Bonus Interview: Founder/CEO of Embracer Group Lars Wingefors
I can't believe we got this interview, but I am excited to share our discussion with Lars Wingefors, CEO/founder of one of the largest video game companies in the world: Embracer Group. Embracer Group is little known in the United States, but it has a $12 billion market cap and is one of the largest employers in the video game industry. Here are the questions we asked Lars:
What inspired you to start the Embracer group?
What were the early days like and how has your role at the company evolved?
M&A is obviously a big part of your strategy. What do you look for when making acquisitions? Is it mostly IP-focused or team-focused or sort of a blend of both?
How do studios benefit from being under the Embracer Group umbrella?
You have 197 projects in development and almost 7,500 game developers. How do you manage such a large set of assets/studios? How important is developer headcount to a successful gaming studio?
Has remote work impacted development at all?
What metrics/numbers do you use to evaluate the success of Embracer Group over the long term?
Some companies put all their resources into a few franchises, while others like yours diversify into a ton of projects. What are the upsides/downsides of both? What do you think is the optimal team size for building a PC/console game?
You guys have an interesting payout strategy for acquisition companies. Can you explain how that works? What is the philosophy behind this?
You guys recently started focusing heavily on mobile. What excites you about mobile?
In what ways is the mobile market different than AAA in terms of finding success with games?
There are rumors that many video game companies are going to invest in TV/film for their IP. How much of an opportunity do you believe there is in that market?
It seems like every gaming publisher/studio is facing delays at the moment. Why do you think that is occurring? Is it temporary or indicative of how game development cycles will be in the future?
Can’t have on a gaming expert without mentioning the M-word. Have you spent any time thinking about the Metaverse?
Do you have any thoughts on platform-based gaming companies like Roblox? What are the advantages and disadvantages of that model?
You’ve been a part of the gaming industry for a long time. Can you explain what the games archive is and what your ambition is with that?
Do you see any new ways for game monetization that could grow over the next decade?
What’s one piece of advice you have for anyone starting a business today?
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Disclosure: The author and podcast guests are not your financial advisors. Ryan Henderson and Brett Schafer are general partners and portfolio managers at Arch Capital. Clients of Arch Capital may hold securities discussed on this show.