University of Oulu

Co-creating games with customers : a study of online communities and live streaming implications for video game companies

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Author: Greus, Mikko1; Magnan, Mickaël1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Pages: 86
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-202108238909
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Greus; M. Magnan, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-08-23
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Myllykoski, Jenni
Reviewer: Myllykoski, Jenni
Sipola, Sakari
Description:

Abstract

Over the past decades, the implications associated with the development of new technologies has thoroughly affected businesses. With the rise in popularity of live-streaming, newer changes are being noticed in both customers and businesses behaviors. Due to the close ties that the live-streaming platform Twitch.tv shares with video game companies, the associated implications of live-streaming in this context are questioned. Therefore, this thesis aims at assessing the impact of live-streaming on the notions of customer involvement, online communities and value co-creation in video game companies. To study this phenomenon, the following research question was formulated:

What is the importance of customer involvement, community building and live-streaming in the context of video game development, and how relevant is it for video game companies?

In order to answer this research question, the thesis followed qualitative research methods. The formation of the theoretical framework was done through extensive literature review of previous relevant academic articles, aiming at providing an accurate overview of the concepts central to the study. Online communities, value co-creation and relevant surrounding theories were thusly described. The empirical data of the study was collected through semi-structured interviews with employees and managers of video game companies. The data was analyzed thematically in order to assess, recognize, define and elaborate the essential elements and challenges relating to the phenomenon studied.

Based on the theoretical and empirical data, video game companies were found to be aware and familiar with the central concepts of this thesis. An important part of the insights from the theoretical framework utilized and conceptualized in this thesis were confirmed by the analysis of the empirical data. Moreover, extensive evidence of both theoretical and managerial implications for video game companies were highlighted. These effects could be noticed on the ways in which companies plan and conduct their business, or even on how they are organized and structured. Live-streaming was found to be relevant for video game companies both within the context of live-streams conducted by external parties, through paid sponsorships for example, but also from the possibilities for companies to organize and conduct live-streaming sessions by themselves.

The main finding achieved through this thesis is thus twofold. On one hand, the implications of customer involvement and online communities in video games companies were thoroughly demonstrated. On the other hand, the role of live-streaming in this context was elucidated, and so was the connection between live-streaming, customer involvement and online communities. The results of this thesis can thus be utilized by video game companies as a framework to understand the environment in which they are operating and to evaluate the degree to which their company processes integrate the key elements identified by this research. Additionally, this thesis provides suggestions for future research about the implications of live-streaming in other contexts.

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Copyright information: © Mikko Greus; Mickaël Magnan, 2021. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.