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The GameMakers podcast publishes deep discussions on F2P game development. Topics that we cover include F2P monetization, liveops, game design, game development processes, team structure, and more. The podcast will cover 3 types of content: 1. F2P Game Dev: Game development topics focusing on the business of F2P games 2. Philosophy Friday: Deep dive discussions on philosophical industry and business issues in the games industry 3. LILA Games Story: The real world and real-time story of LILA ...
 
Join Chris Byrne, The Toy Guy® and Richard Gottlieb, president Global Toy Experts on their new podcast Two industry experts will tackle the topics of the toys, culture, toy history and talk with some of the leading people in the business of toys and children’s entertainment. Designed for anyone interested in toys, play and great stories, each weekly episode will feature engaging, entertaining conversation, useful information, insights, tales of the toys that we’ll never forget and so much mo ...
 
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show series
 
Sebastian Park is a co-founder of the UGC publishing company Infinite Canvas and a venture partner at BITKRAFT Ventures. He was also formerly VP of eSports for the Houston Rockets and co-founded Clutch Gaming. Seb talks about his beliefs on why user-generated gaming is the next frontier for the games industry. SUBSCRIBE TO GAMEMAKERS: - Apple Podca…
 
Richard and Chris talk with Toy Industry Hall of Fame designer Jeffrey Breslow about his career, his time with Marvin Glass and associates, the inspirations and tragedies that shaped his career. "Brez," as he's known, entered the toy industry when he was hired by Glass on the spot and spent the next 41 years developing games, and ultimately leading…
 
Three of the greatest experts on Entertainment IP in Games give perhaps the most in-depth discussion on impact, deal structure, issues, and advice. You don't want to miss this if you have any interest of licensing IP in your game! SUBSCRIBE TO GAMEMAKERS: - Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/34hfOtv - Spotify Podcast: https://spoti.fi/3Cpyq7i - Newsle…
 
Chris Charla chats with Andrew Shouldice, the game developer and designer behind Tunic. Together they discuss his journey into game development and the decision to go indie; the influences behind Tunic; the pressure of debuting your first project; the joy of mystery and discovery; and building a world full of secrets. To watch this episode, visit o…
 
Richard and Chris talk with Chad Gharring of Boley about the dramatic rise of the company as a private label, brand building company and as an innovator in sustainability--and increasingly hot and important topic in the toy industry. They also talk about the advantages of being a Chinese/American hybrid company. You'll want to know more about this …
 
Xalavier Nelson Jr. chats with writer and content creator Alanah Pearce. Together they discuss how her love of writing and video games began; creating content across a variety of mediums; getting her start in game development; cleared misconceptions after leaving media and joining development teams; and the importance of creating accessible games f…
 
Richard and Chris talk to Kenny Davis, CEO of the start-up Action Face about the new platform that allows users to create avatars, action figures and much more using advanced scanning technology, right on the phone. They discuss the evolution of the concept, Kenny's background, and how managers can maximize the new virtual world of work. The Playgr…
 
Trent Kusters chats with ManaVoid Entertainment's Christopher Chancey. Together they discuss designing an RPG without traditional combat in Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan; tackling difficult subjects in video games; the delicate nature of creating games suitable for children; and about his work with Indie Asylum and the burgeoning Montré…
 
Richard and Chris talk with Aaron Muderick, executive chairman of the Toy Association, about Toy Fair in New York in 2023, Dallas in 2022, and related issues. They also talk about the Association's efforts on lobbying and challenges and opportunities for the industry as it moves into a new era. Muderick's thoughtful and insightful comments make thi…
 
Corey May speaks with the Oliver Lewin and Graham Parkes, two of the developers behind Before Your Eyes. Together they discuss how they created the blinking mechanic in game jams; the process of "learning by doing and learning by failing"; the technical and narrative challenges that arose from the game's central mechanic; and their experience relea…
 
CEO of Star Stable Entertainment Johan Sjöberg calls his game "World of Warcraft...for girls." The hugely successful game is now making its move into toys under a licensing agreement with Just Play. In this episode, Richard and Chris talk with Sjöberg about the development of the brand, how they engage with kids and the expansion onto iOS and Andro…
 
Austin Wintory chats with Jeff van Dyck, the composer and sound designer behind 2021's indie hit, Unpacking. Together they discuss how Unpacking features over 14,000 individual sound effects; how the interactivity of games lead the Foley and music design process; how the transition from midi to linear recording affected audio workflows; and his jou…
 
Richard and Chris talk to Barry Schwartz of Schwartz PR about his incredible career. From his start as a kid in vaudeville, Barry moved into PR (another kind of showbiz, he notes) and was the creative and PR force behind many hits of the mid-20th Century. From introducing LEGO and the Othello game to the United States, to launching Hello Kitty in A…
 
Austin Wintory chats with Maclaine Diemer, one of the composers behind ArenaNet's long-running MMO, Guild Wars. Together they discuss his insightful presentation at GDC 2022; his career path from sound design to composing music; and the importance understanding nuance when creating music that references foreign cultures while also being open to hav…
 
After a career in product management at places like Zynga Natural Motion and Digital Chocolate, Akash Senapaty founded e-learning startup Vah Vah with 3 others from Zynga India. What are the lessons learned? What was he able to translate from being a games PM at Zynga to entrepreneurship? What are his thoughts on the gaming companies and the opport…
 
Trent Kusters (Co-Founder and Studio Director of League of Geeks) chats with Wren Brier and Tim Dawson, two of the developers behind the indie hit Unpacking. Together they discuss their journeys into game development; how the idea for Unpacking came about; important milestones during development; how clever marketing helped keep their game in the g…
 
We discuss the current opportunity space for traditional game developers around Web3. SUBSCRIBE TO GAMEMAKERS: - Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/34hfOtv - Spotify Podcast: https://spoti.fi/3Cpyq7i - Newsletter: https://gamemakers.substack.com/ - Don't miss an episode on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/GameMakersStudio OUTLINE: 0:00 Introduction …
 
Richard and Chris talk to Choon Ng, inventor of the Rainbow Loom and new CEO Chris Tidwell about the history of this phenomenon, how the company has grown, strategies for keeping kids engaged and the always-present challenge of fighting infringements and knock-offs. It's a great story, and Choon's management philosophy: "I want to have fun." is an …
 
We talk about game studio fundraising and specifically Series A funding - what that means - and lessons, best practices, and mistakes based on my own experience with this current financing round. Understand the difference between Seed and Series A. Make sure you don't make the same mistakes I did. Don't be a lame CEO and make sure you take funding …
 
At the 2022 D.I.C.E. Summit, Austin Wintory chats with actor Maggie Robertson. Together they discuss her journey into acting and landing the role of Lady Dimitrescu in Capcom's Resident Evil Village; the ins and outs of voice acting and performance capture; and the incredible fandom that sprung around the vampire countess before the game was even r…
 
Mr. Product Growth Guy himself Aakash Gupta and I discuss the details behind our recent report on the growth and Rise of Gaming in India. Check out the full written analysis here: https://gamemakers.substack.com/p/the-rise-of-the-indian-gaming-market SUBSCRIBE TO GAMEMAKERS Newsletter: https://gamemakers.substack.com/ - Don't miss an episode on You…
 
At the 2022 D.I.C.E. Summit, Austin Wintory chats with Philp Eriksson, Lead Sound Designer at Hazelight. Together they discuss his transition from music into game development; the incredible challenge of designing all the audio for the various worlds and themes of It Takes Two; and what steps the team took in order to tackle such a tremendous proje…
 
In this important and insightful episode, Richard and Chris talk with Eric Pliner, CEO of YSC Consulting about what today's managers can learn from the current political, employee and public image crisis at Disney. Pliner's insights on the changing nature of ethics and employment are essential for anyone who wants to function effectively in the con…
 
How should companies think about retaining employees? 1. How much to invest in employees when they may wind up just leaving? 2. How to retain employees besides just wage escalation? 3. What should the attitude of employers be regarding the loss of employees? 4. How to think about matching competitive compensation vs. letting employees go? 5. Thinki…
 
The Russia Ukraine war has had a dramatic impact on many people’s lives. Huge impact to society, to our economies, and to various industries in different ways. How has video game development been impacted by the war? Boris Kalmykov, CEO of Hypemasters is a Russian living in the UK but with most of his company formerly located in St. Petersberg. - H…
 
Ted Price chats with Shannon Loftis, the retiring VP of Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios and Studio Head of World's Edge Studio. Together they look back on her long and prestigious career; her thoughts on leadership including advice for new leaders of large development teams; examples of initiatives Microsoft has implemented to foster diversity; and h…
 
Richard and Chris talk to Andrew Yanofsky and Syndey Wiseman of WowWee, both second generation toy people. More than just a legacy, however, these dynamic professionals are at the forefront of product development, research, consumer knowledge and leveraging new media platforms to develop enthusiastic communities of consumers. Their great perspectiv…
 
Today I’m here with my co-founder and CTO of LILA Games, Avinash Pandey. Having a frank discussion about the games industry here in India and what it’s going to take for India to become a place where world-leading games studios emerge. If China and Turkey can do it, why not India? SUBSCRIBE TO GAMEMAKERS: - Newsletter: https://gamemakers.substack.c…
 
Producer Brian Volk-Weiss joins Richard and Chris for a second time. This time to talk about the launch of his new toy company--Nacelle Toys. Brian is the producer of the successful Netflix series The Toys that Made Us and A Toy Store Near You, now entering its fourth season. In this lively conversation, Brian talks about the decision to roll out t…
 
We breakdown the mobile marketing activities of both Garena Free Fire Max and PUBG: New State, comparing and contrasting the user acquisition initiatives deployed in both games. We first start with a high-level overview of the top 3 mobile shooter games: PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile, and Garena Free Fire. Joining to review, discuss, and add mea…
 
Robin Hunicke chats with Tyler Sigman, Co-Founder of Red Hook Studios. Together they discuss his journey into board games and video games; his start making table top games; his first steps into video game design; the difficulties of navigating funding for an indie studio in an emerging market; and the decisions that led to founding Red Hook Studios…
 
What are the skills and kind of personality required to be a winning product manager? In particular, what do you need to become a "needle-moving" PM instead of a minor cog that doesn't actually make much of a difference? High-level outline 1. Organizational differences we often see in different gaming studios and talk about some of the ways in whic…
 
We discuss the current state of mergers & acquisitions in the games industry. Topics: 0:00 Introduction 4:13 Activision to Microsoft 12:16 Zynga to Take-Two 25:30 Current M&A Landscape 39:25 Potential Targets 48:17 Playtika Acquisition 51:52 Carve-Out Opportunities 1:01:03 Predictions Speakers: - Saad Choudri, CEO at Miniclip - Michael Metzger, Par…
 
In this special episode, Richard and Chris largely turn over the mic to Jay Foreman, chairman of the Toy Association Trade Show Committee. He lays out the case for the September Toy Fair in New York in light of the changing dynamics of the industry, the needs of manufacturers, buyers, and more, and the historic shift in the show that this move repr…
 
Richard and Chris speak with Christian Braun of HobbyDB, the global hobby and collectibles database about collecting, what creates value, and best practices for companies that want to be in the collectible or limited edition business. They talk about what makes this sector different from traditional toy development and marketing, and such issues as…
 
Some context: - IDFA deprecation has created a -30% margin compression for many game studios against their game revenue - With the deterioration of lookalike audiences CA submits that contextual and interest-based targeting will be more performant - Consumer Acquisition performed over 25,000 multivariate tests on Facebook, Google, Tiktok, and Snap …
 
This conversation about the recently announced move of New York Toy Fair to September 2023 looks at the challenges, opportunities and the industry-wide implications of this move. Richard and Chris talk about what it might mean for companies of all sizes and how the move reflects the dynamic toy business. The Playground Podcast is supported by Globa…
 
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