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Konvoy Ventures is a thesis driven venture capital firm focused on the video gaming industry. We invest in infrastructure technology, tools, and platforms.

Washington Post + Stadia Launch

Konvoy's Washington Post feature, Google Stadia's tough start, game subscriptions

Washington Post Feature

This week, The Washington Post highlighted Konvoy in their latest piece about the professional scene for League of Legends. They reached out to us for an interview last month and we discussed our views on the franchise value of the LCS. I was also excited to see that they included much of our recently published research around how to value esports media rights.

The Washington Post specifically highlighted our methodology of using an ad-revenue model to predict the media rights value (break-even) of the LCS. It’s exciting to see our research getting even broader exposure. We’re actively working on our next few pieces of content.

Google Stadia: Tough Start But Not Game Over

Google Stadia, while not surprising, didn’t have a good launch. It’s pretty challenging to find any compliments amidst a sea of complaints. The community is frustrated at a range of issues which includes: lag inconsistency, data caps on internet, too few games, and that the cost of some games are more expensive on Stadia than on other distribution platforms (yikes).

Cloud gaming is undoubtedly going to play a key role in the technological backbone of video gaming, yet the consumer is going to heavily critique it as we progress. Google announced Stadia in an epic fashion at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March of this year, which created a lot of hype. In short, they promised too much and have now under delivered out of the gate.

Even though the Google graveyard is littered with failed initiatives, I personally am very bullish on Google’s eventual success in this category. They have the balance sheet (>$100B in cash), the technical infrastructure, and the distribution (Android, Gmail, YouTube) to play a key role in the future of video gaming.

Mobile Gaming Subscriptions vs. Console Gaming Subscriptions

Google and Apple  are the distribution giants of mobile gaming subscription services. The main value prop of Google Play Pass and Apple Arcade (both released in September, 2019) is that they remove the ads and in-app-purchases within their mobile games. They provide a buffet of “premium” mobile games for you to play at a low monthly cost.

We question the success of this model given it appears they are trying to repeat the subscription behaviors that benefited platforms like Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, and Spotify, but they do not have the same historical content luring the users to the platform. This is different from the console subscription services (e.g. Xbox Game Pass, Playstation Now, and Google Stadia) which lure their users with popular titles and avid followers (e.g. Destiny, Red Dead Redemption, Borderlands, etc.).