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Gamecraft


Feb 28, 2024

In perhaps their most important episode of the series, Mitch and Blake explain what they mean when they use the term "distribution" and why it is so important to their understanding of how the video games business functions.

Like they did with the term "publishing" last season, they try to recontextualize distribution as a much larger and more important concept than simply moving atoms or bits into commerce. Your hosts define distribution as the myriad of systems that exist in between the developer of a game and the ultimate end-user of that game, all intended to enable access to the game. They explain how every choice of system extracts a cost, how the sum of these costs -- both monetary and non-monetary -- effects enterprise value creation, and how the colloquial notion that "distribution is a commodity" is incredibly naive.

They provide many examples of how this concept actually functions in the real world of the games business, including how packaged goods distribution worked, why customer acquisition is almost always an arbitrage, and what happens when a distribution system breaks.