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Mitch Lasky —
Mitch Lasky is a general partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark and a former entrepreneur and video game executive... (wikipedia)
I've watched what happens when a game like 'DragonVale' gets to number one on iOS. Suddenly there's ten other versions of it that hit the store. As a gamer, that bothers me. I don't like those companies.
Free-to-play isn't a business model. Free-to-play is a marketing strategy. It's a way to get people over the hump of trying out your game. It gets rid of the friction that happens when you charge an upfront fee.
Snapchat's ramp reminded us of another mobile app Benchmark had the good fortune to back at an early stage: Instagram.
My kids download 10 games. They play them all for two minutes. They throw away the eight they don't like. Then they play those last two obsessively for a month. That's alien to those of us who buy a $60 game and play it for 40 or 50 hours. The discovery mechanism is completely social, and I don't think you get that genie back in the bottle.
There's a myth that free-to-play is cheaper than a $60 game. It's just elastic. For some users, it winds up being a lot more expensive. I would have paid $150 a year to get a better version of FIFA.