Mitch Lasky - The Business of Gaming - [Invest Like the Best, EP.293]
Play • 1 hr 13 min

My guest today is Mitch Lasky. Mitch is a partner at Benchmark and one of the leading figures in the video game industry. Over the last 30 years, he has built, led, and invested in a number of the best gaming companies in the world, including Activision, EA, Riot, Snapchat, and Discord. I couldn’t think of a better person to break down the anatomy of great gaming businesses and Mitch does not disappoint. His insights are remarkable. Please enjoy this excellent conversation with Mitch Lasky.


For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.




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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.


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Show Notes

[00:02:31] - [First question] - Why there aren’t more famous gaming investors

[00:05:08] - The most important features of the modern gaming business model

[00:07:11] - Developing his aesthetic taste and investing decision skill

[00:08:03] - What makes a game fun 

[00:09:26] - How delivering a pleasurable active user experience differs from passive content and media

[00:11:09] - The developers of Doom being the first real modern video game company

[00:13:09] - Half-Life’s important role in the development of the gaming industry

[00:17:54] - How some of the big game aggregators get started in the first place

[00:19:58] - What Riot can teach non-gaming businesses about business writ large

[00:21:10] - Ways that the change from physical games to downloads changed monetization

[00:31:47] - The impact of Apple’s privacy changes on gaming revenue

[00:34:11] - How the access to professional game engines and a lower friction environment will change the industry

[00:37:04] - Whether or not there is a step beyond mobile

[00:39:42] - Ways platforms like Twitch and Discord have influenced gaming

[00:42:26] - What he’s learned about games that allow them to seemingly exist forever

[00:45:17] - Signs of a healthy gaming community

[00:46:21] - The role of celebrities and influencers and generating retained audiences

[00:47:45] - Whether or not crypto will unlock new opportunities for in-game monetization 

[00:52:50] - Key categories of motivators that could replace a ponzi-style in-game inflation 

[00:54:36] - Contrasting League of Legends versus a Ready Player One style world

[00:58:22] - Emerging technologies and trends that may revolutionize the industry 

[01:02:41] - The most genius game pattern he’s ever played

[01:04:44] - What attributes will define the great game investors in the coming decades

[01:06:59] - How much his experience lends itself to investing in other sectors

[01:11:07] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him

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