The Business and Design of Free-To-Play Games


Speaking on MVP at INplay 2010, Toronto

I'll be giving a presentation on Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in Toronto, Ontario for INplay 2010, May 18-19, a conference focused on kids creative industries with "insights and opportunities in the interactive space."

Minimum Viable Product is a product development and release methodology pioneered by Eric Ries. Its main tenet is the development and early release of only the core of your product, allowing the marketplace to vet and feedback on its pros and cons. While the developer still has a roadmap of their own, risk is mitigated and the product offering more tightly focused when the core is released early and iterated upon often, in response to real customer feedback.

In my presentation, I'll go into why MVP has (or should) become your standard operating procedure for launching new products, especially in the online space. Hope to see you there!

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GDC Europe Call for Papers Closes This Friday

Just got note via Sarissa Thrower of the following:

The call for papers for GDC Europe closes this Friday, April 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Lectures and panel proposals are being solicited from the international game developer community for all five of this year's GDC Europe conference tracks, which include Business & Management, Game Design, Production, Technology, and Visual Arts.

To read more about the conference topics and the submission guidelines please visit:

The event, taking place Monday through Wednesday August 16-18, 2010 at the Cologne Congress Center East in Cologne, Germany, will once again run alongside gamescom to present the leading game industry event for developers, consumers, publishers and trade professionals. GDC Europe will offer content to address the development community at a central location in the heart of Europe and command the critical mass of the European games sector.

For more information on GDC Europe visit:

Who is going - or considering going - to GDC Europe? I would love to see some of you there! Can't think of a better excuse to go than to submit a panel or lecture... do it!


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10Sep/080 at Austin GDC

We're going to Texas!

As summer comes to a close, conference season is whirring up to speed for fall. is happy to announce we will be covering Austin GDC and the Worlds in Motion Summit from September 15 – 17.

Our coverage will include postings on the sessions themselves as well as text and video interviews with leaders in the free-to-play sector. Over the next couple of weeks expect to see interviews with (but not limited to) the following people:

  • Leigh Alexander - News Director, Gamasutra
  • Min Kim - Director of Game Operations, Nexon
  • Mike Zummo - Lead Designer, Acclaim
  • Nabeel Hyatt - CEO, Conduit
  • Chris Anderson - Editor in Chief, Wired
  • Jeremy Liew - Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Gene Endrody - CEO, Maid Marian
  • Thomas Bidaux - VP of Strategy, Avaloop
  • Alex Garden - CEO, Nexon Publishing North America

If anybody has any specific questions for anyone on this list, let us know and we’ll be sure to bring it up.

For those of you headed to Austin as well, drop us a line if you'd like to connect for coffee or have a killer party we should attend. :)