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Session Name The Rise of Free-To-Play Core Gaming
Speaker(s) Mitch Lasky
Company Name(s) Benchmark Capital
Track / Format Business and Marketing and Management
Overview

The impact of the free-to-play distribution models and virtual goods sales has been well documented in the social and mobile gaming spaces. These business models have also been deployed in China and Korea on core-gamer products and MMOs with great
success. But until recently, the efficacy of free-to-play core gaming had not been demonstrated in the West. Unlike social and mobile games, the relatively high production costs and high customer acceptance risks inherent in core games has limited experimentation with the new business models.

This is now changing and the commercial success of Riot Games' League of Legends and other titles has put free-to-play business models in the spotlight. However, the use of these models is an all-or-nothing decision for a new title. Simply bolting on free-to-play distribution and virtual goods monetization to a conventional packaged goods game is a recipe for failure. Succeeding at free-to-play requires a new design paradigm, a new marketing approach, and a new relationship between developers and customers that has more to do with internet commerce than the traditional games business.
 

This session will examine the business implications of the free-to-play models in core gaming. We will discuss the entire business life-cycle of free-to-play core games, focusing on the ways these games differ markedly from existing packaged goods models. Particular attention will be paid to production, infrastructure, team organization, distribution and marketing, virtual goods merchandising and sales, and revenue recognition.

GDC 2012

Mitch Lasky

Benchmark Capital

free content

Business and Marketing and Management

Business & Marketing


UBM Tech