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What explains the massive worldwide success of video games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Pokémon Go? Game companies look unconventional—and are often ignored—from the standpoint of traditional business strategy. Yet they have thrived in the face of digitalization, generating billions in revenue through business models such as offering content for free in order to build market share and draw in customers.
One Up offers a pioneering empirical analysis of innovation and strategy in the video games industry to explain how it has gone from the fringe to the mainstream. Drawing on almost twenty years of practical and academic experience in the interactive entertainment field, Joost van Dreunen analyzes how business model innovation has made the video game industry what it is today. Covering more than three decades of industry data, he demonstrates that video game companies flourish when they bring the same level of creativity to business strategy as they do 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 reveals how the emergence of digital and mobile gaming can make us rethink traditional product-based strategies. One Up is required reading for investors, strategic decision makers, creatives, and anyone looking to learn about the major drivers of change and growth in contemporary entertainment.
Joost van Dreunen is an investor and advisor to startups and financial funds active in video games. He was cofounder and CEO of SuperData Research, a market research firm that Nielsen acquired in 2018, and is an adjunct assistant professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business.