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From Concept to Market: The Digital Games Business Dr. Aphra Kerr Research Fellow STeM, DCU, Ireland. DigiPlay: Experience and Consequence s of Technologies of Leisure, 14-15th January 2004. A little history. Degree in Communications Studies

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From Concept to Market:

The Digital Games Business

Dr. Aphra Kerr

Research Fellow

STeM, DCU,

Ireland.

DigiPlay: Experience and Consequences of Technologies of Leisure,14-15th January 2004.


A little history
A little history

  • Degree in Communications Studies

  • MA by research – The use of ICTs and potential use of ISDN by cultural industries

  • PhD – Innovation in Multimedia Companies

  • Post-Doc – The production and consumption of digital games


Which techs and focus
Which techs and focus

  • Focus is on ICTs (tech + content)

  • Focus is on macro trends and how they play out at meso and micro levels

  • Focus is on critically interpreting the available data – reports, internet

  • Collecting primary data through interviews


Background of this paper
Background of this paper

  • Post-doc primary and secondary research 2000/2001..interviews in Irish and UK companies, trade conferences, reports

  • 2002 STeM working paper

  • Manchester & MIT 2002 conf. papers

  • 2003 Convergence paper and draft book chapter


Approach in this paper
Approach in this paper

  • Political economy..

    • ‘the study of social relations, particularly the power relations, that mutually constitute the production, distribution and consumption of resources’ Mosco 1996.

    • Holistic, historical, concerned with public/private balance, engages with moral and ethical Qs Hesmondhalgh 2002






Major business segments
Major Business Segments

  • Seg 1 - Console + Handheld

    • Oligopoly and monopoly, licenses,

    • Prop. tech., money made on software..

    • dev. 18 months, 12-20 people, $3-5 million

    • Retail through shops

  • Seg 2 – PC (not MMOGS)

    • Numerous players, Common stnds, open archit.

    • dev. 15 months, 12-15 people, $1.5-3 m,

    • Retail – shops and some online elements


  • Cont./

    • Seg. 3 – MMOGs

      • Oligopoly?

      • Open platform

      • Very expensive to dev. and ongoing costs (?)

      • Retail though shops + subs

    • Seg. 4 – Mini/Casual games

      • Numerous players and competing techs

      • Small teams, 3 months dev.

      • Competing revenue models..pay per play, subs, advertising,


    Trends vertical and horizontal integration
    Trends - Vertical and Horizontal integration

    • Console segment

      • oligopoly in hardware..comps involved in all stages of the production cycle

    • Independent publishers

      • between 10 and 20 globally, acquiring distribution channels and buying into developers

    • Economies of scale & scope


    Licensing sequels
    Licensing…& Sequels..

    • Trying to reduce risk and uncertainty of demand

    • Pre-sold properties Schatz 1993

      • Real world, TV, film,

    • In 2001 45% of all format games in UK licensed..

    • Growing the market or limiting innovation & reducing overall diversity??


    Final thoughts
    ..Final thoughts..

    • Focus on commerical production of games in US/UK primarily..not the full story

    • Size/scale increasingly nb at all stages although resistance at developer stage

    • Impacts on

      • diversity of titles,

      • price of product,

      • viability of independent developers and rate of start-ups


    • More info..

      www.comms.dcu.ie/kerra

      www.stem.dcu.ie

      www.gamedevelopers.ie


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