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Developing Business Models in the Video Game Industry : An evaluation to strategic choices made by small and medium-sized development studios

  • Zijlstra, Peter
  • Visser, Christiaan
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Digitalization has given rise to new opportunities for small and medium-sized video game development studios. No longer bound by physical products and creative restrains, the de-veloper has been empowered with independency. This qualitative study is aimed to under-stand how a development studio develops their business model and how underlying strate-gy is formulated. Additionally we evaluate the degree of innovativeness of the business model in terms of radical and incremental innovation according to Damanpour (1991). To achieve this we present a comprehensive literature review as to gain a more theoretical un-derstanding of industry mechanics and to be able to comprehend reasoning behind existing business models. We structure the dynamics of the business model by analyzing nine busi-ness model aspects as suggested by Osterwalder, Pigneur and Clark (2010). Following our theoretical framework we gain practical input from four separate case studies. An interpret-ative research method is used to gain better understanding of reasoning and choices made. We interpret our findings following a narrative approach which shows that the digitaliza-tion has preluded a paradigm shift in the sense that development studios have started to adopt activities otherwise performed by key partners. As barriers dissipate small and me-dium-sized development studios try to make sense of the current industry, but struggle in doing so. Having to reinvent themselves we conclude that a focus towards creating thicker customer relationships is considered and the idea of seeing games as a service is acknowl-edged to depict the future of the industry. The conclusions of this study contribute to both academic science and industry practice.

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