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November 13, 2019
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Kliuless #23: Company Strategy & Ownership Model

by Kenneth Liu on 02/14/19 02:20:00 am   Expert Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #23

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and I work in Revenue Strategy at Riot Games. Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share with other Rioters, including Riot’s senior leadership. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

[KL: Our team is looking to hire several associate managers here and here. Separately, I will be attending GDC next month, so if you would like to meet to discuss potential opportunities or just say hi, please feel free to reach out to me directly!]

Company Strategy & Ownership Model

  • HBR: Is Your Company’s Strategy Aligned with Your Ownership Model?
    • "How companies are owned is an often-overlooked factor in their success (or failure). But a firm’s ownership model significantly influences what it’s good at, where it struggles, which opportunities it can pursue, and what it is vulnerable to"
    • "The advantage of a particular ownership model for a firm’s strategy depends in part on how important scale and control are to the firm’s success
      • Being public allows a business to access the resources of outside investors. But that comes at the cost of giving up control over key decisions (including how success is defined), as well as submitting to the rules that are designed to protect outside shareholders. The term 'going public' literally means that a company is opening up to the scrutiny and regulation that accompany broad-based shareholding
      • The private model allows companies to exert more control over their destiny, and many are truly private in the sense of being under the radar. That freedom of action, though, comes at the cost of being reliant on the capital the owners can generate through their own resources or what they can convince others to lend them
      • Hybrids are in between these trade-offs. For example, Tesla has been able to use public equity to scale up its production while allowing founder Elon Musk to effectively retain control. However, Tesla is not immune to market pressures. Musk made headlines when he expressed his frustration with the pressures of being a public company and his desire to take Tesla private"
  • Public
    • Bloomberg: "The Flops Are Piling Up for Video-Game Titans"
    • Activision Blizzard Lays Off Hundreds of Employees [KL: 8% of staff]
    • Zynga’s turnaround: How once-beleaguered game company plans for 2019 growth
    • Nexon celebrates record year for revenue and income
  • Private
    • Rumor: Unity Technologies Targeting 2020 IPO
  • Hybrid
    • Supercell CEO: My take on Supercell's 2018 and things I look forward to this year

Multi-Platform / Post-Platform

  • Why Respawn made battle royale shooter Apex Legends
    • Related: Apex Legends reaches 25m players, 2m concurrent in first week [KL: Fortnite hit 2m CCU after 16 weeks]
  • Disney says its future video game efforts lie in licensing, not publishing


  • Oculus co-founder: "Why I’m Excited for VR in 2019"
  • Opinion: For VR To Shine, Film And Gaming Must Overlap


  • Stratechery: The Cost of Apple News
  • Stratechery: Spotify’s Podcast Aggregation Play
  • a16z: Better Together: Humanity + Machine Learning
  • a16z: Cameras that understand: portrait mode and Google Lens
  • Google has no plans to lower its 30% cut
  • Google is now doing "federated" machine learning: training global models based on data that never leaves your phone
  • Amazon bought Eero, a leading startup selling mesh wifi access points. With Ring and Alexa, Amazon is deepening its strategy around connecting and controlling home devices


See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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