Justin Waldron - The Future of Social Gaming - [Founder’s Field Guide, EP. 50]


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My guest today is Justin Waldron, co-founder and President of Playco. Justin is a pioneer of the social gaming industry after he co-founded Zynga at age 19, and he has continued to build games ever since. In our conversation, we cover how Justin sees the future of gaming as social platforms evolve, how gaming may be the next tool for content creation, and how Playco has approached aligning incentives for game creators and players. As talk of the metaverse becomes more mainstream, it’s fascinating to hear directly from those around it. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Justin Waldron.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.


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Show Notes

[00:02:47] - [First question] - His thoughts on the metaverse and why it’s so interesting

[00:06:07] - The ways hardware and software will shape the future of digital worlds

[00:08:23] - Examples of how these digital experiences might look in the years to come

[00:10:45] - His background, history, and his life before founding Playco

[00:16:31] - Ways content creates human interactions and its role in user retention

[00:18:43] - How successful social media platforms encourage user interaction

[00:20:51] - Games becoming a way to create content and being a creation tool

[00:23:06] - This history of user-generated content for pre-existing games

[00:27:32] - Defining what instant gaming is and how it’s different from traditional gaming

[00:30:24] - The technological problems and hurdles in creating games that load instantly

[00:34:00] - Parallels between instant gaming and cloud-powered processing

[00:36:43] - What types of games are most desirable for games shared via links

[00:38:58] - The feel of this model working in real-time and the project that’s furthest along

[00:41:37] - Lessons learned about working with and structuring partnerships with social media and content creation giants

[00:45:06] - Ways in which social network platforms are evolving

[00:48:04] - Playco’s business model and smart approaches to generating revenue

[00:50:28] - The role NFTs might play in instant gaming and making crypto mainstream

[00:53:03] - Crypto wallets and building one in house versus using a 3rd party wallet

[00:54:17] - What the best case scenario will look like for Playco in a decade from now

[01:00:44] - Other companies to go check out that leverage and empower individuals

326 episodes