Observing the Videogames Industry
By framing videogames as experiential services, it is possible to analytically reconcile the rich and detailed contributions of ethnographic and anthropological studies that describe the individual's and community's engagement and deeply personal interaction with videogames, with videogames as an artefact produced and offered by firms. Obsidian Entertainment has long specialized in the production of story-driven, immersive role-playing videogames (RPGs). This chapter presents two case studies. Case Alpha illustrates co-creation mainly for customer-firm relationship gains. The firm doesn't prioritize customers' inputs to new service development (NSD); instead it focuses its co-creative efforts on building closer ties to the community of its customers. CCP, an Icelandic game development firm, is the focus of the second case study. Formally, co-creation of EVE Online occurs via three main channels, namely: physical gatherings, internet-mediated communication and players' voluntary advisory bodies to CCP. The relationship between the game developers and the players is also affected by the professionalization of the roles in the videogames industry.