Our research in the second year has coalesced around five main areas:
Games with Social and/or Scientific Benefit;
Demographic Analysis of the UK Games Industry and Entrepreneurship;
Business Models Innovation in the Games Industry;
Game Analytics and Data Mining;
An overarching framework that unifies the other research themes.
The 2015 NEMOG Symposium (September 29th, Durham Business School) is our yearly public update on the NEMOG project. In preparation for the event, and for those unable to join us on the day, we include a summary of outputs this year below.
Based on our Business Model Classification paper,we stress the improvement of the Standard Industrial Classification System in order to better reflect the industry’s economic activities. Our case is summarised in a Policy Brief we have conducted for that purpose. This year we presented work at the 2015 Regional Studies Association Annual Conference on a demographic analysis of the UK games industry we recently completed. The analysis revolves around the evaluation of the effect of environmental, regional and organisational factors on the entrepreneurial map of the UKbased video game industry. Initial findings indicate that positive network externalities render the decision of the company’s location important but the effect differs based on the company’s type (publisher or developer). A journal paper extending this work to include analysis of the mortality of companies within the industry is currently in preparation.
Business Models Innovation in the Games Industry
The research about business model innovation has proceeded to understand interdependencies among the business model choice, its success and the customer’s identification and engagement in the game industry. This research stream intends to shed light on the role of customer’ identification and engagement in the definition of value creation and capture activities in developers’ business models. This research is being conducted mainly at Cass Business School and it is aimed to lead to a leading journal submission by the end of NEMOG year 2.
Game Analytics and Data Mining
Our research in the first two years of NEMOG on these methods has been based on data kindly supplied by AIFactory and WeRInteractive. The latest work on the WeRInteractive dataset, predicting player disengagement and first purchase, was recently accepted for publication and presentation at the 2015 IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games. The analysis of the AIFactory dataset has led to a novel method of clustering decision trees to understand populations of player behaviour, a methodology we are currently documenting for submission later this year. Both of these pieces of work were summarised in a recent invited talk for Data Science London and the UK Azure User Group.
We have a growing repository of game data sets, but are always keen to talk to game developers open to sharing data. In particular, please get in touch if you have gameplay traces and are interested in collaborating with the team.
To synthesise all the insights we have gained across the NEMOG project, we are extending a holistic business model framework to include the effect of data analytics to enable datadriven business models, and the need for games companies to consider the value ecosystem of the entire industry and their place within it. This work in particular is bringing us all together as a team, to capture our key points of collaboration and will be a key output in the final year of the project.