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Players as Prosumers - How Customer Engagement in Game Modding May Benefit Computer Game Market

Anna Dewalska-Opitek and Magdalena Hofman-Kohlmeyer

Central European Business Review, 2021, vol. 2021, issue 1, 77-97

Abstract: Consumers play extra-role behaviours while actively participating in designing and improving goods and services, thus becoming prosumers. Modding, i.e. game modifications which aim at creating a new or improving experience for the players, is an interesting form of prosumption observed in the game industry. The general purpose of the study is to identify to what extent players are willing to perform game modding, as well as who and how may benefit from this extra-role behaviour. Qualitative research was conducted in the form of focus groups with Polish game players. Results of the conducted research allow identifying benefits for four groups of beneficiaries, i.e., players as mod users (game diversification, better customisation, higher quality of games, more realism of the game, fun and excitement to play a modified or a new game, prolonged games' lifespans), modders as mod creators (creativity, gaining knowledge about how to create a game, social affiliation and pride or career development) game developers (extending games' lifespans, updating, and renewing game, improving the quality of games, the opportunity to reach a wider audience) and intermediaries like cloud gaming platforms which share the benefits with game developers.Implications for Central European audience: The study provides evidence that customers' inclination to prosume may vary and is stimulated by specific drivers in the form of perceived benefits. Thus, the research supports Adam's equity theory. From the managerial perspective, the current study provides useful, actionable guidance on how to encourage players to engage in real prosumtion in virtual worlds. Game producers need to learn about their customers' needs outside of normal exchange processes. Players shall be perceived as an inseparable part of the gaming industry, who deliver an extra value to the market by game modding activities.

Keywords: benefits; game modding; prosumption (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M31 O35 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.18267/j.cebr.261

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