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May 15, 2005




I took a quick skim over it, and had to save and print for a later more full read. Nice link.


Wow, this game thing looks pretty interesting. Wierd. I mean, you're telling me, people pay real money for virtual goods??? What's up with that?



its government stuff... always way behind the curve, and sound like they discovered something...

like - " after much study and testing, it has been discovered that for the most efficient method of transporting goods, it is possible to equip a device known as a 'wheel' to a platform.

We advice all transport companies to use these 'wheels' to further encourage economic growth in outlying ares"


I will probably be in the minority on this, but this is the sort of thing I want my career politicians to read and comprehend. This report does exactly what it's intended to: deliver a report to government officials on the state of the online video game industry.

None of what's included will be revolutionary to anyone who frequents this page. But that doesn't mean there is not a need to teach some of the very basic industry concepts to those who do not, especially at the policymaking level.


Don't get me wrong, I am glad they did the report, and I think it's a good report. I'm also glad we're linking it. I plan to use it in classes next year.

I just couldn't resist the opportunity for insider snickering.


Press release and link (and is now on the page) are below. Cheers

OECD report: Online Computer and Video Game Industry

Thought this might be of interest. The OECD has just released a report on the online computer and video game industry (click to view study) in advance of the interactive entertainment industry E3 exhibition which opens in Los Angeles on 18 May.

Among the issues identified by the report are:
Development costs, particularly for online games, have increased rapidly. Finance is seen as an important barrier to development as R&D support and tax breaks do not necessarily go to game development.
Domination of the games console market by three hardware suppliers and growing market power of large games publishers is a potential threat to competition and together with increasing development costs to the future of independent developers.
Lack of international micro-payment systems is limiting growth of pay-per-play and mass-market development.
Shortages of programmers and developers remain a barrier to growth. Fewer women work in the games industry than any other media industry;
Available evidence on the relationship between gaming and violence does not seem to support a definite direct causal connection but indicates that more research needs to be done in this area.

Among its findings are:

It is a young, R&D-intensive industry with rapid growth underpinned by online network technology and development of large-scale online games and wireless games.
New games are important drivers for high-end processors and computer capabilities.
Growth is driven by changing demographic and income characteristics of players, the continued spread of broadband and the increasing role of China.
Mass markets for online computer and video games will develop in most OECD countries following growth in Japan and Korea.
Increasing costs of developing and marketing new games and high potential online and wireless markets may drive industry consolidation.

Governments increasingly see the computer and video game industry as a growth area. Countries such as Canada, Korea and the United Kingdom have developed support policies and established environments conducive to the industry, including collaborative R&D support, multimedia funds, trade support services and training certification schemes. There are also increasing spillovers from games into other activities, for example using interactive games developments in education and government applications and 3D modelling in design applications.

A separate report on the mobile content industry (click to view study), including games and music on mobile phones, is also available. These studies are part of the OECD Project on Digital Broadband Content (www.oecd.org/sti/digitalcontent). In early June, the OECD will release studies on digital music and scientific publishing.

For more information, please contact Graham Vickery or Sacha Wunsch-Vincent or of the OECD's Science, Technology and Industry Directorate on + 33 1 45 24 86 11; digitalcontentoecd.org.


By the way. when is your book coming out Edward?


Thanks for asking! I am doing the final page proofs this week. I guess that means, a few more months.


One thing, though, about this being an R&D-focused industry - I don't get the sense that they are yet comfortable supporting basic research, at universities, in the behavioral sciences. If there is R&D in the online game industry, it's focused on technical issues. Issues like motivation, behavior, gratification, and so on, which it seems to me are more important for good sales, have only a small percent of any R&D the industry is doing.


with R&D focussed, we mean that the industry conducts its own kind of "R&D" (development of middleware, software, visual applications, hardware, etc.). A lot of this "R&D" is not necessarily recognised by existing tax credit and R&D support schemes, meaning that - unlike other industries - the online computer and video game industry does not benefit from these measures.


My first reaction was "har, har", but now I agree with Will. It's mostly important that the report exists at all. If a bureaucrat reads the press release and just thumbs through the actual report to see if it has a lot of tables and numbers in it, that's about all you can expect anyway.

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