Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is our Wednesday show, the time of the week when we niche down to a single topic. Today? Gaming.Natasha and Danny and Alex got together to discuss the gaming world from a few perspectives, including those of startups and the largest platform players in tech. Alex is a gamer. Danny is a board gamer. And Natasha isn't big on digital games. So, we had a good array of viewpoints. The goal of our episode was to understand why gaming is garnering more interest from Big Tech and startups alike, and how the business model and environment has evolved over the years.Here's what we got into:A new gaming fund from a16z, and recent venture capital totals, as compiled by our friends over at Crunchbase News.Amazon's new hit game, and Apple's epic gaming profits.It appears, by our read, that the gaming industry has evolved from single-sale titles to games with recurring incomes that studios have become venture-backable; this is testament to both business model evolution and general gaming popularity, as much as it is indicative of how much money it is possible to earn supporting the games industry as a tech shop as well.Still, we wanted to spend a few minutes on the challenges that still await those trying to spin up a game overnight.After we talked through the context and challenges, we riffed on the why! It includes just what a metaverse is, how NFTs can slot into the conversation, and more.All we need now is a release date for Royal Court, Paradox.