think.

People might not openly say it, but I think piracy, probably was the number one thing people were using it for. But I do have to say that I, I know of quite a big use case of many people that did own a Switch, and even did own the games, but liked it. Using emulators because you could play the games on your PC and it also meant that you could up res the games and make it look better.

So for example, I remember seeing one of the Zelda games running on this emulator with some custom mods on it and the game already looks beautiful, but it looks absolutely stunning. And this is not something that they like to facilitate. So I do wonder if it's, is it going to come back and bite Nintendo?

Absolutely not. But I wonder if, they are quite an old fashioned traditional company in that sense. And perhaps there could be something there. Look, the reality is that, then these guys dialed back on their, the emulators basically over right away, but not only that, it's.

Spooked every other emulation project out there. It is also notable that a lot of Japanese companies, they tend to clamp down on fan projects as well. You sometimes get things like, Oh, someone's trying to do like streets of rage to remake of a 25 year old game. And they'll be like, no, you can't do it.

Even though that code is there, but you could say that, another case of emulation I can think of that I thought was actually quite successful was main. So if you remember that, that's like the arcade ROM emulator. That happened many years ago. And now, many people own things like main cabinets at home where you can play lots of games.

And I felt that kind of had a bit of a resurgence in retro gaming in general. And now you get things like the retro consoles that people made and they sell quite well around Christmas. So, um, Going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I think there is something to be said there that may be, this is speaking to maybe Nintendo look at it as just piracy, but there could be something else there that they could tap into and going a bit broader and not just trying to make people only buy Nintendo based products.

Devin: Yeah. As someone who owns one of those kind of main cabinets here, but also owns all of the. Classic consoles, like the SNES Classic, things like that. I also own the actual hardware still. This place is like a museum sometimes when it comes to the fact that I have a Virtual Boy here, like that was a legit one I owned.

I still have my original Game Boy that came with Tetris. But that doesn't stop me from still having these things. Maybe even at convenience, maybe I know that the wear and tear on those systems I don't want to play it on those systems for fear of just destroying or maybe you want to play it on my phone.

And there is definitely use cases. And I also wonder how many people bought, say the SNES classic, which of course Nintendo profited from surely to then also add emulated games to it, right? Like Nintendo still made the money from it. And then you also wonder about Nintendo's switch online. Nintendo line emulator on Switch is built off the backs of basically, I think, an open source Linux based emulator, and so they certainly do benefit from the technology.

But at the same time, I do wonder if this is just Nintendo, are you still, is it still free game on Sega or any of those, especially with Sega not even having the hardware anymore? Or, maybe if it's Japanese companies, maybe outside of that although most of them are Japanese companies, Sega, Sony, Nintendo, that's, it's hard to find.

You just, I don't think anyone's emulating Xbox when you could already probably play the games on windows anyways, but I digress. It's, it'll be interesting to see if there is knock on effects. I do think there is Obviously some talent loss perhaps from that even when it comes to like you said, the remixes or I always think of Christian Whitehead who was, famous for a Sega emulators that he did.

So good that say like Sega hired him and he was a big part of Sonic media. And that, I thought that was great. That was how you do it. The basically the complete opposite of what Nintendo did. With that being said, nintendo's free to do what they want with their property and there's a good reason why they do it But I do wonder if this is not as much of a positive for Nintendo as they would like.

I don't think they were losing a ton of money over but clearly they do think they were so They might have better numbers on that than I would

Anil: Nintendo often do unusual stuff like this though like another one that's loosely connected is you know loads of fighting game players like Smash Brothers and they like some of the older games and they wanted to run their own tournaments for it and Nintendo actually won't run official tournaments for the game because it's not seen in their image and I feel like any other company would embrace that and build out some sort of sub You know, division in their company to handle it in the respectful way and they're like, no, we're not touching this with a 20 foot pole.

It's just very interesting. Like I say, they're a very traditional company, but look, they're so successful that they can't really blame them for their moves that they make.

Devin: It's like the dark side of fandom. It's like something that Disney deals with all the time too, right? Where, as a company that's similar or even Apple, like the more popular you are and people trying to celebrate that popularity might be doing it ways that you're not happy about.

And then you've got to slap down your own fans just to keep everyone under control. So I will say but in terms of cross platform things in a more positive light Netflix has actually been continuing to throw money at its own ports over to mobile.

Anil: Yeah, so let me tell you this one.

So I found this very interesting news. So Netflix is going to be publishing and launching Hades, which is by Supergiant Games. That game's been out for a while. It's coming out at the end of this month, March the 19th as an iOS exclusive. So I find this interesting for a couple of reasons. One, I feel like Hades is like that.

a super well established game. It's the darling of many people, but also quite a commercial success. I would say for a small studio, I own it twice. I can say that right now. It's a brilliant game. I play it on my steam deck quite a lot. So I think it coming to a mobile makes a lot of sense.

And this is not something that they rushed. They've taken like a full year to develop it. They say that they really try to make it work. To be best in class. And then, there are other things like haptic controls. So I find this a bit unusual why this has been done with Netflix, because I feel like super giant could release it themselves and not have to, be at the mercy of some sort of, you know, logins or sign ins or having things like this.

So there's probably. More coming down the line, what else do Netflix do? Do they do animated series? Do they do other tie ins? Could they do a push? So look, I think from Netflix point of view, I think it's a huge pickup. I do know that they have done some other published games in the past, but I think in terms of both Quality and status.

This is a really big one. I feel I'm quite interested to see what happens with this. And I think it'll be quite successful. I've got a feeling and I'm curious, like what sort of tie ins they have related to this release and what's next, because I feel like if they're going for this one, what else do they have in store?

I think there's probably some other quite juicy stuff coming down the line. And I think this is a real signal of intent for me from what they're going to be doing coming forwards.

Aaron: Yeah, it makes sense to me given that Hades wouldn't be successful on mobile given it's a premium game, really, and so it makes sense to be bundled with something like Netflix which would automatically, give it potentially a very large audience, and for a smaller studio, whatever sum of money Netflix is handing over for it is probably Pretty worthwhile to them.

And also I'm not that surprised on the Netflix front either. I think this is the kind of thing we're going to see much more often from them. Obviously, as we talked about many times, like they're still experimenting, they're finding their footing with their strategy. Their business model all of that.

And that is going to continue evolving for a while, but The strategy really just like on a most basic nuts and bolts level It was always going to start with licensing like very simple things And then grow its way up to licensing Even better games such as Hades now, which you know one game of the year like it's an awesome game yeah, you know to you know from there similar to what they did in video then branching off to making their own games which we're starting to see more of but that of course takes time to really unfold and they're still figuring it out And the biggest question mark with Netflix, honestly, is the UX, more than anything, especially for, like, how people are going to play games on TVs that's the ultimate thing to solve for.

But these types of pickups, I think, will become more normal for Netflix in the months ahead which is really interesting. And it does open a window for, potentially more premium games being ported to mobile in a way that could just immediately, Make sense and be a differentiator for Netflix too.

Devin: I mean, it makes sense as well to target the high end of AA in terms of popularity without, because I can imagine what they spend for it is definitely better. In terms of value if they're like, Hey, we're bringing better like value to our brand in terms of the quality of games we're bringing over without having to bring over the high end in terms of AAA.

Now that, that being said, they still brought over GTA San Andreas. But that's an older title, right? So it's. They're trying to find that sweet spot where they're like, they're not trying to bring Call of Duty over to Netflix, but they're definitely going to bring stuff that they know people like, that is high quality, but also not, super crazy to port, generally like 2D or like isometric in the case of Hades.

And Hades wasn't even necessarily the first one in that sort of genre. Dead Cells was the one they did before and was a good test case. And that probably helped get the Hades deal going in terms of if that did well. Then people, then they're probably like, okay, then, we obviously have an audience for this type of game.

And also there's the reverse of what you're talking about. I know where in this case, for example it is a little bit of a missed opportunity as I joked with you before about dead cells in the Castlevania DLC not existing on mobile yet, despite the Castlevania anime. And there's still ample DLC to be brought over and that tie in to be made.

But if they see a huge pickup, for example, in Hades, the game being played, because they'll have all the analytics for that, which, Netflix loves. Those numbers to decide what to produce they can go. Hey now we could justify producing a hades anime, right? They don't have to decide immediately ahead of time and this also leads in for super giant.

This is a no brainer because As Aaron said, they get the money to do the port, support with the port. They also get extra media attention from Netflix doing it, as we're talking about it right now. But also, they're supposed to be releasing the second one approximately in Q2. So this is like, hey, cool, free promotion with the old one, get people excited about it.

Hopefully an audience that hasn't already played the game, maybe just Netflix people looking to go, hey, what else what can I play off this? Now suddenly our, now brand recognition of Hades, Hades 2 comes out. I don't think Netflix is paying to immediately port it to mobile, but this, this is like a win situation, especially for AA and Indy, and there's been some other great games like Into the Breach, Moonlighter, the Ninja Turtles Shredder's Revenge, which was like a great Indy like a sequel, remake, whatever you want to call it, and then as I mentioned, the GTA games, so I think, they've been doing a pretty good job of bringing at least some good recognizable ones, even if they're bringing sometimes IP with with the twist the previously mentioned Rainbow Six Siege small world, or like some of the other weird ones like the Shovel Knight one, things like that.

They're, They're definitely targeting that sort of indie crowd or the high level indie quality stuff. So they have a strategy, it seems like at least, as you said, Aaron is probably looking to go up if they find success with it in terms of what they're willing to spend.

Aaron: Because you said like, yeah, they're not tar targeting Call of Duty.

Like one of my like spicy takes that I think I've shared before is that Ubisoft now has the cloud streaming rights to call of duty for the next decade. Like I, I actually feel like there's much higher odds than people think that someone like Netflix, like Ubisoft will sell, , will sell access to a Netflix.

Again, it's just all about the UX and solving for that, especially on TVs. But right. If Netflix is serious and does solve for it, it's important to remember that 10 years ago, Netflix barely had any first party video content. And what they did have, they didn't even make themselves. They just, they basically just funded it.

They produced it, but they didn't develop it. And look where they are now as, the largest video content creators in the world. And if they are serious about games what could happen over the next decade this is an interesting step, but, yeah the ceiling is gonna become much higher in terms of what they're willing to do, given they have perhaps the largest or one of the probably the largest paying audience base for content in the world.

Massive global scale, multi platform and the largest, or one of the largest content budgets the entertainment industry has ever seen that's only going to get larger, in the coming years as they continue to scale. And yeah, what that means for games, I still think people are sleeping on like the optionality that Netflix has here, even though it doesn't really make much sense, what we're seeing.

So far, and a lot of cases from their strategy. And it's just a lot of questions. Who's to say those questions can't really be answered and solved for in a way that leads to, bigger moves. So I think it'll be interesting. Yeah.

Devin: Like you said, the, they started with the stuff that was native to mobile and then they started bringing stuff over to mobile and then, sky's the limit from there.

If they could figure out that, that UI UX, which they clearly wanted to do with game controllers that they were trying to do for TV play. We've talked a bit about that before. Like they've clearly shown their ambitions. It's just a question of whether or not they're able to execute on them in a timely fashion, but it does come down to the question of money.

You saw, you talk about them spending all this money on content and all that, and then suddenly they're cracking down on password sharing, jacking up the price of subscriptions, trying to look at ad monetization models clearly like this is not making them extra money as much as they liked so much as trying to continue to grow that market share.

And hold on to it but they've got to have monetized some of it. And so I do imagine if they look to continue to scale up those game acquisitions or spend on the game at some point, that leads to them finding ways to further monetize that and not just give it away completely for free as part of the subscription or just another tier.

Of Netflix where you're like, Oh, plus games.

Aaron: Yeah. My other spicy take that is probably even less likely is that, and I have said part of this before too, which is that I think the writing is on the wall with Xbox over the next generation or two, they're going to exit hardware, primarily become a services company.

And Microsoft's going to look at that and think about we're a multi trillion dollar company. Like how can we make this move the needle? And it'll make sense for them to merge gaming and video together somehow. And Netflix will be there. Xbox will be there. Maybe there's a little interesting type of merger or something that could happen and take, X like game pass to the next level with Netflix to something like that sounds really wacky and weird today, but again, like five years from now or 10 years from now, even I think that's going to be pretty normal in an increasingly trans media world that we'll be living in.

Devin: As long as it means mobile remasters of a lot of the Sega CD FMV games. Then I'm okay with that. You get some sewer shark on here. And, I've also, I think it's definitely, like you said, the trajectory for some of these companies seems pretty clear. It's just how they execute and get there that, we might see some stumbles along the way, but when it comes to acquisitions and stumbling and things like that, I think there was a few things you want to talk about around Saber and Jagex.

Aaron: Yeah. Let me find my notes for that. So yeah, just piecing together a couple. A couple news items that have happened over the past couple weeks. Previously, a couple weeks ago or so, it was mentioned that Jagex, which owns all things RuneScape that they sold to a new player. Private equity owners for about 900 million or so.

And Jagex is a business. Like it's been like a big game of hot potato of who will own them at any given time. So it's not that surprising. Still notable that like they're, they continue to be in these deals, but more recently it was announced that Embracer is selling Saber Interactive for 500 million Saber Interactive.

Making the Knights of the Old Republic remake and such, and, part of this conversation could be about, like, how Embracers just, selling discs, they're looking to sell Gearbox, they're really just becoming a shell of, Themselves and that's fire sale. Yeah fire sale save the company somehow and you end up At a worse position than you really started So that's awkward, but instead of talking about that, you know I just want to talk about like connecting the dots between these deals, but even like some of what i've seen elsewhere havelli private equity group acquiring, candy vor which made You matchmasters and over the past few years there's been like a, there were the pendulum slung very heavily towards venture capital and venture capital.

When the market was booming was like the primary investment type to scale companies, start companies and really just fuel the industry. And that of course leads to. Either getting acquired by the big companies, these growth by acquisition companies big publishers, whoever or going public.

And really what we've seen is the pendulum swing back and the other direction in all of those categories, which is that if the industry as a whole, isn't growing as much then venture capital isn't going to be as active. Which means that also like exit opportunities are not going to be as plentiful.

The embracers of the world, they're not buying companies like they were even like the tenants of the world, just for their own regulatory reasons or not buying companies the same way that they were in the past. And so what we're seeing right now is really like a new type of investor. That's not that new, but I still feel like it's becoming more prominent and not discussed, which is private equity coming into the industry.

And silently making some moves and becoming the owners of, these notable IPs, these forever franchises. And in some way I think it's notable. And on one hand, private equity emerges from the shadows when times are tough. They come in by companies that usually are more struggling or flatlining, and they make money by less focusing on growth and more focusing on how to make those companies more profitable and how to operationalize them more effectively.

And it leads to, good cash flow generating returns for them, or they, spin it off, sell it off again to, to the next buyer in some way, take it public, there's usually another step after private equity. But also just like in the case of, um, Haveli and Candyvore with Mash Masters, that's sort of like, it leaned more on the venture side of the equation, but it wasn't, they're not a venture capital company.

It wasn't a venture deal. And so, you know, I think what we're seeing there is just like, also there are games companies that realize that they don't have to. Press the gas super hard all the time on venture and just be regularly reinvesting, chasing the moon always. And instead, if you have a great game or games, you can have a great cash flowing business.

And there are investors. that have a different profile and different desires that might fit that mold better and trying to get, more of cashflow returns versus just higher and higher valuation rounds until some type of exit. So anyways, I'm like pointing out different examples, but I do think there is like an interesting through line here of what we're seeing take shape.

And the more that the industry, continues to struggle with growth. And more companies realize that they need to rationalize themselves in some ways. I think that this could become a bigger trend and private equity in small ways and potentially in bigger ways to than even what we're seeing with, several hundred million dollar deals.

could become more prevalent in the next few years for our industry. So anyways, curious to get your guys thoughts on this. Do you think I'm on to something? Are there other ramifications of a new investor type, becoming more prominent? What do you think?

Devin: I definitely think the, it makes sense when you're like, you go through that growth phase when everyone thinks like you can, as you said, press the gas pedal indefinitely.

And then, at some point that can't last forever, regardless of whether the macro market is working against you or just that you maybe can't find a way to replicate that hit success, but you spend a bunch of money trying to do it. There's a whole bunch of reasons why. It just at some point starts to be like okay maybe we can't grow super fast anymore.

And some people are content to go, let's pull this scale back. Let's just go ahead and, do what we do well. And could you double down on that? A lot of companies seem to just go I guess we'll just do layoffs now. Or, they get in that sort of we're not sure how to proceed from here other than cutting back.

And it seems like that's, as you said, public equity or private equity is a great opportunity for someone to come in and be like, Hey, we'll help you do that. We'll help you just make this more efficient because you clearly were spending your money wrong. So we will give you some money to spend it correctly.

And fix that because we want a part of that right because you you have something there You just weren't running your business effectively and we'll run it as a business effectively It's the mentality right as you're later on if you couldn't find a way to continue that success Indefinitely that is the inevitable thing and obviously we had things like embracer and stuff Try and shortcut that in a different way.

And it clearly it didn't work out the way they were hoping there's still obviously some games under there and maybe they'll find some sort of success But we have you know other companies like gearbox and the ones potentially looking to be jettisoned off as well we'll see if it ends up like fire sale kind of situation, but we have some of them like just Kind of leaving some of them, looking to be bought by someone else.

Like it's a variety of situations, but it does make sense because this is not just the company's embrace or bought. This is like the whole industry right now is in like a tough spot. And I think there's a lot of things that go Probably pointed the ways to this for a while, like ever increasing production costs, never increasing game prices.

There was a whole bunch of market forces making it like this is going to tighten sooner or later. And maybe the mobile industry made everyone feel like it was going to go on forever. And then COVID certainly accelerated that was gas on the fire. And everyone admitted they overhired, right?

Especially it was like, we just hired too much, so someone got to go. So it's, it's just, It's a cycle that's inevitable, right? Where then just another type of business steps in. I think it makes sense, and hopefully it's one where it actually keeps these games alive in a form that everyone doesn't just quit and leave.

It was funny you pointed to Jagex, because I, it makes me think to, I'm surprised, I wasn't someone who played RuneScape. I was more of an Ultima Online person, but the amount of people I've heard use RuneScape as like a touch base for different things, it clearly has a brand. Recognition and like potential opportunity to be something.

And then I look at Ultima online still being run, but by broad sword partnered with EA because EA kind of picked it up and kind of dropped that ball. And, but like the, these things that have this sort of brand recognition can maybe find someone that runs it more efficiently, like in this case, broad sword, or maybe Jag X run it more efficiently.

That it's maybe you could drag this thing on forever. If you just. Don't overspend on it and try and grow it indefinitely. Just run it like a smarter business. If you have a small audience, spend like you have a small audience, right? Don't try, if they're not going to go away, right? If you're just, they're just aging into your game and never aging out, it could be for everything.

Like the stuff I was talking about with Warhammer, Warhammer is just dragged around forever. It's never been the best, but it's enough people play it. It just keeps going. It works like that. So I think I, I just, I hope that the, actually this actually just keeps these games alive or it keeps these brands or the employees, and it doesn't lead to more layoffs that actually just maintaining operational efficiency then means less layoffs.

Aaron: It will, it'll lead to layoffs for sure. I, yeah, I think that's inevitable and there's good and bad to private equity too, like sometimes becoming more efficient is needed for businesses And it's just hard times to work through, but yeah, the, there are other implications of private equity.

Different firms work differently, of course, but private equity is usually more debt driven. And so sometimes, they'll put companies more at risk and, and how they deploy debt. To finance operations, sometimes even though, take on debt, pay a massive dividend with it, and then, take it public or something.

And then it goes public with a massive debt load. And they got their return because they basically just took the money out of the business. And of course it doesn't happen always, but there will be like, I bet there will be like weird things like that happened in the games industry.

As well, so we'll have to see. But I also do think, too there will be instances where You know, people with more of that type of background get involved with companies. And I think we've talked about Enad global seven in the past as one example, they're like a mini growth by acquisition company compared to an embracer and really we're just horribly wrong, destroyed a ton of value. And then just, yeah, bought all sorts of random things. And then their current CEO, G Ham through whatever private equity group, bought in, he stepped into the role of CEO and he's actually done a, like a pretty phenomenal job and turning around that business so far, it's, a very small business today, with growth aspirations and such, but, we're able to make it sustainable, like regularly profitable, like actually put it on a, like a, Uh, a growth trajectory now that everyone in the company can rally behind when it was directionless before and we might see more leaders like that emerge in certain places a lot of this of course is like pretty small but I do think there are opportunities in some larger companies even where like It would actually be pretty helpful and unlock a lot of value If private equity were to go in and everyone's thinking about Ubisoft.

So I'll just say it that though it's like the, the biggest example where that would make sense, but probably won't happen because of the family's control of the business. But but yeah, a different mindset. At a different time for the industry will be, it will be interesting to see how prominent this group of investors becomes.

Devin: I think it's going to obviously be winners and losers, right? It's not going to be one way or the other. And some will work out a lot better than others. And it's, the painful period, that we got to go through to correct some of the things that just weren't working.

And that's the purpose of any kind of recession type behavior, it's clean house a little bit. But obviously like it, it will have probably some negative effects on people that. Probably shouldn't be cleaned house or they like, like when management is just trying to save their own job through other people that are good under the bus kind of things because, like they're just going to bleed the rest of it dry and that, and hopefully that's not common, right?

It's. There's different kinds of businesses and I'm not as familiar with how private equity cleans up like entertainment businesses as opposed to like more operational, like manufacturing is like one example I always think of that was surprised me is Safeway grocery company around here, like grocery stores that I think they're Vons elsewhere and stuff like that.

Safeway I always just thought was, good, successful company or whatever. And I was like, one time I looked up, Oh, who owns Safeway? And I was like, Oh, private equity. And it certainly wasn't, they didn't run it into the ground. They didn't milk it, like Safeway seems like a pretty well run company. I think it's been like that for a while.

I go get my groceries from there, it seems to work fine. But it never seemed like it was a hugely detrimental thing. But that's a different kind of business than entertainment. Where, you've got this hit driven up and down thing. It's not like something where you just, all we gotta do is keep churning out groceries.

And so I hope the right people are picking up the, like the, from private equity that understand the business. I think it's probably the important part. But in this discussion of winners and losers and people that are maybe on the other side of that, that are doing well, I think we wanted to also discuss we've talked a lot a bit about a lot about the ones that maybe haven't done so well.

We've also talked a bit recently about some of the ones that have done better. And I think we wanted to look at. So far into the year, outside of all the people that have maybe had to change positions temporarily there has been, maybe some successes we can look at.

Aaron: Actually, before we do that, Devin, can we hit on one more topic, which is the Epic versus Apple update.

One more, one more loser, potentially before we, we dedicate the rest of the episode to, to winners. So we don't have to spend long on this, but I think it's important to acknowledge again, that Apple continues its blatant antitrust. So the DMA in Europe in short enables companies to build their own competing app stores.

Apple initially retaliated by making it prohibitively expensive to do that, charging I think it was like 27 percent fees. So basically like making it just as expensive for a tougher, clunkier user experience. So to discourage anyone from making their own app stores. Of course though, Epic Games, they want to push forward because it's in their ethos.

Epic Games Also, Fortnite isn't allowed on the App Store, and so bringing that back in some way makes a lot of sense for them to do, which also, opens up UEFN to that audience again, as well on mobile, which will be interesting to see, but it was announced last year. Not very long ago, at the time we're recording, that Apple is now taking a step further by revoking Epic's developer account, which would stop them from developing anything on iOS, which is pretty wild, and so I was looking at it.

Some of the materials from like emails that were being shared about this and basically Apple emailed Tim Sweeney and I'll just quote your colorful criticism of our DMA compliance plan, a couple of epics past practice of intentionally violating contractual provisions with which it disagrees, strongly suggests that Epic does not intend to follow the rules.

We invite you to provide us with written assurance that you are acting in good faith and that Epic Games will, despite your public actions and rhetoric, honor all of its commitment. And then, essentially tell us why should we trust Epic. And then Tim Sweeney responds by saying, Epic and its subsidiaries are acting in good faith and will comply with all terms of current and future agreements with Apple.

And then Apple gets back and just says, Mr. Sweeney's response to that request was wholly insufficient and not credible. And then it goes on to cite. tweets for why that's the case. And on the surface, it's not crazy why Apple wouldn't trust Epic because Epic did break their rules before.

 There's a lot of gamesmanship clearly going on here. And it'll go to court. I don't know how it will play out, but clearly anti competitive behavior that goes against the spirit of what the DMA is trying to allow. And Apple, they continue to find these loopholes. But I don't think it can stand forever.

So I'm curious what it'll be like. And obviously this is bad. Google is maybe not as bad, but also pretty bad too. And certainly not as open with Android as they would want you to believe, but yeah, tough times for Epic still tough times for mobile at large when. Apple continues to crack hard, this hard down on developers, but I don't know, big news, important to acknowledge.

Devin: It's also worth mentioning that Google has seemed like they're going to behave maybe a little bit better. And then they, of course, in the final hour of the DMA stuff, we're like, Oh, by the way, we're also going to do some of that bad stuff Apple was doing and Tim Sweeney called them out for that too.

So we'll see how his emails back and forth with Google go after this, but I do find it extremely ironic for Apple to use the terms of good faith. Pretty hilarious at that point just the choice of those words. Pretty funny, but uh, they also got slapped down with anti competitive stuff around the same time today, even.

 Pretty big fine for their anti competitive behavior around music stores, too. This is definitely coming to a head, but we'll see how it shakes out. It's gonna, I think it's gonna take a while to come to a fruitful head for anyone.

Aaron: Yeah, Anil, as the person here with a mobile gaming studio how are you feeling about the state of all of this going down?

Anil: I just, it just feels like two billionaires having a money fight, really. But look, there has been some big deals and some, big rulings, but we've yet to see any evidence come from it. So I think everyone waits to see if that would happen, but Yeah, I guess the recurring theme is in, things aren't right in the games industry right now.

So maybe it is gonna need something like this to open up a new avenue to start getting things moving in the right direction. That would be nice to see, but at the moment it gets a bit tiresome just looking at this go on over and over, to

Aaron: be honest. Yep. And with that, Devin, I'll let you shift the topics back to happy things.

Devin: All right, rainbows and everything right now. It's, I didn't mean I was just kicking it off with saying that I think, we've talked a lot about some of the big surprise winners, and to me, double A. Is it right now? And I think there's a pretty obvious reason why they're charging less for their games.

And so people looking for fun, new things to do that don't want to spend 60 only to be extremely disappointed by the release, which has been maybe a little too common when it wasn't something that you could really count on being good. It's, I think it's an inevitable conclusion that's benefiting more talented, creative people in the industry that aren't overspending and under delivering.

Who wants to take a tack at the next happy thought?

Anil: I could think of a couple of studios. I think about a great year and kind of echo what you've just said there. Two that immediately come to mind. First would be Arrowhead Studios who made Helldivers 2. I don't know if you ever played the first game.

The first game was a very interesting game, it was pretty polarizing, I would say. Some people loved it, some people hated it. And to see their sequel, get to the top of the steam charts is I think phenomenal. Anyone saw that happening. And so that's quite a nice thing to see a smaller studio.

I would call that a AA game. It was like a digital game, maybe slightly bigger budget for this one. Stick to their. Guns, so to speak, and do so successful and sustain it is really good. Be interesting to see if they get acquired or not, their CEOs come out today and said, they absolutely won't be. And that's exactly what Bungie said about destiny, didn't they?

Until about a month later they were indeed acquired. So let's see what happens there. So I think that has been like a real success. And similarly, a new, a debutant would be pocket pair. If you didn't know who they are, they're the guys that made power world. So that's obviously come up absolutely nowhere.

Yeah. But that game hasn't just been a flash in the pan. It's been in the top 10 steam sales for quite a while now Since it's come out and many people thought it was just going to be a one and done So they probably already made more than enough money to cover their costs probably for the next three or four years Be interesting to see what happens then.

And yeah, what the, both of these games and companies have in common, smaller scale games made of course, more passion done on a more sensible budget. They have gameplay at their core or something new that hasn't really been done in the mainstream and they've achieved success of it. And I do have to say, I feel like that is probably where we're going.

I feel like the arms race of trying to get to the hyper realistic super duper quality has basically just ended up in a position where games are too expensive to make. The margins are low. You make one full step and it's catastrophic. So we've got to go back to being maybe a little bit more imaginative and being more about art style rather than hyper realism.

That said, Helldivers is fairly realistic, but again, they haven't gone for super quadruple A standards. I can think of a third on this, but I'll wait to see what Aaron comes up with. Yeah. I just want to tack

Devin: on that real quick. If it had come out this year, I think Baldur's Gate 3 would be probably. Yeah. Yeah,

Anil: Yeah. Larry and the studios. Exactly.

Aaron: Let's see on my draft board of good things for 2024. I think I'll call out Applovin. So Applovin so far, like we have a, we keep track of a public markets gaming index of the top gaming companies. And Applovin is the best performing company of the year so far.

It's of about 60 percent in 2024 so far, and is. Up way more from its lows. And so it's been really impressive to see how they've adapted with the times. And stayed on the cutting edge of mobile UA. And I was reading something Eric Seifer wrote and his blog or newsletter, and basically what he pointed out is that.

Right before unity merged with iron source the three companies, unity, iron source, and app love, and they all had about equal market share and their advertising revenues. But if you zoom forward to today unity and iron sources, advertising revenues combined as of the last quarter was only 55%. Of app lovins.

And so, um, you know, on one hand, that says something about Unity and iron source about how they've been. Maybe mishandling a bunch of things and they've had their own issues, in the past couple of years as well, where they're there, they broke their algorithm with bad data and had to rebuild it from scratch and various things like that.

But. Also, Applovin has just done a pretty masterful job at staying adaptive and, creating tooling that works for people. And I think, they've always had, some companies have always taken issue with Applovin for their tactics and or pricing or various things, to their credit they've maneuvered very well.

And, from even like pitching Hey, unity, you should work with us instead of iron source, probably maybe good for them that fell through and that they've been able to operate on their own and be away from the unity mess of late. So yeah, Apple oven and a difficult mobile environment.

They are doing a pretty phenomenal job right now. Really impressive.

Devin: Definitely hope like we could see more, success on mobile. Cause that's the other area. Definitely. We've talked a lot of doom on mostly just because it's been a struggle just based off this way, this sort of business model was set up around user acquisition became sensitive.

But it is interesting with these, with all of these, in the sense of like discovery and finding users can be tricky. And it is interesting to see like Steam, for example, be maybe a better place for some of that, despite the millions of games that seem to get dumped on Steam. It is weird to see like, marketing strategies maybe not even being a factor in that, like I don't think Helldivers 2 really had marketing.

I, I was someone who played the first one and all the Magicka games before and stuff, and I had no idea it was coming out until it was out. And so it is interesting that there are still areas where quality can shine. Obviously, virality aspects, like we talked about this before, like the Pokemon with guns aspect of Power World and stuff like that, and it's you come in with a good hook.

In this case, maybe it's Starship Troopers, maybe it's that's something that people happen to want and some good quality and actually don't over crazy spend on it to where you can actually, as a, as an old saying, not just completely die. Although it does sound like power world was maybe hanging by a thread there, I think that's a lesson to people that if you're not EA or whatever, don't act like you are and shoot for, let's just do a good job.

And maybe Steam isn't like as bad a place. If you can manage to get to probably I was thinking about this the other day like Just the effect of seeing what your friends are playing pop up that notification in the corner I've noticed that having a pretty strong effect because there's this sort of desire like what am I going to play next?

What am I going to play next feeling a lot of times these days as it feels like we turn through games Very quickly that having that sort of what are my friends playing effect or curiosity around it? And steam's continued revolves continued efforts in trying to improve marketing and discoverability on steam in general Because they actually put effort into it unlike certain mobile developer mobile platforms that maybe do the opposite it's really interesting to see That there's some evolution there that could be beneficial to the middle of the industry and not just, the top or bottom.

Aaron: What's next on your draft board, Devin? Oh man,

Devin: I, like I said, I think we've named them all, but it's a kind of a spectrum, right? Cause there was like more higher end ones, like the Baldur's Gate one that I said was like, maybe there was a bit higher than, or high end of AA. And then you've got all the way down to Balotro, which is like the low end vampire survivors type one.

And then I still think there's a lot of these like any kind of horror games that seem to come out with a bit of a splash. And I think it's almost we've talked about before, like this sort of roadblocks kind of developer evolving in. I think that's a positive for the industry to see these sort of indie creators that cut their teeth in this sort of mod kind of world that we, we always talk about like those of us who've used to play mods and like missing mods.

And I think having that sort of infrastructure around UGC, whether UGC is a flash in the pan. I think it's like benefiting us getting developers that actually get to test their games in the wild. And learn a lot before they start to come in to the scene. So we're not just seeing indies come in from just really liking indie games and making their first one.

And I think UEFN can be a big part of that as well. So I think trending into this year, having maybe some of these financial market like driven ways for indies to cut their teeth. I think could continue the success story. So it's more of that's almost more of a trend in a specific game, because you said a lot of the games are already named, but I think they show some of that.

And obviously like Balotro was a odd one. It was more just dude making game because he wanted to for fun and got caught on. But sometimes that's all it really takes. And it's if your expectations are low, that's not a bad thing. Cause it's, that was the case of Vampire Survivor as well.

He wasn't expecting success. But I think that helped both of them focus on quality. And that's the through line for me, is like, focusing on quality and making stuff that you want to play, that you know is good. I think there's a huge win because even if you don't succeed, you still get a game you enjoy playing.

Aaron: How about you Anil? What's next?

Anil: So for me, it's one that I've got a feeling and not many people know of. You will do if you're in a web three world like myself, that would be Scryce Studios. So they're the guys that made Heroes of Marvia that had a very successful launch. They listed their token and they've got their game and it's maybe exploring some new space where the interest in their token fueled a massive amount of downloads for their game.

That can download over two and a half million times without really spending much money just for driving through hype and perhaps creates like a new revenue stream because token transactions just between that and market making can generate revenue for the studio. Now I think it's too early to really say how successful this will be compared to the other products I think, again, in this sort of spell of doom and gloom in the games industry, what tends to happen is that people have to work out new tricks and see where it comes next.

Just off air, Devon said, and I think he was quite right to say this, that after the 2007 financial crash, what really happened, I thought, was mobile gaming came out of that. Not right away, it took a few years to get going, but by a certain time, 2009, 2010, free to play was a thing. And then it absolutely exploded in the 2010s.

And perhaps the return of AA gaming is one of those, but if there's a new thing to happen, perhaps it's not necessarily a platform, which is sometimes what happens, but it could be the distribution and the business model type of thing. And I will say that in this case of Squire Studios and their project, perhaps there is some commonality between that and the AA games that we've mentioned.

And that is, it feels like games where you have some sort of tighter community or interest or superfans to get that initial momentum together can burst out to make more of a successful product and that could be where we go in the future. It feels to me that like where we are in video games at the moment is quite familiar to movies, I would say, where you've got these kind of super duper blockbusters that maybe some of these are still going to make money.

For example. Let's be honest, GTA six is still going to be pretty successful, isn't it? Is it going to sell over 150 million copies? Maybe not. If the marketing budget probably will do it if you ask me, but equally there isn't room for that many, maybe on the top end games. So where does it leave everyone else?

And so maybe that is the answer. Maybe it is about trying to find some initial momentum building from that. And that's going to be the new way to do business. Now, how does that scale for the really biggest players in the space? Not quite so sure, but sorry to steal your thunder a little bit, but maybe another game that's gone a bit under the radar this year that's had a very successful launch has been Tekken 8 by Bandai Namco.

And what happened with them is that I feel that they lost a bit of momentum with their last release. And with this one, it seems like they really actually did listen to their community and focused on making a great game. They did a lot of streaming and beta streaming of it early and it's been pretty successful for them.

I think it's already sold 3 million copies. Whereas by count, by contrast, you've got a WB studios and NetherRealm and they've made Mortal Kombat one. And actually that game is actually sold better than Tekken 8. So you might think, what's the point I'm trying to make? But the critical reception is pretty poor.

If you look at the amount of people playing a game is dipped to like a very low number and it looks like it's not going to come anywhere close to the previous Mortal Kombat. It sold 15 million copies. And, if you look at on the surface of that game has, three sort of superhero characters in it, and there's a lot of rumors that essentially that game was supposed to be Injustice 3 that was quickly made into a Mortal Kombat game to put some money onto the profit books, and that's not the way to go, whereas these community led fairs are doing good.

So Scry Studios is my call, and the bigger point I want to make is I thought, that is maybe an avenue we'll start to see more of can it transition to the top studios? Not sure, but maybe there are some signs that it could do.

Devin: And just to back up your point about Mortal Kombat 1, which I've been pretty critical of as well.

It's also 40 percent off today right now. And that made me almost think about buying it, but I think that's a clear indicator that it probably didn't hit the mark despite being relatively successful in terms of a live service model where if people are leaving, we got to get some new people in.

We're going to have to dip that discount. And because most of the complaints were about the price plus the live service stuff, but like in terms of WB, I was hoping by now that I could be including multiverses on this list. We'll have to see if that will be maybe their successful answers.

Cause they are teasing it already. And it was, I was hoping based off their tease, we would see something in the Xbox showcase, but not quite yet. Although I think maybe the the McDonald's tie ins in Europe were maybe just a, an artifact from before, but I think we might be getting it back. I don't want to overhype it.

I'm excited. Cause I enjoyed that game and it was free instead of being like the Mortal Kombat, like 70 plus kind of thing. Hopefully we'd cheer for the people that aren't trying to milk us and looking to just make a good game from them. They are a smaller studio under WB, so like, that would be, almost be, again, Almost double a kind of status because they're very small.

Anil: Yeah, that's the point I'm making here is that maybe, because there are other, some other commonalities or some other games that had, let's say an off number in their franchise that didn't do well, and they had to rebuild that trust in the future one by listening to the community. So street fights is another example of that.

Street Fighter V launched and it was a hot mess. It didn't, it was literally an unfinished game that was released and almost destroyed the franchise. And yet the new game that came out was like one of the most polished fight, in fact, probably the most polished fighting game on launch ever made.

 I wonder if the two were connected there. And I actually have a suspicion. I'd be curious if the mortal combat case, like I don't want to call out the devs here, cause I've got a feeling that they were probably pushed into doing some things they didn't want to do. And I wouldn't be surprised if the next one, they decide actually, okay.

To take their time a bit more on it and, and try and like, maybe really make it good, like.

Devin: You know, like come at 13, it will be the one, right?

Anil: It will, of course, unlucky for some, but not in this case. But what I mean by that is, this does happen sometimes in studios is that, they will.

target a Metacritic rating internally, right? So it could be like, okay, this game we'll accept it if it's a 70, but it makes this amount in terms of the return, but the next one is okay, it's actually more important that this is Metacritic 90, even if the sales aren't so good, and the reason they'll justify that is because what you don't want to do is completely ruin a franchise so that you've completely lost it forever.

Because then, that's. Why would you want to do that? That's terrible things in the cross media world that we live in. And so maybe we'll see some more of that. And, another one that's coming out quite soon actually is dragon's dogma from Capcom. I'm curious what happens there because the first one also had similarities to that, it had some, it was a good game, but it didn't feel like it hit the mark.

And again, it felt like it was a game that was rushed this time around. It looks like they haven't rushed this. Let's see if this one is both a commercial and or a. Critical success. And maybe that is the case that people are, they realize that you can't, it's funny because companies need to get more efficient, but maybe quality still got to be the benchmark that people shoot for.

Devin: Yeah. You definitely got that sort of like every other sort of thing where people are really successful and then they try and cut corners on the next one. It backfires, but still makes some good money because people had expectations for the previous one and bought in. And then you take, okay well, let's take that money that we made that we probably shouldn't have.

And spend that money to make the next one good and revive the sort of quality of brand. And I think we see that a lot, even in movies, video games, whatever. It's do we revive this brand or we just keep cutting and see how far we can get down? And I think the well, let's make the next one better.

Let's take that money that they invested in us because they have faith in us and make that come true in the next one. Not everyone does that, but I think that's a lot better of an outcome than like Modern Warfare 4 might actually be worth it, maybe, for example.

Aaron: Nice. But yeah, I can wrap up with a couple final ones.

One to, put another Web 3 theme on it is immutable. Obviously, crypto is having a resurgence for better or worse, and Web, all things Web 3 will ebb and flow with those tides, but I've been really impressed with immutable. And some of this isn't, in 2024, but I think what's most impressive is that, you know, three years ago, it really was an open question about, if you were a developer coming into space, like what blockchain would you build on?

What platform would you use? And immutable has been able to through, honestly, just like pretty brilliant entrepreneurship been able to. Come up with a more definitive answer for the vast majority of teams. And of course, like they've raised money well to last through bear markets.

They've built their ecosystem and technology stack out. But, perhaps most brilliantly as they turn competition into partners such as with Polygon. And now, you can get the best of both worlds, through immutable and also I think it was called Beam, if I'm not mistaken.

Maybe I'm, I think so. By Merit Circle. Yeah. Yeah, by Merit Circle. And maybe they'll come out with more interesting deals like that in the future. But really because of all of this, their own hard work and their partnerships, it's, I think their market share is over 80% now of teams building in Web3 are now choosing to, to work with immutable.

And obviously that doesn't mean that. The money is being made yet but we're starting to see like the business development lens and I follow the founder, CEO, Robbie Ferguson on X. And, occasionally he'll tweet out or post just random updates from their BD team. And the latest one, which was less than a week ago was, like we hit a new record and 48 hours, we just signed 10 new like games teams.

Anil: And I'm like, That's pretty one of them was my team.

Aaron: Oh, there you go. A little stealth

Devin: announcement.

Anil: It's not stealth. That was announced. That was announced. Back to work.

Aaron: So anyways it's been really impressive to see how they've been able to maneuver and now they're, they just continue to accelerate the biz dev wins, which at some point we'll turn into accelerating revenue wins probably starting in 2024, but really over the next, you a few years.

So that's been one. And then, I'll also just shout out Roblox, of course. And, there's not a whole lot new that is worth digging into here, other than just the snowball of Roblox's compounding. It just continues to roll. Especially as they've gone more multi platform lately. Their user growth is just consistent, year after year, and that enables them to grow their R& D budget year after year, and just increase the capabilities on the platform year after year, and that just continues to roll, and the thing about compounding is, you know, at some point, the yearly changes you're able to start making just become larger than what anyone else can match.

And so I've just been super impressed with how they're just, put their stake in the ground and just made it very clear that this is like a next era of gaming and even as a mobile. Flatlines as consoles struggle for growth too. It's just more and more is gaining share in these platforms, Roblox in particular, and UEFN to a lesser degree, but.

Man, it's so impressive just to see the consistency and the growth of this Roblox team and they'll have ups and downs in the market as what people focusing on their earnings or whatnot in any given quarter, get excited or freak out, but really just that underlying compounding machine.

Is intact and very impressive and difficult times. So I don't know. I think there's a lot of interesting stuff in the industry and there are these big winners and, it's not always, even if the industry as a whole, isn't, In the best position or the companies find themselves more in red oceans and having to, come out with new tactics to, to stand out more than before.

There still are these teams, whether it's the app lovins, the double A's, the Roblox is the immutables that really are making the future of their own. And it's, yeah, at least as a entrepreneur it's pretty inspiring to see.

Devin: Definitely. And I also I thought you had a great discussion with David in the recent interview.

Run a lot of the roadblocks and new GC stuff. So I wanted to shout that out because I think that was useful to kind of highlight that industry that I do hope. And I mentioned earlier, like that, I think that's a big trend that I hope seeds for the future of game development in general, in terms of game developers, having a way to make money.

That makes sense for smaller people. Who knows, maybe it's taken over by studios and there's not even like kids making games for other kids anymore, but it does seem like there's an element of that will stay. And also I wanted to shout out that on the immutable thing, like a lot of their games maybe haven't come out yet, but they did finally get gods and shade onto mobile.

So for those of you didn't know that, like it finally happened, I think it's still an early version, but. It's playable now. So I think that's exciting because that's been their success that they've continued to double down on and make it better and make it grow. Since they don't have a ton out yet, and I also have played some metal core and I think they've got that, obviously that's not their game, but it is going to be one of the early immutable games.

I think that looked like it was going in the right direction. So I'm hopeful as a web three person myself, that that, that business can start to make some sense for a company that's doing it well. Because it benefits us all, especially if now's bowl time again, like even better for that to try and come up and do something solid because we know game good games take time.

So we're hopefully like, okay, is it time yet? So we could have a lot more to talk about and not just have to make this a a one off segment of what's exciting this year that, that the tide turns of the conversation, but in the meantime, like we'll definitely try and keep an eye out for the really fun stuff as well as the The stuff that still needs to be talked about even if it's not as fun But I wanted to thank you guys of course for coming on as usual like fantastic stuff at great insights as well And of course to the listener for continuing to tune in to what is hopefully a lot of good insightful discussions on A lot of interesting things happening this year.

I'm looking forward to it And hopefully we'll see you at gdc make sure to if you want to talk to novak hit up that form We'll have that in the show notes and make sure to do that or I guess if you for some reason can't find it there's always email But definitely let Aaron know and and get that going in person, hopefully, because that's always much more fun.

But in the meantime, catch you guys next week.

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