The games industry is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Powered by trends like platform convergence, games-as-a-service, and user-generated content, modern video games—what we call next-generation games—are unlike anything we’ve seen before. In the past decade, gaming has grown from a niche hobby into a massive, culture-defining phenomenon.
Not only are the games themselves becoming increasingly immersive, the way we develop and discover them has fundamentally changed. In contrast to the hits-driven business model of the past, now games are shaped in real time by player feedback. And thanks to the rise of influencer gamers, the experience of finding new games has become organic and social.
In this episode, a16z general partner Andrew Chen, deal partner Jon Lai, and host Lauren Murrow discuss how gaming is dominating not only the entertainment industry, but also pop culture at large. (Why can’t we quit you, Untitled Goose Game?!) Andrew and Jon share how they think about emerging technologies in the space, as well as the features they look for in next-gen games and game developers.
Andrew Chen is a General Partner and founding investor at A16Z GAMES, focused on metaverse, VR/AR, and gaming investments.
Jonathan Lai is a General Partner and founding investor of A16Z GAMES. Jon focuses on investing at the intersection of games and consumer, social, web3, infrastructure, and fintech.
Lauren Murrow is the Head of Special Projects at a16z, leading multimedia editorial packages and new initiatives in audio, video, newsletters, and digital design.
The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.