Joost van Dreunen
What explains the massive worldwide success of video games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Pokemon Go? Game companies and their popularity are poorly understood and often ignored from the standpoint of traditional business strategy. Yet this industry generates billions in revenue by thinking creatively about digital distribution, free-to-play content, and phenomena like e-sports and live streaming. What lessons can we draw from its major successes and failures about the future of entertainment?
One Up offers a pioneering empirical analysis of innovation and strategy in the video game industry to explain how it has evolved from a fringe activity to become a mainstream form of entertainment. Joost van Dreunen, a widely recognized industry expert with over twenty years of experience, analyzes how game makers, publishers, and platform holders have tackled strategic challenges to make the video game industry what it is today. Using more than three decades of rigorously compiled industry data, he demonstrates that video game companies flourish when they bring the same level of creativity to business strategy that they bring to game design. Filled with case studies of companies such as Activision Blizzard, Apple, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Microsoft, Nexon, Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Tencent, and Valve, this book forces us to rethink common misconceptions around the emergence of digital and mobile gaming. One Up is required reading for investors, creatives, managers, and anyone looking to learn about the major drivers of change and growth in contemporary entertainment.
One Up cleverly draws on a very unique set of insights from industry data and academic research and confronts (and subsequently dispels) many industry myths head on. It is a pleasure to read and a valuable contribution not only to the field of game production studies but also to popular discussions about the industry. -- David B. Nieborg, University of Toronto This definitive guide covers key historical topics in the gaming industry, providing a basis for understanding where it is today and where it is going tomorrow. Whether you are a new apprentice, a seasoned executive, or creator, this book can broaden your horizons for our exciting field. -- Jay Chi, founder, Makers Fund It is almost impossible to predict the future perfectly, but it is essential to be open to new opportunities. One Up provides the historical context for our creative business and how we seek to capture the cultural zeitgeist for fun, for profit, or simply to share our creative universe with others. Joost van Dreunen highlights how an ability to identify an emerging gaming trend provides an insurmountable advantage that requires its own flawless execution to achieve critical mass and mainstream awareness. -- Solomon Foshko, director of strategic intelligence and new product analytics, Wargaming There were no good books about the video games business, until now. One Up is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how video games went from a toy in the basement to the most dynamic sector of the global entertainment industry. -- Ben Decker, head of gaming services marketing, Microsoft In One Up, Joost van Dreunen illustrates how business and strategy decisions can make or break the success of a game or platform. He breaks down the complex, rapidly changing business of video games in a way that will enlighten and entertain industry veterans, investors, and noobs alike. -- Ashley McEnery, business operations, Discord The essential book for understanding the changing landscape of the game industry, as it has moved from physical goods to downloads to continually evolving games-as-a-service. -- Jesper Juul, author of Handmade Pixels: Independent Video Games and the Quest for Authenticity Joost van Dreunen's One Up reflects his many years of experience and makes interesting observations about the games business, offering his unique perspective as a consultant and an academic. His positioning at the intersection between creators, manufacturers, business executives, investors, and financial analysts makes his book a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the games business. -- Michael Pachter, managing director and equity research analyst, Wedbush Securities One Up is by far the best book I've read about the business of video games. It's at once analytical, instructional, and highly readable. It should be required reading for anyone interested in the interplay of creativity, innovation, and business strategy in interactive entertainment. -- Ben Feder, president, international partnerships (North America), Tencent Games
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