There’s no shortage of conversation around how new technologies are changing the way games are made, but that technological change doesn’t end there. New platforms are also contending for player attention, and where and how games are distributed is all destined to evolve, likely in bigger ways than most people think. We all know about Roblox and UEFN, but what about Discord, ChatGPT, and whatever new AI-focused consumer platforms may emerge? Could other large social and messaging platforms make a gaming comeback? Could new devices actually grow the games industry over the next decade?

To help unpack these big questions, host Aaron Bush is joined by Sebastian Park, co-founder of Infinite Canvas. Infinite Canvas was not only early to building on Roblox, but has been at the bleeding edge of experimenting with making games on platforms like Discord and ChatGPT. Sebastian shares his views on these emerging platforms, how design implications change with varying technology and incentive models, how advertising may evolve with AI, where he’s seeing success today, and more. This is a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation you won’t want to miss.


We’d also like to thank Nexus for making this episode possible! Nexus’s creator program in-a-box makes it easy for game devs to build and manage a world-class creator program, driving significant growth in conversion, ARPPU, retention, and LTV. To learn more, go to

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

Aaron: Hi everyone, I'm your host Aaron Bush, and my guest today is the incredible Sebastian Park. You've likely heard of him on a few previous Roundtable episodes, and if you've been listening for a while, you may have heard our pretty popular interview from exactly one year ago, which covered the state of esports, UGC Gaming, and Venture Capital.

We covered those topics because those are areas that Sebastian knows very well. For years, he was a founder and executive in the land of esports, More recently has focused on all things UGC gaming and beyond with his latest company, Infinite Canvas, and he remains a venture partner at BigCraft. So there are always many reasons to talk to Sebastian and learn from him about what's going on in the ever changing games industry, but I especially wanted him back on the podcast today because at Infinite Canvas, his team has been.

Experimenting with building games on all sorts of new platforms with new technologies that most people haven't even considered yet. And we'll dig into more details about what that means and what all of those platforms are in a moment. But Sebastian, welcome back to the pod.

Sebastian: Thanks for having me. I should remember that if we can do this yearly, it's right around when I filed for taxes.

Aaron: Yeah. File my taxes, give you a ring. There we go. That's the way to do it, but it has been a year since our last one on one interview. I think it'd be cool for you to just give the audience an update on. What you've been up to. What's new with you? What's new with infinite canvas?

Sebastian: Yeah. Infinite canvas is doing super well. I think the biggest change in 2023 to 2024 is, is really just how much AI has impacted consumer tech up and down. And it's not just the fundraising environment. It's not just people talking about it. There, there just really has been a lot of fundamental change in terms of the things like costs, things like workflow that.

Now we even take for granted a year in, a year ago today, it was fairly nascent. And so that's been a ton of fun. The economy is shifting, which I think is crazy to think about. I think one conversation we had last year was talking a lot about how the next year was going to be turbulent. It's fun to get through that turbulent year, knock on wood, hopefully we're over the cliff.

And it looks like the following year is going to be far more interesting and less turbulent as a result. So those are the macro trends that have informed what we've done. And at Infinite Canvas in particular, we spent this past year building games across all sorts of different platforms, doing all sorts of different tests, and so it's.

It's a walk through the wilderness to figure out that anything is actually fun and playable and becoming the next big hit, but certainly it's not for lack of try.

Aaron: Yeah, I'm glad you're on the bleeding edge, trying all these crazy experiments for the rest of us, but is there anything that you've changed your mind on the past year?

Because last year, in our episode, we talked about esports, UGC gaming venture capital, you just talked about how the AI landscape has shifted how, just the economic narrative has shifted, Changed over the past year, have any parts of any of this surprised you or made you fundamentally change your mind on anything big here?

Sebastian: Yeah, so there are a couple things that have changed mentally and then for the best or for the worst, it's it's hard to say the first thing is when we look at the economic landscape for a second. It's so clear to me that we have these like massive delays in terms of how we as consumers or founders or even investors feel relative to the macro ecosystem.

And what I mean by that, and Aaron, I think you talked about this a lot yourself, which is, two years ago, we felt like we were about to enter a recession. And last year it felt like we were in a relation, like definitionally we were not by the way, like in terms of, we have two consecutive quarters of GDP decline in a few years.

And so that's not something that we actually saw, but the sentiment was pervading around the investor class and the LP class and the founder class was really starting to feel it right. Like the crunch in terms of fundraising really started to hit people closer to 2023 than it did in 2022.

People were still raising in 2022. A year out, I think our evidence is clear that no one really raised that much money in the last 12 months. And so it's interesting to see through experience, like how this time shift is happening. And so right now I can tell you, and you and I talked about this, the GDC I'm sensing a shift in sentiment in the LP markets right now.

And for those of you don't know, LPs or limited partners are the people who give money to venture capitalists. You can give to to founders. The LP market's about fairly frozen, 18 months ago. And we saw that in the data, we see that in how much funds have raised in the venture market. And as a result, you see how much was deployed against founders.

Now, when we see a sort of a thawing of that ecosystem, I'm now thinking about, okay, cool. So if we see the thawing in Q1, Q2 of 2024, we're going to see funds starting to announce new raises Q3, Q4 of this year, which means that like funds, founders and game developers and whatnot, and then everyone else will see more deployments in 2025.

Bye. Which is such a interesting thing to follow along that type of crescendo of activity. And then really that's that logical flow has changed my mind about the fundraising environment in terms of when things are going to hit from games and AI. It's suggested to me that everything is a lot slower than we all hoped or felt it would be.

And certainly that type of incumbency that we see gives people a little bit more time to catch up than we expected.

Aaron: Yeah, that's really interesting. I guess if LP interest is returning now, that means we have a pretty exciting, what, 2025, 2026, where it starts to really show through and, all of the hiring, new projects that are getting talked about.

And such and yeah, I'm curious to see how this will play out too. The funny thing about this is, anytime we talk, we'll have a current take that will just immediately get outdated because everything is changing all of the time. And even with the, like the economy ever changing and its impact on the games industry we've certainly have been going through this age of efficiency, I guess you could say, which was triggered really more by macro stuff, but it's almost seeming to be continued for Micro, more technology driven reasons with a bunch of these new, AI toolings other types of technologies that are coming out to you.

Maybe we can get to that a bit more today

Sebastian: But that's actually really interesting because it's one thing that I've noticed in this past year has confirmed to me is. A lot of the things that we feel are wrong or different about the ecosystem, it really requires a shock to the system to reveal those things.

So yeah, here's a great example. In the past year, we've had some great, I would say like single to double A style game releases that are Fox games at 30 to 40. Even in the last six months where you have Helldivers 2, we have Palworld, we have Palatro, right? All games are costing 30, 40. We knew as an ecosystem for a number of years that the market segmentation of free to play versus box games versus everything else should exist.

But when the getting was good and people were making billions of dollars, no one was focused on that type of market segmentation information. Once the economy started to shift, we're now very clearly seeing things that, you and I have talked about for a couple of years already, but now the market has to respect, which is, Hey, if you need cash right away, you need to get this infusion.

Then box games are the way to go. And by the way, millennial men very clearly prefer to pay 30 bucks, play a game for 30 minutes and call it a day. Then play a game for a hundred hours and feel incredibly incensed to pay 2.

Aaron: Funny how that happens. Let's go ahead and switch gears and talk about new platforms.

We have a lot of areas to cover today, but I wanted to start with a big picture, far out question. It's really more of a thought exercise because there's no way we could actually know the answer, which is 10 years from now, Seb, what percentage of the time do you think people will be playing on platforms that have either minimal to no traction today?

So this would be like, it's not playing on steam. It's not playing on PlayStation. Maybe this is playing on discord. Maybe it's playing on your messaging phone app. Maybe something else. What do you think?

Sebastian: Yeah, it's an interesting question. There, there are two things to unpack with this question.

One you've already discussed. Anyone who says they can predict more than 24 months into the future is like full of it. I think we can all agree on this. You can feel the narrative flow of markets. You really can't figure out what happens in 10 years. My, my go to example for the last three years has been think back five years.

Did you have COVID in your production suite? No one did, right? My honest answer is percentage that they're not playing on is actually a really interesting word and that I do think there are a lot of platforms that people are aware of, but that the number of people who are playing on them is a different term.

So a good example would be discord, right? Discord has hundreds of millions of users. People don't consider discord as a gaming platform. My expectation is that's going to increase in market share. And so I would say 10 years from today. If you account for things like Roblox or Fortnite and those ecosystems as not playing on PC or console, but inside of those games as ecosystems none themselves, then I would say over 50%, I would say the majority of players are going to be finding themselves playing in these different ecosystems.

Why is that? The reason why these ecosystems are so interesting and why I feel like there'll be more and more players on them is because there was this assumption in venture world that it's going to be a winner take all market, that these games and ecosystems will somehow become new technology and new platforms.

And they're just going to capture the entire market. The Apple app store did. And what's becoming credibly clear, just not only in the numbers, but As you can see, in terms of the numbers between Roblox in their age versus Fortnite in their age, but in the game style, in the game style, I think is something that like, it blows me away in terms of how it's playing out.

You don't see shooters on Roblox. Roblox shooters are like a sub 10 percent genre. On Fortnite, shooters are north of 80 percent genre. You'd be surprised and shocked when a shooter takes off and does well on Roblox. And you'd be surprised and shocked when a non shooter does well on Fortnite. This type of market segmentation is happening across the board, which allows us to have more and more platforms across the world.

And we haven't even talked about the international markets where it's already part of their workflow to play on platforms.

Aaron: We in the West just haven't heard about. Yeah. So over 50 percent is your guests and I that's what I was thinking, and my mind is around there too. Who do you think the contenders are in this?

Maybe some of them we can already name. Obviously, ten years from now, there will be platforms that probably haven't even been made yet, using technology that's not really existing yet. But maybe you can play this out a bit on what do you think the contenders are? Like, what that could look like that's a bit different from today.

Sebastian: Yeah I have the, I have a thought and hopefully this is not too much of a spoiler, but if it is, and you're watching three body problems, skip forward the next 45 seconds, which is that there's a theoretical physicist who goes into the future 100 years in that book series, and he's still able to teach theoretical physics and he turns the camera or the metaphor camera in the book and says, theoretical physics is still theoretical physics.

100 years in the future. We're really screwed. Yeah. And similarly, if there is no new platformization or new technology in 10 years, we're going to have led a fairly boring decade in the game ecosystem. I think that would be very bearish for us to have the same platforms we do today in 10 years, there has to be changed because that's really what propels the future.

And I think there's a lot of change. I think the easiest answer, which is weird to say, cause it's like, probably not the answer people are thinking of. Is that a lot of the biggest contenders are not the ones we're thinking of at all right now, it's not going to be fortnight. It's not going to be roadblocks, like my approximation.

Is that it's going to be WhatsApp, it's going to be WeChat, it's going to be TikTok, it's going to be Facebook, YouTube, places that have not, we don't associate with games right now. And the reason for that is actually purely a number situation. I don't know if you know this, but. There are 2 billion monthly active users on WhatsApp.

There's 1. 3 billion monthly active users on WeChat. There's about a little under a billion monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. These people somewhat overlap, but you're talking about some massive majority of the world. Is using these platforms in order to talk to grandma effectively, or talk to the person who's helping book their cars or help them order food, these ecosystems, especially outside of the United States, where we have a little bit more segmentation in terms of the app world are just ubiquitous.

Use all apps around the world. The, there was a report that came out last year that basically said that something like 30 percent of WeChat users play video games. And they're willing to play video games inside of their ecosystem. 12 percent of Facebook messenger players still play games inside of the Facebook ecosystem.

Now let's think about that for a second, right? 12 percent of a billion is still like over a hundred billion users, right? These people may not be considered gamers right now. In the traditional way that people are talking about gaming, but they're definitely gamers. And as generations go forward in 10 years, it's going to be very hard for the PlayStation seven or six to keep up with 2 billion monthly active users in terms of play form and where they're playing, but that's exciting.

Aaron: Let's go ahead and. Dive in and talk about some examples and we'll see where this goes. And let's start with Roblox, which is the latest example of a breakout platform that's already at scale. So I wouldn't even necessarily consider this as like one of these new platforms for the future. But I want to talk about it because this is where your company, infinite canvas started building, if I'm not mistaken, and where many large games teams today are looking to build next.

At GDC, there was a ton of buzz about how like existing games companies who have already been successful on mobile or console PC are looking to start building on Roblox in particular, or at least try it out and, see what it's all about, which I thought was really interesting. But at Infinite Canvas you guys put a lot of effort into building on Roblox, but you also started putting more effort into building beyond Roblox too.

And so I'm curious. Is there anything about the platform itself that you've changed your mind on over the past year or so that has led you to also, to not put all of your eggs in that one basket, but to look elsewhere at these other cutting edge places that other teams aren't thinking about, that you think would, All of these teams who are now eyeing Roblox.

Sebastian: Roblox is an awesome platform. We're huge fans and we're incredibly lucky to have done a lot of our studio publishing work inside of Roblox. We were fans a year ago. We were fans five years ago. We're still fans today. Diversification outside of Roblox was always part of our game plan. One thing that's always important to know when you're thinking about venture scale gaming businesses, and we'll talk a bit about this later, is that you need to get to a certain amount of ARR and you need to have a certain amount of Hedging against the ebbs and flows of any platform rising tides, lifts off boats.

However, if you don't want to be purely beta against a specific platform, that's not a great way to run a business. It's important for our diversification. It's also why we're seeing diversification of existing companies into Roblox because it is a platform as a great ecosystem. It has some really interesting players.

People make some really cool things for those. There's two things I can say about people going into Roblox and two things for people who are already in Roblox. The first thing is the way that Roblox user acquires and the flow in which people discover and play games and their half lives are very different than anything we've seen in mobile, anything we've seen in casual core, hybrid casual.

It's just very different in the ecosystem. There's a lot of revenue and money to be made, and certainly there's going to continue to be but certainly one thing that we saw in the past year is, the longevity and half life of games that are not the top 10 games started getting shorter. My assumption is that this is probably good for Roblox.

That Roblox actually benefits from having a lot more churn in the top 50, top 100. You really don't want one game to be in there constantly unless there's a lot more happening there. But that churn I think is interesting and Should affect how people think about building businesses on top of Roblox. I think Roblox is one of the greatest platforms for in the small developers who want to just make something really cool and reach a broad audience.

It's certainly an ecosystem that you need to develop differently for. An example of this from Infinite Canvas is that our development cycles for Roblox games, were weeks, maybe days at a time, in part because we had to keep it that short as a function of what people cared about and how we were monetizing.

That's not the case when we build for other ecosystems. We still build fairly quickly, but we're still talking order magnitude of a couple months. If you're spending six months building a Roblox initial test. That's almost certainly a mistake. Like it is almost certainly the case that you're not going to get enough reps in that ecosystem fast enough to justify spending that much on one singular deployment.

I have yet to see anyone do that exact one thing and do it well. You just need a lot more reps. And so that I think is the biggest thing I recommend for people in Roblox. For people leaving Roblox or people who are already developing in Roblox, I think it's really fun to go out and, lecture game development muscles on different ecosystems.

We see this in terms of poker players. There are some poker players who only play no limit hold them. There are people who play both cash and tournaments, but there are people who play do seven triple draw pot limit Omaha. And what we see is that when you flex your different muscles, you just got better at the entire muscle of poker.

And similarly, I think a lot of these guys and gals are working on roadblocks. Will be well served to flex their muscles elsewhere and see if that will give them types of cross learning. And that's really has helped us a ton.

Aaron: So I do think that over the next year or two, we probably will see this big push from these traditional gaming companies.

There's probably a better term to use, but from those companies going into Roblox, how do you think that's going to play out? Do you think that they're, at large, this cohort will succeed and there will be like this new, more professional presence in Roblox? Do you think most will get washed out and get disillusioned by what's, by the traction they get, the revenue that's possible on that platform, maybe somewhere in the middle, leaning in a certain direction?

What do you think?

Sebastian: Yeah, I think by definition I will always bet the field, right? So if you have five AAA studios or 50 AAA studios coming in, it's not that they're just competing with 50 kids. They're competing with 15 million kids making games, right? And so the odds would suggest that we should take.

The 50 million, like they're much more likely to create something interesting and in both. One story that blew my mind while we were working in the ecosystem about 18 months ago now was a game called Duck Game. It was a vibe game. If you've never heard of vibe games, they're this style of cozy games. If you haven't heard of cozy games, we should have a conversation that these are very esoteric but interesting game ecosystems.

The game loop had nothing to do other than chill on an island and watch a big duck float around and try to get on the, it had, I want to say a hundred million like impressions over the first two weeks. It was doing a ridiculous amount in terms of mind sharing the ecosystem. It was clearly built in under a week.

It was clearly something that would hit the Zenith of the zeitgeist. Within that month or two. And then, no one talks about it anymore, but during those two months, it was probably one of the biggest games on roadblocks that type of zeitgeist is something that we, as older game developers, and it's weird to say older to game developers, because coming from GDC, I've spent a bunch of time with game developers who are, we're there since the first GDC, the nineties.

And certainly they're my senior. But, we can't compete with that type of site, guys. We're not on the, this, like a hundred discords or a hundred Twitter threads talking about the latest memes and making stuff like that. That's hard to compete with. I do think there's going to be some really high quality games that come out of these studios.

I would almost always assume that some of them are going to be good. But when one group is making a million games, one group is making fifty, you have to bet on a million.

Aaron: Yeah, it reminds me, have you seen that simulator? I forget what it's called. It's like epic battle simulator or something that hits up like one million toads versus a giant Bowser or Thanos or like these weird these weird matchups.

It's, that's what it reminds me of. And sometimes the one million toads from Mario they end up winning. And it's, those are so funny to see. Anyways, just funny analogy there. Let's talk about UEFN. We're about a year in from Infinite Canvas's perspective. What's the viability of building on the platform right now?

Have you changed your mind on anything here from what you initially expected it was going to be for your business? What are your current thoughts?

Sebastian: Yeah, I think GDC last year, we, people were coming out thinking that UFN was the Roblox killer. We talked about this briefly at the top of the show, but people think these platforms are gonna be ultra competitive and that there's only gonna be one UTC platform, but it's very clearly not the case.

Roblox and fortnight's audiences don't overlap that much on a relative basis, right? The age is so far and probably forever is our hypothesis here, right? It's just that it's just a function of the control schema and how people are used to playing the games and what they're used to. Roblox.

Doesn't have a great first person or third person shooting mechanism. Probably never will. It's not conducive to that as much as it's for everything else. Fortnite is inherently a shooter and everyone's trying to build on top of the shooter. That I think is so important to look at. And then I, and I would go to bat to say, I think the most likely outcome is that we have both Fortnite and Roblox existing in tandem with other platforms, then, Fortnite destroying Roblox or vice versa.

Yeah. To the question of what's changed, what's really interesting about UEFN over the past year is just incentive design. UEFN has changed how people are paying out, like probably every few months over the last year. And what's been really interesting is to watch the style of games that change.

Now, the shooters that were shooters at the beginning, those continue to be very successful and popular and platform. That's probably not the intention of UEFN. The UEFN intention is to create really interesting new game formats and have different people come through. I'm an investor in a company called Barnyard Games, and I think they're doing a really cool game with, they have a golf game.

I did not expect a golf game to do that well on Fortnite, but they're absolutely crushing it. And then props to JB and the team over there for doing that. We feel similarly inside of Infinite Canvas, which is that we are interested to see how the different incentives change. If it goes from incentivizing play hours versus skin spot versus some other metric, I think really changes how the format goes and how the platform goes.

I will also say that the other, the second point that's just true for all development cycles across all ecosystems um, We always assume that things are going to happen faster than they are. I like to say that if you're remodeling a house and you think it's going to take six months, you should multiply that by 1.

5. That'll take closer to nine months. And the same thing for making a game, same thing for expecting things from a platform via roadblocks, via fortnight, all the things that they want to implement are going to take longer than we anticipated, and it's just a question of how much longer, and we'll see what happens there.

Aaron: Yeah, do you think the incentive design of the platform will continue to change?

Sebastian: I think so, although there is a hilarious lag on the incentive relative to outcome. For those of you don't know if you run a company that does work with Roblox or fortnight, your accounting is a pain in the butt, like a huge pain in the butt.

We get our data from Roblox and fortnight and how much we've made in January, sometime around March, sometime early March. And so my co founder Tashar has the, both the pleasure and the headache of trying to. Account, do our accounting and send our investor memos to let people know where we are financially.

And it's always, there's always a lag because it takes a little bit of time to figure for the payout to come through. All reasonable, but that also means our incentives and building towards the incentives are on an even larger delay. So if you combine the insight that you really shouldn't be spending that much time building games.

For some of these platforms, you won't get those, you won't have fast iteration speed combined with the fact that our feedback is not only delayed on the changing financial incentives, but also 60 to 90 day delayed on payment to see how well we did. It makes for a very hard ecosystem and one where we just spend a lot of time thinking about taste and do we have it?

Do we have taste and are we able to implement it properly?

Aaron: Cool. Well, Let's go ahead and talk about Discord. And we can break this into a couple parts. I think the. The first thing we need to discuss is really just the state of Discord. So Sebastian, maybe you could give us an update on where you see Discord going as a platform and what its trajectory is looking to be from a games company point of view here.

Sebastian: That's a great way to frame the question, Aaron. Discord, as far as I can tell, is not only a chat app, it's a, but also it's a social network. It's a games publishing platform. It's a game studio platform, and it's almost certainly a UGC platform. And I think that is something that is hard to wrap your head around unless you spend a lot of time in discord and you've spent a lot of time thinking about what the future of social and consumer can be.

As you got, as some of you may know, but certainly Aaron does, I spent a lot of my time as an investor at the intersection of consumer and gaming. And it's just very clear that gaming is eating consumer gaming is eating consumer whole and any app that is trying to monetize better retain better and has already done the user acquisition bit benefits massively for being a games company in some version of this.

We see this on Netflix. They have the users games company. You see this on YouTube. They have the users games company. You're seeing this with Discord. They have the user's games company. It's been a lot of fun to watch. We saw iterations of this prior. You have like top. gg if you ever go out there. You see a lot of the chatbot bot interactions to create like text based games.

That's stuff that Anthony Canvas has played around with a ton. You're seeing a launch of effectively their experiences platform. So not only do you have that, you also have an SDK such that you can now make actual in game bits for discord as an ecosystem. They're really pushing people to download their entire app and not just function as a web app.

There's a reason for that. It is such a powerful platform because the users are already used to using it for their game playing ecosystem. And I like at the top of the show, we talked a bit about what platforms I'm very bullish on WhatsApp, WeChat messenger. Those are the platforms you haven't heard about, but you haven't heard about discord and how discord has the potential to being an amazing game platform.

This court has to be the top of the list.

Aaron: Yeah. Tell us a bit about what you've built on discord. So far and what you've learned from actually, giving it a shot and being on the front lines of experimenting there. Oh man. Oh man.

Sebastian: I apologize to all our colleagues at discord and the people who run on the open source for getting a bunch of pull requests from people at infinite canvas know that they're great engineers and they just want to help, it's developing in the wild west again.

I think that's something that we really enjoy doing as a company. Infinite Canvas is a fairly senior team. We, we, most of our team, I think we have one person in their 20s on our team now. Like the majority of team is fairly senior. And so we enjoy the exercise of building on new platforms.

Last year around Q4, we built and launched a game called Creature Craft. Which was a completely AI powered game using off the shelf, LLM technology and generative AI technology to create effectively a card game and card RPG game in the ecosystem. We got to about 1. 9 million user reach, which was pretty awesome.

We saw a lot of interesting play and we learned a ton about not only developing games on the platform, but also like play styles on the platform. So couple of fun takes for those of you are interested. One. On the AI side, you really can't do scarcity as it turns out in the way we used to for gotchas, it is hard to push a gotcha like system when people inherently know that you can make an infinite number of things,

One of our one of our our data science, these MPMs Vanya.

Was joking that our company should be called limited paper. If we were going to do more gotcha style games, as opposed to infinite canvas, I thought that was a pretty good line. And I think that's certainly true in the ecosystem. Two, the play behavior is so different and we knew this going in, but we didn't realize how different it would be.

What I mean by that is that this chord, if you think about how people use this chord, is it's in the background. They check it once in a while. They're not open on it as much as unless they're watching something with friends or actively having it as like a secondary app to playing TFT or other games.

That means that games outside of the ecosystem have to look different, like games often to right now are a little bit more anime gacha style games where you can you play for a few minutes and put it down for days at a time. That seems to be a pretty good indication of types of games that you're seeing on the platform.

But in terms of ease of reach, in terms of being able to acquire users, this is some like Roblox like numbers in terms of how quickly we were able to reach an audience. Like I think we got to like 1. 9 million in like 10 weeks. It was pretty crazy.

Aaron: That is pretty crazy. How do you see this playing out over the next few years?

I know a lot of it is still pretty nascent in their tooling. Discord itself is figuring out their own business models here. And so obviously like their support and what they choose to enable as a platform is massively important for enabling everyone else. But, based on these early successes, are you seeing a direction here now, where you're starting to feel more confident that two years from now, three years from now, we'll see this level of gaming activity and these types of games existing and being successful on Discord, or do you, what do you think?

Are you not sure yet?

Sebastian: No, there's a great creator and colleague of mine named Avi Gandhi at creator logic. He's brilliant, and was first digital agent at WME IMG. And then did a bunch of stuff for Patreon, a bunch of other companies, just a really brilliant guy. And he always talks about creator incentives and how money is what drives true creativity in a lot of ways.

Sort of a weird combination. Cause obviously people are creative inherently and the money comes later but that if you have one platform that gives you money, one platform doesn't give you money. People are waiting to block the platform that gives you money. It's like the best reductionist version of what he says.

We don't know deep down. We have no idea. Even as people who spend a lot of time on these ecosystems, I spent a lot of time talking to my fiance about how most of the stuff we worked on will fail. Because that is the base rate of things we work on. We enjoy making games. We enjoy the challenge. And as a business, we're confident that we can see hits as we deploy on these ecosystems.

And that having a lot of users enjoying your games and retain fashion is a no doubt way to make money at some scale. And we're confident in our ability to do we saw this in esports. We saw this with YouTube. We saw this with creators. We believe this to be the case for games. That's fundamentally true.

Will it be discord inherently? It's unclear. We spent a bunch of time messing around with Xsolla inside of this court. You saw a ton of drop off between people trying to like work inside of this board and getting to the pay for things. If you have three clicks on our off platform, you're seeing like 80 percent 80 percent loss in terms of click to payments.

That's not sustainable. From a, a hundred million ARR type business. We do think that this court has signaled to the market that they're moving in that direction. It's clear that they want to IPO at some point soon. This is more the investor had on. It's clear that showing revenue and showing throughput is important.

I think they're going to do well there. The thing that Discord has a chance of doing, which I'm super bullish on, is if anyone looks at Roblox's like quarterly reports, which I know Aaron does, but I'm not sure if anyone listening to this does, but one of the things that they do is it's just like nuanced language where they announce and report gross bookings as opposed to profits and revenues in a lot of their reports.

The reason for that is there's a lot of money floating inside the Roblox ecosystem. I buy a Roblox gift card for my nephew, he then deposits it, I've already given Roblox a hundred dollars, however or let's be honest, 20. He's not getting a hundred dollars of Roblox credit but Roblox doesn't see that converted into profits until he then spends it and it's burned into the ecosystem.

Discord has a chance to do that. I think that's going to be really interesting to see how they set up monetization. Certainly not their concern this moment. But like Discord monetization has always been a huge headache. I want to take a second to describe what Discord monetization looks like right now.

It's mostly nitro. It's mostly some amount of money. That's around four 99. And definitionally from an economic perspective, nitro is either massively overpriced or massively underpriced. There is no version of the world where discords nitro is properly priced because the type of power user who wants to spend a bunch of money on discord almost certainly is reaping a lot more than 60 bucks a year worth of value from discord.

Someone argued everyone is reaping much more than that. And the type of person who's spending spending 1 could really get them a much higher throughput if that's the mechanism that they're trying to hit. And so pricing on this court has been hard because the community is used to not spending any money on the platform.

They're used to receiving this massively expensive service that does real time voiceover IP, which was a technological wonder a decade ago, or two decades ago for free. And that scale and that cost. And able to stream 10 ADP video to all their friends instantly. That's the expectation. And yeah, when you have that as the offering monetization looks a little bit strange.

Aaron: Yeah let's go ahead and talk about AI. There's still so much more to dig into. I guess the best place to start here is just for you to tell us about your work, building games so far with GPT components, what have you done so far? What have you learned so far and specifically like what have you already seen about AI being able to unlock new creative surface area?

Sebastian: Honestly, on my end, I find it absolutely ridiculous that people assume that AI gaming somehow is fake or somehow not real because they think it's all hype. The honest answer is that AI is completely changing a large swath of the gaming ecosystem in ways that Are perhaps less visible to those of us who aren't working in the day to day.

For one using Jenny, I tools to get 80 percent away. There is honestly a great way to deploy and think about the ecosystem. Here's a good example. You don't expect a 22 year old college grad to be correct. A hundred percent of the time, if you expect them to be correct, 80 percent of the time Mazel Tov you have a much more bullish view of the world than I do.

But 80 percent is pretty good. And that's really what. Jet and AI allows a lot of our designers to do, which is quickly scope together the conversation between producer and product lead and designer to align on vision. That speed has gone really far. The second thing that's happening in AI and that we spend a lot of time on is that when new technology comes out, it takes some time to create new formats.

The best analogy I've heard is the radio, right? When radios were first invented, they just put Broadway plays inside of the radio, right? Like it made no sense. It didn't capture everything, but that's how we first started. And then we had radio plays and then we had a lot more of radio as an ecosystem.

When mobile first started, the first games that I had a chance to play and work on were these like 45 minute RPGs. That clearly is not conducive for actual mobile engagement and play. We now know that it takes time to develop new formats. There's a lot of focus on what the future is going to be. There are companies like latent that are doing really cool generative work around physics engines.

That's the future. What infinite canvas focus on is that we're effectively a middleware company. We take these new tools and we figure out new game types that weren't possible before. And then we try to find the fun and finding the fun is a hell of a journey, but that's what really what we're focused on.

Aaron: Awesome. And maybe you could even just take a moment and talk about what have you built so far with it? What have your hands on like exact learnings have been from like the specific things you've built? I think that would just be fascinating to ground that into the details a little bit.

Sebastian: There are three categories of game development, I will say. One is just general level development. It is pretty good at putting together levels and content for existing games. And is the secret sauce. A lot of games that we have already use AI. They already use a lot of the generative AI tech, as well as just simply like scaffolding tech, in order to build out levels and design way ahead of time.

And so vast majority of our games that you see probably use AI and you just won't know, and we're gonna probably keep it that way. So it shouldn't affect your experience. If you don't know this, we've done our job. So that's one category of game. The second category of game like obviously we've talked about Creature Craft inside Discord.

We've also launched a game that we've built in a hackathon called Promptel. You can go to promptel, P R O M P T L E dot G G. That's a game that uses effectively image recognition as long side generative technology in order to determine like how close you are to getting to an answer. We've never seen that game style before.

And I think it's really cool. And it uses this technology in a really fun novel way. We've been spending a lot of our time on mobile puzzles. Like we're doing a lot of puzzle design, puzzle creation and level enforcement. And so One thing that is. The Holy Grail, and I'll take a take a step back and say calling somebody a Holy Grail is never a great idea, typically, because, just spoiler alert, they never find the Holy Grail.

One Holy Grail in mobile gaming puzzles is that you really want to ensure the puzzles are fit to the user. You want them to be fun. You want them to be hard, but not too hard. And that type of difficulty modulation is super hard, typically, because it's hard to figure out someone's ELO. It's something that some people worked on, but it's very low level implementations.

We've been doing a ton of that in our games. And a puzzle game, a word puzzle game, for example, that we're working on modulates after a certain point relative to how good or bad you are at the game. Hopefully in a seamless way that doesn't, you know, and gender type of hatred towards that. But brother it's fun.

It's found. It's, there's a lot of fun stuff there.

Aaron: No, that's cool. And one big question for you here. And in a previous episode, I asked you something along the lines of like with AI, which is going to be more disruptive to gaming, its potential to help create games or its potential to distribute games in new ways.

And you said distribute. Which at the time I thought was really interesting, especially from someone who is, at the bleeding edge and like using AI tools to create new types of games. Do you still think that? And and if you do like maybe you could just unpack that a bit more for us, because I think that's a fascinating insight.

Sebastian: Yeah to reframe the question, one of the coolest things about technology in general, Is it lets you make new things, of course, but the most important thing that any platform that we work on period. And this is not only true for AI, but also for mobile and the internet. Is distribution. If you can't get like the adage goes, if a tree falls in the wood and no one's around to hear it, did the tree fall, obviously the tree fell, but no one's around to hear us.

No one cares is really the takeaway. That's almost certainly true for every new technology we've seen. It's going to be true for every new technology in the future, which is the biggest impact is getting users into it. What we're seeing with AI as opposed to user acquisition is we're already seeing it generate new ad formats.

And new ad content at a much faster scale that allows us to use the existing AB testing tools, or just the meta platform to figure out golden cohorts and much cheaper and faster scale than ever before. You don't need to have new technology of 3d animation or 3d generation to know that an ad format that can acquire more users quickly, it's going to be incredibly valuable and incredibly cheap.

The thing that when I talk to experienced game producers, the thing that keeps everyone up at night. There are two things. One is the fact that their game may never be fun and they'll never know if it's fun until it's fun. That's obviously existential. And we talked less about that, but then there's also the fit around golden cohorts and how much user acquisition costs and can your game survive if the CAC LTV curve is different.

If you can really reduce costs, if you can really reduce costs of acquisition and do hyper targeting at scale. That makes a lot of game formats possible in ways that we previously weren't able to. Let me unpack that further and I know Aaron loves when I do the unpack further thing, which is No, I do.

Please. There, there's the, there's two ways you can unlock further game development. Section one is stuff that was really hard to code or really hard to create edge cases against. There are a lot of styles of games, be it your your rogue likes, your procedurally generated games, your like asset based games that benefit from having more compute effectively because they'll make better fun, more fun games.

And having a fitness function that allows you to like really churn out the unfun parts of the game that's gonna make more fun games, period. That's awesome. We can ignore that for the time being. It's a huge category. It's where we spend a lot of our time at the campus, but that's one part. The other sides of math equation.

If your LTV is higher than your CAC, you have a game. If you game makes more money than it costs to acquire users for your game, what it costs to make the game. You have a game. If it doesn't, you have a project and your project is not profitable and you're going to have to go back to work and do something else at some point.

A lot of games die on the grapevine in part because they're fun games, but they can't compete with the user acquisition costs that Monopoly Go is able to pay because they monetize at a much higher rate than yours. If we can instead create a lot of hyper targeting, using specific AI tooling, Or we can figure out a way to reduce the cost of acquiring users, or we can distribute it better on Tik TOK, or we distributed better on these like UGC social algorithmic platforms, suddenly games that historically would have just lost to monopoly go or lost to a triple a title now can exist.

And now they can find an audience and they can make money and they can sustain a career for people. That's huge. That's just as big, but almost certainly much bigger than creating new formats. It's the ability for existing formats that historically would find a niche audience. And then they'd have to move on now can sustain people's careers and lives.

We see this in Roblox, we're seeing this in Fortnite, and I think we're gonna see this everywhere.

Aaron: Yeah, I think that's massive, and it'll be fascinating to see how exactly that plays out and what the good and bad actors are and, pushing this technology forward in the face of consumers.

It could get a bit wacky I expect. Another side of this that I've been thinking about too, is just whenever you see, These new technology waves sometimes and often these new technologies are embedded into existing platforms. So in this case, like better AI functionality, improving the algorithms of Facebook or Tik TOK that make them, better tools, better platforms to target gamers, to have games on whatever, but at the same time, new technologies also enable entirely new consumer apps that just do new stuff.

Thanks. And we've already seen with chat GPT, it was, I think the fastest ever to reach a hundred million users. And so I suspect that as this whole AI wave really comes to fruition and finds its footing for consumers, it's also going to unlock like these entirely new platforms that some of which maybe we've already seen like chat GPT that will be much more than just a chat interface in the future, but probably also Other apps and services that we haven't seen yet that maybe will have an impact here.

Seb, have you Thought about that side of the equation at all, or are you excited about that? How disruptive do you think that could be?

Sebastian: Yeah it's going to be super disruptive. We're already seeing Roblox, for example. I love Roblox because they always are trying to push the cutting edge. You may not agree with how they deploy their capital, but they're deploying their capital into headcount that helps them achieve their goals, right?

Roblox is doing a lot on AI in part to try to make their platform more no code. In order to allow more creators to make things in the ecosystem. That's awesome. I think the flip side and the reason why AI is disruptive though, especially in gaming and consumer is in part because games are squalid machines.

I've been spending a lot of time with my friend and colleague, Brian, she, Brian used to be the VP of product at pocket gems. And we've been talking a lot about how, as you become a mature games company or mature company in general. You just don't have the opportunity to use new technology that quickly.

There is so much more risk in integrating AI into your triple a game that's an 80 year time span to ship when it's not proven out versus just working on a stuff, we'll work and making money that way. That's an awesome opportunity for startups because it allows you to take on that risk.

It's existential risk. Of course, like things cannot work. But that allows us to effectively disrupt existing game markets and existing consumer brands, because we're allowed to work with this, knowing that all of these machines are squalid, that they aren't built to work with anything else they're built to work with technology from a decade ago.

And so I think that land shift is going to be really cool to watch. It's something that we're already seeing and we're seeing it. Even the GPT store is a great example. People are thinking about so much quicker. If you guys don't know, chat, CPT has a store where you can launch game apps in there.

We've launched a couple of things in there. Versions of Prompto, versions of other things, GPT 4 GPT 4 turbos coming out, and that's been a ton of fun as well. All of these things are to say for people who are looking at the ecosystem, that is where these new platforms look like. It's where this new tech allowed people to come check it out.

Now there's a ton of users who, for whom, ChatGPT integrates their world. When you have that, people are going to make cool consumer products on top of them. And in ways that existing players, let's say for example, Activision Blizzard. Can not move quickly in that direction because they're acquired by Microsoft and they have other logistical regulatory risk, and there's a lot of stuff pushing them away from it.

Aaron: There, there's so many other ways we could take this conversation. And there are platforms, emerging platforms, existing platforms that we haven't really talked about yet. There's obviously AR with which, with the Apple vision pro having come out, seems to be. Hasn't quite found its footing as a device yet because of maybe decisions Apple has made and not supporting like new content well enough and seeding that developer ecosystem, but there's also other places too, there's like even in the realm of PC distribution, there's all sorts of activity with web three companies, Epic game store is out there, pushing even beyond UEFN.

Are there other areas that you are thinking about with At infinite canvas that you're eyeing or like planning on attacking you want to experiment with would just like to hear about what else we haven't discussed yet that you're excited about.

Sebastian: Yeah, obviously, let's talk a little bit about the Apple Vision Pro.

The Apple Vision Pro is super cool. I had a chance to try it out. I think anyone who tries it out thinks it's super cool. It's super nascent. The Fun fact, when the iPhone came out, the app store didn't exist. Like the app store was a, was I believe a three GS invention, not a iPhone one invention. It takes a couple of years.

It does take people time to get there. I think AR games in particular, we, and we haven't experimented with them as much because our view of AR games is much more to do with IP than anything else. When you have a visual medium, the thing that matters is the IP that gets people to come join. One of the coolest parts about Pokemon go was that it's basically pound for pound ingress, which was the previous Niantic title, but it has Pokemon, which is awesome and very cool.

I'm literally drinking out of a Snorlax cup myself. And so like you, it is almost always a case that in these worlds and these new platforms and products, IP is going matter of time. I think that is a theme that we haven't touched upon a ton, which is Infinite Canvas is a lot of work with pre IP.

We've done a lot of self IP generation. If you have the transmedia thesis, which I don't have, but some other people do. You want to have a new IP that transcends everything. One thing that hasn't been as explored inside of Web3 and Epic Games or everywhere else is that there's a lot of really cool IP that just hasn't been unlocked.

If you assume what I assume that everything that gaming is eating consumer. Gaming should, at the end of the day, eat all IP as well. And so one thing that we're spending a lot of time on right now is new IP across the world, across regions. And we're looking for IP that, may not have been considered gaming in the past, but may now be games as well.

Here's a really esoteric example. There is almost certainly a Volatro version that incorporates card IP, be it Bicycle or CoPav or some of these like high end card distributor ecosystems. There's a version of there's a version of Wingspan called Wormspan that's coming out.

Almost certainly they could do IP integration with things that have dragons in general. I think there's a, wingspan and wormspan less so because they already have an audience, but if you're a new company or a new games company, you should be thinking about platformization and distribution beyond just your web three, your Epic game stores, your AR in terms of vision pros, you should think of it also in terms of, Hey, what IP can really push the needle because that's what helps off in new technology.

Aaron: Yeah. Makes sense. Obviously there's no shortage of emerging platforms, technology shaking things up, but a big question for you here, Sebastian is any of this actually a new blue ocean? Or is it going to just change up existing market share? How do you see that playing out? How much does all of this really matter in terms of growing the pie for our industry?

Sebastian: This will certainly grow the pie for gaming, period. The biggest thing that hurts gaming from a growing the pie perspective is people not assuming everything is gaming. They're just too many millennials now. And this is where I feel older. Which is that, when we're the people shaking our fists at the sky, there's too many of our colleagues, Aaron, who are analysts, who are observing the ecosystem, and who are basically saying, that shouldn't count as a game, that shouldn't count as a game, that shouldn't count as a game.

I think they're all full of BS. Anything that's a game or seems like a game is a freaking game. I think that's true. Anyone who plays game is a gamer. It's, in my definition of gamer, something like 90 percent of all kids right now are gamers. Because it's actually true that they're gamers. If they're playing a game of some sort, they're gamers.

We've had a negative association within the past, obviously is associated with a subculture. I didn't, that's going to leave us. And really all of this platformization, the use of AI gaming in particular, allowing us to create more interesting experiences are tailored to people. It is going to further the idea that everything is a game and thus grow the pie substantially.

I cannot emphasize enough that if you are in YouTube, And it makes you play an interesting version of let's say cookie clicker based on one of the videos you're watching that is a game that is a version that can be better suited by AI. And three, it is something that will make more and more people gamers.

And that's almost certainly growing the pie overall.

Aaron: And maybe it's a ground, some of this again more in reality tactics for companies. How do you think games companies will look or operate differently as a byproduct of building on all of these different platforms to come that just have their own unique quirks, ways of working the games themselves will be a bit different.

Maybe you can answer that big picture, but even if there's something more specific about infinite canvas, like how you're thinking about what this company is going to look like, because you're building it today, versus if you were building it five years ago, 10 years ago, that'd be fascinating to know.

Sebastian: If you're a games company, you can basically approach the world in two main ways, in my opinion.

And I will also say that if you don't approach it one of these two ways, you're just wrong and you're failing at some point we're at the end of the day. You're you can approach it like an oil company. In the 1900s, or you can approach it like an oil company in the 2200s. In the 1900s, it always made sense for you to be an oil prospector once you hit it big drilling and getting a nice oil well to take that money and look for more oil wells.

Oil is going up in price. There's a lot of oil in the ground. This is a resource everyone freaking needs. Let's go drill. In 2200, almost certainly if you're an oil company, you should only, if you find an oil well, you should distribute the cash to everyone and you should call it a day oil one would hope is on this massive decline by 2200 there.

It's a, it's an ecosystem that we have a lot more alternatives for, and it's certainly going to print money, but it's not going to get there. How does this affect games companies? Either you're an oil company. In the 1900s. And therefore you are now looking for new ways to build games. And this is where infinite canvas is right now.

We're a sure R and D T all major game studios and publishers should have massive R and D teams or massive M and a teams. In order to find those new oil wells, as people take shots and find those things and build out their ecosystem, complete flip side. If you're not doing that, you really should stop trying to develop anything.

And I think we started to see this in the last 10 years, a lot of game development was about extraction. It's about making more money from existing users. It's about making more money from the existing IP you have. I think that's a fine way to run a business. It's not the most fun way to run a business by, from my parlance, but it is one way to run a business.

But certainly you should either have a massive R and D or M and A team in order to build out that ability to find more oil, or you should basically be distributing your cash back to your investors. I think that's going to be the big change and piece of advice I would, I give to people moving forward.

Infinite Canvas right now, we're very much in the pure R and D prospecting phase.

Aaron: Yeah if you had 10 chips Seb, and each chip represented building a project and you're looking at all of these different platforms, and you have to put all 10 chips down as your bets maybe you could put four chips on UEFN, two on Discord, and the rest elsewhere.

How would you be placing your chips today, as like a new company that could only build on these emerging platforms?

Sebastian: Yeah. So amusingly, if you were to apply Kelly criteria, maybe we should only apply one ship and then stay alive for 10 years, but no this is a really interesting take and I think it differs company to company and differs on your incentives.

Here's something I will say as a founder investor at my intersection. If you're doing a free to play game, because your investors are telling you that's the only way to show ARR, you should find new investors. They should find people who are actually in your corner. I think it's ridiculous that people are placing bets based on what their incentive investors want.

I will say, if you're a venture backed company, we'll talk a little bit about this later, but you want to get to certain amount of risk, because if you don't take enough risk, you're not going to get to enough scale to justify being a venture backed company. And I think that is something that I think about a lot for infinite canvas and for ourselves, we've raised a low under 10 million, we've been around for a little over three years now.

We are a company that we're a venture backed company. As the decisions we make are purely based on trying to find the type of massive oil well, the type of really fun, compelling superstar home run game that would get us to where we want to get to from that definition, we have done nothing but fail in the last three plus years.

And I think that's something that's always fun to say, because you don't hear enough people saying this. We have a lot of singles and doubles. We have games have made a million ARR, right? But from this perspective of being a venture backed company, from the perspective of being a successful AI powered games company.

We still haven't found the home run that we really will feel proud about. And in that sense, we're spreading our bets wide. We're, this is not good economics. If you're trying to stay alive for 20 years, this is great economics. If you're trying to be a venture backed company, this is great economics. If you are incentivized, like we are to be a game studio publisher in this new pool nation ecosystem, we're placing our bets on this court.

If you had to place them in anything, you can say that it's really, we're placing all our bets on black. And if black is AI and red is not AI, we're all on all in on black. And as Wesley Snipes used to say, always bet on black, right? We're certainly all in on AI. However, if you were to go more platform by platform, we're so agnostic to where that's going to look and what that's going to look like 12 months ago, I would have told you, perhaps that was on roadblocks, maybe on fortnight.

Six months ago, I would have said Discord for sure, TikTok perhaps. Today, I would say, almost certainly, we have no idea. Perhaps it's mobile, perhaps it's PC. But it's really where we can find that intersection of users as well as virality in combination of the new game format is where we're going to be placing our bets, but it's all in on AI until then.

Aaron: Awesome. A couple final questions for you, Sebastian, and I'll get you out of here. Last time around, we talked a lot about esports too, because you've spent a lot of time in that field. Any quick updated thoughts one year later on the state of that industry or what you're excited about?

Sebastian: Yeah, they are, the audience is getting older.

That is, by definition, true. And because we're a year in the future, I think that's awesome. I've been looking a lot at esports and I've been thinking a lot about the non venture scale of esports and how that's okay. I think that is something that. Is almost certainly case that in the traditional investing model, you don't have to be venture backable, right?

One concern I've always had with venture capital is that the way you succeed in venture capital as a traditional VC is and David Hornig over at Lobby says this all the time, which is you have to hit a hundred million ARR. That's recurring revenue, right? Like annual recurring revenue, a hundred million.

And then really, if you want to be a successfully publicly traded IPO company, You have to grow 50 percent between year one and two, right? You have to go from a hundred to 150 million ARR. Are there e sports teams that are getting there? Probably not. Are there e sports businesses? Does that mean that they're bad businesses?

No. If you have that many eyeballs, they're a good business. And I think a lot of what's happening right now is that shifting of focus. One of the coolest things I've seen in e sports, and I've talked to a lot of my colleagues and I still help out on, is how do you then build incentives? For your employees to stay that, I think it's going to be really interesting to see in that space.

If you are, if you've sold people on the idea that they're going to work for you for four years, and they're going to have a billion dollar exit. That's almost certainly not true. How are you going to retain your customers? How are you going to retain your employees? It's going to require a different ecosystem and.

I've been very fortunate to be privy to a lot of those conversations on how that's going on. People are thinking about it, but certainly it's going to look a lot more like traditional sports teams. It's going to look a lot more like people doing passionate things, probably making less money than they would on general markets, but doing something they're passionate about, and that's an interesting trade off for them.

So e sports super healthy in terms of the actual egos, your ship is fine across the board. However, it is going to look more cost controlled than it did in the past years.

Aaron: Final question. I've learned you have good taste in books. You're widely read. And so any book recs that you would recommend to games industry leaders out there or just that you've enjoyed recently?

Sebastian: Yeah. Yeah. So I am a huge believer in not reading anything about gaming. What if you're trying to get about gaming and then the reason for this Is pretty straightforward. If you yourself believe that your friends and colleagues are reading the same books as you are, that means there's no way, unless you're a freaking genius to have interesting novel thoughts, the only way to get interesting novel thoughts is either to be so far ahead of the curve that you can consume the same amount of content and come to those insights earlier.

Or to consume a different set of content. And so I've spent a lot of time actually reading a lot of stuff. That's like completely unrelated to gaming. I think that's really helpful for anyone thinking about games or ecosystems. I highly recommend chip war. I think chip war is an amazing book by Chris Miller.

It talks about the the it's talks about how the microprocessor chip ecosystems come together. It's just a really cool historical book. I always recommend books like Power Broker by Robert Caro, the Robert Moses book. It's 1, 300 pages, so apologies, but I think it gives you a good sense of why people are incentivized to do what they do.

I think I learned more about negotiating with publishers from the power broker than I have from any other thing I've read, because it's just like, they have the power, they're building the land. What do I have to hopper like this? I think that interaction is pretty interesting and pretty cool. I would not recommend you read tomorrow and tomorrow.

It is a really good work of fiction, but it is very depressing as a game developer to read because it's a little bit, it's a little bit too close to home. And then if I can recommend one last thing as like a, as a final follow up to everyone is I would highly recommend reading a bunch of newsletters outside of your industry.

And so I think Derek Thompson's work is really awesome. I think Naavik work is awesome. You probably are already reading the Naavik work. And then I think there's a lot of stuff, honestly, in sports that are so applicable to business. And so I highly recommend looking at Walt Hickey's new website. Let me just make sure I have the URL correctly.

He just launched it yesterday at time of recording. But there is such really cool insights from Sherwood dot news, S H E R W O D dot news. Really cool data insights there. They had a piece yesterday about naming of like effectively different arenas in sports and how that shows you the economic trend lines that's so applicable to the stuff we do highly recommend reading that stuff.

Aaron: Cool. Yeah, I've definitely learned that both business is a liberal art, and that, everything involved in making and building games is also a liberal art, too, and So being well, studied in a variety of areas, whether it's, psychology, economics, literature, whatever it is, it surprisingly, comes into play here and there.

Sebastian: If it's actually the case that AI is making it easier for everyone to make things, almost certainly that means cases going to matter more. And so developing your sense of taste, like Ira Glass says all the time, where you get into the industry because you have taste. Developing your sense of taste is going to matter more and more the easier it is to use AI tools to make content.

Aaron: Awesome. Let's go ahead and wrap up here. Sebastian, as always, it's a pleasure to chat with you. Thanks as always for joining me.

Sebastian: Thanks for having me. And if you guys are around, you can follow me on Twitter. You can find me on LinkedIn and we'll go from there.

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