GDC staple Mitch Lasky, of venture capital firm Benchmark, delivered another illuminating talk at this year's show, this time tackling the role of the publisher in the 21st century. His talk, titled "Is Publishing Dead," took a look at how publishers approached their business in the 20th Century, and how all that changed in 2004, when World of Warcraft, Facebook, Stream, and Tencent all got off the ground.
All well and fascinating, but you're here for a $1 billion idea, and here's how you do it. Right now, according to Lasky, there are four major inefficiencies in the market--find a way to optimize any one of the following, and you're fucking rich. First, discovery (there are 2,000 new games published on iTunes a month). Second, customer acquisition (how do you get people to download your game?). Third, engagement (how do you inspire passion in your users?). And fourth, monetization (if free-to-play is the way, what percent of your audience is going to pay?)