Steal This Game (Ep. 1)
Hosts Mitch Lasky and Blake Robbins discuss the rise of free-to-play as a dominant business model for video game marketing and distribution. They look at the roots of free-to-play in the shareware business, where companies like id Software and Apogee used it to build independent game businesses. Mitch shares some stories about his time as id's publisher in the late 90's. They then look at free-to-play as a response to rampant PC software piracy, primarily in Asia, and how Korean giant Nexon invented the modern internet free-to-play model with games like Maple Story and particularly Kart Rider. They conclude by tracing free-to-play back to the West, first in the casual games space and later with companies like Riot Games (League of Legends) and Epic (Fortnite). Mitch talks about his early investment in a pre-product Riot, and how they used free-to-play to become one of the most valuable games companies in the world.
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