From Hobby to Empire (and back again?) – The Business of Video Games
Students will learn:
- About common economic topics like return on investment, profit, cost of goods, etc.
- How entrepreneurs have created innovative genres and businesses from scratch throughout the history of games
- How the economics of games have influenced game design over time (from arcades to consoles and PCs)
- How companies like Atari, Nintendo and Electronic Arts progressed the industry and its economics from a refuge of hobbyists to an empire of packaged goods
- How and why the industry crashed in 1983, how and why it recovered and whether another crash is coming/has already occurred
- About the rise of a new generation of hobbyists and small companies bringing with them new and varied economic models
Webinars will cover the evolution of games over time and how and why the price point and platform of games has influenced the business, the games, and players themselves. In homework assignments, students will be asked to play and analyze games from the eras in question (where available) and think critically about how those games succeeded/made money in the context of their marketplace. In some cases, students will be asked to view post-mortems on important games to set the stage for later webinar discussions. By the end of the course, students will have a strong understanding of where the video game industry stands today and be able to speak knowledgeably of the challenges and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to move games and tech to new heights.
This is 6-session high school workshop. Webinars are 50 minutes long. Recordings are available for students who must miss a session.