GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Export Schedule:

Is Publishing Dead?

Mitch Lasky  |  General Partner, Benchmark

Location: Room 3007, West Hall

Format: Session
Track: Business, Marketing & Management
Vault Recording: Video

In the last five years, the business of game publishing has completely transformed. Massive structural changes in the way games are created, distributed and consumed have eliminated the traditional choke-points that empowered publishers: scarce shelf space, expensive manufacturing of packaged goods, access to development money, and conventional media marketing. As a developer, it has never been easier to get a game to market by yourself. So, is publishing dead? In this session, game industry-veteran and leading venture capitalist Mitch Lasky will dig into the pros and cons of the competing next-generation publishing models: the super-developers, the ad networks, the platform players, the social/chat networks and others. Lasky's thesis is that industry changes have not eliminated the profound economic benefit of scale, and that scale is the key to value creation. He will explore these different approaches, untangling the core components of modern publishing: audience aggregation, customer acquisition leverage, engagement and monetization, electronic distribution, and hardware/software platforms.


In this session you will learn why publishers were useful in the past, why publishers have come under pressure recently, and how publishing is likely to be re-invented in the future. By looking at such diverse companies as Riot Games, Chartboost, Valve, Tencent and Kakao, the speaker will explain how publishing can capture what investors, developers and consumers consider valuable today.

Intended Audience

This session will be of general interest to both business people and creative people who want a deeper understanding of the way the video game business works. Developers and publishers of online, free-to-play, and mobile games will find this session particularly useful as they think about how to make their products and companies valuable in a highly complex and competitive environment.