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Sticking to their guns: the impact of the culture and organisational practices of video games studios on the technological trajectory of the console games sector

By Juan Mateos-Garcia, Andrew Grantham, Jonathan Sapsed, Edward W. Steinmueller and Georgina Voss


Analyses of path-dependence that consider explicitly the linkages between dynamics present at different levels of analysis are needed to improve current understandings of the evolution of industrial sectors. This paper undertakes such analysis in the Console Games sector, articulating the impact of the innovation activities of video games studios producing complementary inputs on its technological trajectory and dominant design. The recent introduction of a new dominant design in the sector constitutes a natural experiment that indicates the presence of inertias in the innovation behaviours of these agents. These inertias are explored through an in-depth study of 7 UK games studios, which identifies self-reinforcing organisational, management and recruitment practices linked to the culture and values of the communities involved in games development, resulting in cultural homogeneity in both workforce and management positions. This homogeneity favours incremental innovation and obstructs the exploration of alternative dominant designs, thus impacting on the outcomes of market competition, and shaping the sector’s technological trajector

Topics: N214 Organisational development, N215 Change and Innovation, W000 Creative Arts and Design
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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