Our recently published survey paper explored the potential of extracting useful knowledge through gameplay. This process, namely Game Intelligence, is based on analysing data generated by players while playing the game. The potential development of games, characterised by innovative game-design, that could serve purposes other than just pure entertainment, could further disintegrate the current spectrum of the industry’s value offering. However, product innovation is a necessary but not a sufficient condition that guarantees the economic viability of a new value proposition. Instead, it also calls for the development of new Business Models that would act as the support platform of such endeavours. 

Before proceeding towards an explanatory and predictive analysis of how and what kind of business models could be developed that could serve these new value propositions it is necessary to explore the historical, and current industrial structure in terms of Business Models. Currently this structure, as reflected on the Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC), is fragmented and classified under a number of diverse categories:

  • 26400 - Manufacture of consumer electronics
  • 32401 – Manufacture of professional and arcade games and toys
  • 58210 - Publishing of computer games
  • 62011 - Ready-made interactive leisure and entertainment software development

In our recently published paper, we classified the industry based on an evolutionary approach that used the business model characteristics such as, value proposition, value networks and profit generation mechanism). We observed a wide diversity within the industry and identified 12 distinct business model archetypes within the sector that could be further categorised into 4 classes: Professional and Arcade games, Console Manufacturing, Publishing and Games Development.

Based on our research, we provide the necessary evidence that points towards improving the current classification of the sector as reflected on SIC. We proposed the creation of a new code that would be part of the broader Creative Industries Sector, which could comprise the economic activities of the industry, based on the identified classes. 

These changes of industrial classification can potentially impact the digital-games industry in a diverse way:

  • better policies for the Creative sector can be developed as a result of these changes,
  • gives better comparative data for research,
  • supports benchmarking and budgeting,
  • supports strategic decisions by providing a roadmap of change, and
  • helps position the games sector as a creative rather than as a software or manufacturing industry

Our ongoing research focuses on bridging the gap between taxonomy and typology research.  It will contribute to generate a framework for strategic decision making and promote digital-games related research by developing a common terminology among scholars and professionals.