The paper 'The Impact of Digitisation and Convergence of Games is a great example of a Business Case Study. There is little doubt in the academic circles that digitization and convergence has, and will continue having a major impact on the information and communication industry. The extent of such effects is still a subject of discussion since no one has developed a measurement instrument that can predict with certainty, just how much the impact will be. In the gaming sub-sector, digitization has enabled the delivery of games to a greater number of people in an online environment.
Additionally, game developers are now able to innovate, customize and merge games in the electronic communication platform - thus giving gamers more variety, different levels of difficulties, and a new platform to interact (Sammut-Bonnici, 2008). Convergence has on the other hand enabled the speedy delivery of digitized games, and has also enabled game developers to access cheaper digitization and system customization costs (Sammut-Bonnici, 2008). Consequently, the developers pass on the benefits of lower costs to the gamers, who can now play online games without having to pay for the services, as was the case when online gaming was just starting. With digitization and convergence, gaming is no longer an inflexible undertaking as was the case when players had to be in the same physical location in order to participate in the game together.
As games that are more traditional become digitized, and as people work on converging games that were previously independent entities, the world of gaming will possibly become a more thrilling place for gamers (Barr, 2000). There is also the possibility that game developers will produce more localized content, which when published online, will increase the level of difficulty in gaming, and the variety of games available on different platforms.
Since game developers will have ‘ older’ games to refer to, there is also a possibility of them creating hybridized games that combine some of the features contained in the old game, thus creating even more complex, engaging, or entertaining games (Barr, 2000). Harwood (2011) also observes that some original game developers have since given leeway to players to modify their games by allowing the modification of source codes.
Such action means that the players can create new games by adapting existing resources on specific games, fix problems on existing games, or add interesting new features. Subsequently, such actions lead to spin-off games, which have the ability to develop through modifications as time goes by. Citing Machinima, which is an artistic and cultural movement developed by an online gaming community, Howard (2011) notes that digitization and convergence can also be credited with enhanced social interaction and development. According to Finn (2002), new income-generating avenues are being created through the digitization and convergence of games.
For example, it is estimated that the video game market will grow from US$52.5 billion to US$86.8 billion in just five years between 2009 and 2014. This represents an annual growth rate of 10.6 percent. Accordingly, the game market is rated second in terms of fast growth. With the majority of the world’ s population being young people, online games have a ready market, which is going to last as long as more people are being born, or until a more interesting innovation that would capture the interest of the young people is discovered.
Barr, T. (2000). New media .com .au: the changing face of Australia’s media and communications. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Costikyan, G. (2002). “I Have No Words & I Must Design: Toward a Critical Vocabulary for Games.” (F. Mayra, Ed.) Proceedings of Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference. Retrieved 13 July 2011, from http://www.costik.com/nowords2002.pdf
Dizard, W. (1997). Old media, new media: mass communication in the digital age. NY: Longman.
Finn, M. (2002). “Console games in the age of convergence.” Proceedings of Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference, ed. Frans Mäyrä.Tampere: Tampere University Press. Pp. 45-58
Harwood, T. (2011). Virtual worlds and e-commerce: technologies and applications for building customer relationships. NY: IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-808-7.ch004
Sammut-Bonnici, T. (2008). “Effects of convergence and digitisation on the ICT industry.” Retrieved 13 July 2011, from: http://staff.um.edu.mt/tsam1/index.html
Seay, A. (2006). “Project massive: the social and psychological impact of online gaming.” Dissertation Chapter. pp. 1-156.