Title: Evaluating mobile game prospects – perspective of a game publisher

Authors: Petri Hallikainen, Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen, Janne Vihinen

Addresses: Helsinki School of Economics, P.O. Box 1210, 00101 Helsinki, Finland. ' Helsinki School of Economics, P.O. Box 1210, 00101 Helsinki, Finland. ' Helsinki School of Economics, P.O. Box 1210, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: The mobile gaming industry is undergoing a transformation from SMS based games to downloadable and multi media card (MMC) games. The game developers do not have the same financial resources for developing new services as a few years ago. Current development budgets are much lower and mobile game developers have to concentrate development activities to games which can generate revenue. In this paper, we examine the key decision making criteria for new game selection of a mobile game publisher and propose a tentative framework for the evaluation of new mobile product prospects in the game and entertainment industry. The preferences for the criteria are derived by applying the principles of the analytic hierarchy process method. We took the results of the chief executive officer|s interview as the basis for the analysis on how the company chooses between competing new game initiatives, but we also interviewed the chief technology officer and a producer in the company to achieve a better understanding on why some criteria are more important than others. The results show that the case company emphasises expected profit and volume more than risk factors in decision making, although they also search for proven game concepts and rely on seasonal products with low risk of not having enough sales volume.

Keywords: mobile games; mobile products; mobile entertainment; decision making; mobile gaming industry; game selection; computer games publishers; analytical hierarchy process; AHP; expected profit; sales volume; risk factors; proven game concepts; seasonal products.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2010.035212

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2010 Vol.11 No.2, pp.105 - 120

Published online: 14 Sep 2010 *

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