8 investors discuss social gaming’s biggest opportunities – TechCrunch

Gaming industry There have been plenty of watershed moments in 2020 as consumer entertainment habits have shifted in response to the epidemic. There is a trend Crystallization of MMOs as Social Entertainment Hub More needs for users than ever before.

After my survey Gaming-focused investor on trends in the AR / VR world Several months ago, I pinged a handful of investors to share their views on the shifting trends and opportunities in social gaming.

One thing that most investors expressed excitement about was the wider entertainment ambitions of the social platform, as concerts and movie screenings find homes on gaming platforms such as Fortnite.

While developing free-to-play mechanics continue to elevate the experience of single-player titles to something more alive and breathing, platforms such as Robox have found areas for development that seem more unique, users Develop into a destination to communicate and share.

“This is where culture is created,” Madron’s Daniel Lee told TechCrunch.

Not all respondents shared the belief that gaming platforms such as Fortnite would grow to become the next Facebook. Nico Bonatos of General Catalyst pointed to adjacent platforms such as Desorde or Twitch, which would remain as consumers cycling through the various platform ecosystems. Others still described the dissatisfied experience as a stumbling block switching between mobile and desktop experiences.

The creation of Metaverse and the creation of a popular casual mobile game are two different things. Most investors I spoke to emphasize how fast the scaling speed has increased across categories, although with breakouts growing faster than ever before, disasters tend to be apparent sooner.

“I think you look in our midst, and cyberpunk on the other hand, anything can get a lot faster and more extreme, because it used to be just because of delivery,” Alice Lloyd George of Rosé VC told TechCrunch .

Read below for full answers; Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.


Hope Cochran and Daniel Lee, Madron Venture Group

The idea that the next big social network will be an MMO seems to be a trendy one in the VC world, what exactly is happening?

Daniel Lee: Asha and I were trading some notes and part of our thesis is that gaming is the future of social and for Gen Z, gaming is not only replacing old games, but it is replacing TV and Netflix is. So instead of going to watch music videos on YouTube, you are going to a concert in Roblox and it is a social experience with your friend… instead of going to the mall, you are now in Roblox. This is where children hang out and this is where culture is made.

Hope Cochran: And at COVID, this is the only place they can hang out and I think the gaming industry has done another great social work that we still need more. I don’t want to focus too much on children, but parents are starting to accept their children more in sports because it is social engagement and for example, I can see my child engaging with their four best friends Used to be. They log in together and they play. They can usually be out on a football field, but they just can’t, so I think the parents are getting a little comfortable saying, “Oh, he’s playing with his friends.”

Gaming has seemingly become a more “mainstream” area for investment, as someone who is a little bit into space, what is different about investing in the gaming sector?

Court: It is very difficult to strike a balance between creative or understanding, which can become a hit and a real business mind. So my experience has been that when you look at an investor in a gaming company, it is really driven by mathematics, statistics and analysis, and then you have a core team that has the creative juices , So I try to find that kind of dynamic.

So, who is developing what users would like and who is analyzing it and how they are responding to what users are loving. I think there is a point where a team develops a game and it is mostly a creative process but then you have to toggle it like analytics. This is where mathematicians meet wizards and should be combined within every game.

How are popular games and MMOs different these days? Have you seen any interesting development hacks or tactics that look promising?

DL: I think there are more and more of these cultural memes that just come out of nowhere, like just sitting in our midst for two years and the streamers started picking it up and now it’s super popular. I would say for almost all of them, they are going to be a social category of games, you don’t see a game like cyberpunk, there is no marketing dollar behind it.

So I think one of those new channels is being influenced to talk about your game, and generally I think it’s for people who aren’t really big influencers who take it, This is a whole bunch of little influencers who start playing a game and do it. Start making steam in this way. Call of Duty is more likely to hire big streamers and pay them millions of rupees to play a new game, but I don’t think there is a new market to go for the small studios around it.

How can MMOs that originally feel like active experiences provide a better passive experience for users who are more interested in the community than playing a first-person shooter or fight royale? How do sports become more acceptable to a wider audience?

DL: A lot of people are saying that these single-player games are not really fun games, they are like cinematic experiences. Playing cyberpunk to watch a 60-hour versus binge-watching TV series is definitely a different experience. What is really more interesting here is the virtual events occurring within these games. Thinking about what the next twitch looks like, maybe it’s some kind of experience where you’re doing something else inside the game.

Nico Bonatos, General Catalyst