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High Street Games

In the NPA Computer Games Development at level 6 students study the Games Industry Value Chain, a business management concept that describe the chain of activities in a particular industry.

With high street game retailer GAME reporting massive shareprice losses and possible collapse (BBC News), there’s a good opportunity for discussing the changing industry with your game development students. The Game Group blames competition from online retailers for their drop in profits. This signifies a change in the Games Industry Value Chain model from a traditional supply-chain model to one which has been disrupted by digital technology.

The traditional value chain and the evolutionary value chain are represented in diagrams on The Video Games Industry website, clearly showing the move towards digital distribution in the industry. Questions have to be asked why the Game Group failed to take notice of changes that have affected many other areas of retail, and also failed to react accordingly.

Ben Sawyer of Digital Mill defines the chain as follows:

  1. Capital and publishing layer: involved in paying for development of new titles and seeking returns through licensing of the titles.
  2. Product and talent layer: includes developers, designers and artists, who may be working under individual contracts or as part of in-house development teams.
  3. Production and tools layer: generates content production tools, game development middleware, customizable game engines, and production management tools.
  4. Distribution layer: or the “publishing” industry, involved in generating and marketing catalogs of games for retail and online distribution.
  5. Hardware (or Virtual Machine or Software Platform) layer: or the providers of the underlying platform, which may be console-based, accessed through online media, or accessed through mobile devices such as the iPhone. This layer now includes non-hardware platforms such as virtual machines (e.g. Java or Flash), or software platforms such as browsers or even further Facebook, etc.
  6. End-users layer: or the users/players of the games.

Wikipedia [accessed 17th March 2012]

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  1. May 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

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