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Video game industry: New business model paradigm

publié le 14 Octobre 2013 par Sophie Nigon

15 Septembre 2013 / 16:00 - 15 Février 2014 / 16:00

Call for papers

Dossier to be published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES no. 94 – 2nd quarter 2014

Video game industry: New business model paradigm

Edited by Philippe CHANTEPIE, Laurent MICHAUD, Laurent SIMON & Peter ZACKARIASSON

2013 is a turning point for the most recent member of the cultural industries video games. The latest generation of game consoles, having arrived at a slower pace (8 years compared to 5 previously), is disrupting the old dynamics of innovation strategy, led for a decade or more by the downstream industries, console manufacturers Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. 
The technical developments and timing of these industrial innovation strategies have determined the business cycles of upstream operators (studios, publishers) and the distribution of value in the industry for several decades, both in the fixed and handheld console markets. But are they running out of steam? Are they lagging behind in the deeper transformations in the sector: the boom in social gaming, the new entrants that are often intermediaries (Facebook, Apple Appstore), new developments in digital convergence (smartphones, tablets, connected TV), the internationalization of upstream actors in the chain from China, South Korea and India, the disintermediation of distribution (Steam, Apple Appstore), the restructuring of business models and prices, the reduction of product life cycles, etc. The entire industrial structure is affected by the digital content revolution in uses and business models: disintermediation, deflated production costs despite the talent economy, changes in the pricing models of non-rival goods between subscription and rental models, the uncertainties of the star system, etc., where the use of networks, hits and multifaceted valuations seem to dominate as much as temptations to protect the models (access control, non-interoperability, rental limitation, etc.).
The most innovative sector in the cultural industries, the one that used to describe itself as "digital native" now seems to be the last to ensure real "digital transition", which is not about the technology, but uses and economics. By the end of 2013, this "historic" segment, according to IDATE, will represent just over 45% of the video game world market while representing 78% in 2008. Simultaneously, online computer gaming (social network and occasional gaming, browser games, massively multiplayer) and smartphone and tablet games only accounted for 23% of the total market in 2008. But by the end of 2013, their contribution to the global market for software games could be around 54%, according to the same institute. Moreover, since 2008, technological and non-technological progress, built around networks and the uses they generate, has enabled new entrants to engage in creating, publishing and distributing games, which has sometimes met with dazzling, massive, or at least viral support from players. Rovio, SuperCell, Zynga, Mojang,, Kabam, Natural Motion, GungHo... are success stories based on dematerialized games related to SaaS, multiplayer, offering a multi -screen (ubiquitous) gaming experience, integrating a social and occasional component and based on business models dominated by free-to-play. These features may be disruptive elements for natives of  traditional segments, but they are key success factors for young studios.

Contributors are invited to consider, for example, the following questions:
• How sustainable are the new business models?
• Are we witnessing an implosion or a reshuffle of the value chain and stakeholders through the intermediaries?
• What is the scope for extending to video games a model based on a huge audience? And for competition to the digital model for content distribution?
• What new occupations and areas of research are involved in the current transition?
Authors will be invited to share their viewpoints and present a preliminary version of their contribution during a workshop organized in Paris in 2013, beginning-December.

Please send submissions (in the form of full papers)
by February 15th 2014 to:

Submission of papers
All papers submitted for publication will be reviewed by at least two referees/experts using the "double blind" system. Proposals must be submitted in Word format (.doc) and should not exceed 6,500 words – including the abstract and references. As far as possible, the publisher recommends that you insert some illustrations (tables, diagrams) in the paper, in order to facilitate the general comprehension. Please ensure that they are readable in grey scale, and that they are of high-definition, in order to guarantee the printing quality. Bibliographical references should be included at the end of the article. Should these references appear in the text, please indicate the author's name and the year of publication in brackets.

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