Profiting from innovative user communities: How firms organize the production of user modifications in the computer games industry
AbstractModding – the modification of existing products by consumers – is increasingly exploited by manufacturers to enhance product development and sales. In the computer games industry modding has evolved into a development model in which users act as unpaid “complementors” to manufacturers’ product platforms. This article explains how manufacturers can profit from their abilities to organize and facilitate a process of innovation by user communities and capture the value of the innovations produced in such communities. When managed strategically, two distinct, but not mutually exclusive business models appear from the production of user complements: firstly, a manufacturer can let the (free) user complements “drift” in the user communities, where they increase the value to consumers of owning the given platform and thus can be expected to generate increased platform sales, and secondly, a manufacturer can incorporate and commercialize the best complements found in the user communities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School in its series IVS/CBS Working Papers with number 2004-03.
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Web page: http://www.cbs.dk/forskning_viden/fakulteter_institutter_centre/institutter/oekonomi/ivs/
Innovation; modding; user communities; software platform; business model;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-02-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2005-02-27 (Business Economics)
- NEP-INO-2005-02-27 (Innovation)
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