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An Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Home Video Game Market

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We explore the indirect network effect in the market for home video games. We examine the video game console makers’ strategic choice between increasing demand by lowering console price and by encouraging the growth of software variety. We also explore the existence of an applications barrier to entry in the console market, and find that there is little evidence for such a barrier. Finally, we assess the applicability of the model to out-of-sample situations, to look at whether our model and previous similar models can generalize to other markets for purposes of marketing or antitrust inquiry. We find that the model generalizes reasonably well to the Japanese market for the same generation of gaming systems, but poorly to previous generations in the US market.

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  • James E. Prieger & Wei-Min Hu, 2006. "An Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Home Video Game Market," Working Papers 06-25, NET Institute, revised Oct 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0625
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    1. Chou, Chien-fu & Shy, Oz, 1990. "Network effects without network externalities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 259-270, June.
    2. Matthew T. Clements & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2004. "Indirect Network Effects and the Product Cycle: Video Games in the U.S., 1994-2002," Working Papers 04-01, NET Institute, revised Oct 2004.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    4. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1993. "Complementary network externalities and technological adoption," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 239-260, June.
    5. Harikesh Nair & Pradeep Chintagunta & Jean-Pierre Dubé, 2004. "Empirical Analysis of Indirect Network Effects in the Market for Personal Digital Assistants," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 23-58, March.
    6. Neil Gandal & Michael Kende & Rafael Rob, 2000. "The Dynamics of Technological Adoption in Hardware/Software Systems: The Case of Compact Disc Players," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 43-61, Spring.
    7. Church, Jeffrey & Gandal, Neil, 1992. "Network Effects, Software Provision, and Standardization," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 85-103, March.
    8. David Dranove & Neil Gandal, 2003. "The Dvd-vs.-Divx Standard War: Empirical Evidence of Network Effects and Preannouncement Effects," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 363-386, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maruyama, Masayoshi & Flath, David & Minamikawa, Kazumitsu & Ohkita, Kenichi & Zennyo, Yusuke, 2015. "Platform selection by software developers: Theory and evidence," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 282-303.
    2. Ricard Gil & Frederic Warzynski, 2015. "Vertical Integration, Exclusivity, and Game Sales Performance in the US Video Game Industry," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(suppl_1), pages 143-168.
    3. Corts, Kenneth S. & Lederman, Mara, 2009. "Software exclusivity and the scope of indirect network effects in the U.S. home video game market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 121-136, March.
    4. Daniel Birke, 2009. "The Economics Of Networks: A Survey Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 762-793, September.
    5. Michael R. Ward, 2007. "Patents and Antitrust: Video Games and Violent Crime," Working Papers 07-18, NET Institute.
    6. James E. Prieger & Wei‐Min Hu, 2012. "Applications Barrier To Entry And Exclusive Vertical Contracts In Platform Markets," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(2), pages 435-452, April.
    7. Christiaan Hogendorn, 2012. "Spillovers and Network Neutrality," Chapters,in: Regulation and the Performance of Communication and Information Networks, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Gandal, Neil & Régibeau, Pierre, 2014. "SSOs: Current Policy Issues and Empirical Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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