Toa Dunn: League Of Legends, Riot Games, Music Strategy For Video Games, Understanding Your Players, How Pentakill Outgrew League Of Legends, K/DA, Building Teams At Riot, Interdisciplinary Thinking, Building Trust, How Video Games Shape Music, What You Can Learn From Jazz Lessons, Creativity And Strategy And Much More

About Toa Dunn

Disruptors and curious minds! We’ve got a barnstorming episode for you on music strategy for video games and how to build the interdisciplinary teams to make it a reality!

How do game companies like Riot Games think, build and execute their music strategy? How did League of Legends give you virtual bands like Pentakill and K/DA… and more importantly, why did they do it?

🎮 Music, development, distribution, A&R, marketing, storytelling. In-house musicians, DJs, bands. Video games are the perfect example of interdisciplinary teams working together to take entertainment into the future. And it is a complex and fine edge getting the balance and trust right. Without it there is no Pentakill, no e-sports, no Fortnite.

On this episode of Thinking on Paper, we speak to Toa Dunn, former head of music at Riot Games. For over a decade, Toa managed the music strategy and developed a new core business model around music experiences, helping to take League Of Legends and the virtual bands created from characters in game – to 200 million monthly players. Now he is taking that vast well of experience and focusing on generating meaningful impact across entertainment and technology, by levelling up teams and individuals.

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Quotes From Toa Dunn

“For more narrative driven games music can have more of an upfront kind of role in that experience. So the music strategy can be quite different.”

“We started off kind of trying to figure out what music's role could be in League of Legends.”

“I approached it from the lens of how music could add to the experience.”

“I used to be nervous because you never know if the players are actually going to like what you're about to deliver until they get it in their hands and they play.”

“Our first band was Pentakill, a heavy metal band.”

"We treated them like a real band and that was kind of an Experiment. But it resonated really well with our players.”

“K/DA did not exist, there were many characters to select from so we went through this creative and strategic process to figure out the roles (and characters) of this band.”

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Watch Pentakill

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