The Dynamics of Co-Creation in the Video Game Industry: The Case of World of Warcraft
These latest years have seen both an increasing development of Users Generated Content (UGC) on the Internet and a growing number of free transactions of these contents through online communities. The video game industry shares this general trend and we shall examine it in detail through the example of a worldwide success game, World of Warcraft (WoW). This massively multiplayer online (MMO) game exhibits two specific economic characteristics. The first one is that the original content is produced by a game developer who keeps intellectual property rights while leaving open to players some possibilities to modify that original content into an enhanced content. We call this innovation process, which involves both the participation of the producer and of consumers, co-creation. Based on a typology of the different UGC in WoW, we specify the meaning of co-creation and put forward some arguments on the players' motivations to co-create and their consequences on the attractiveness of the gameplay to the players' community. The second characteristic is that co-creation is not limited to the design of the game before its marketing. It is a continuous interaction between players and developer even after its marketing. This dynamic process requires both regulatory actions by the developer and a new industrial organization to distribute these UGC through the WoW players' community.
Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 73 (1st quarter)
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