Ström, P., & Ernkvist, M. (2014). Product and Service Interaction in the Chinese Online Game Industry. Technology Innovation Management Review, 4(5), 6-17.
Abstract: This article examines the rapidly-growing online game industry in China, which is a prime example of the changing regional landscape of new creative industries in East Asia. The industry’s evolution in China demonstrates the complexity of the growth of this industry through various knowledge and production networks. Despite the fact that Chinese companies were initially a second mover in this industry and had limited technological competence, they managed to move up the value chain within a few years, from operators of foreign-developed games to game developers. The catch-up process in this creative industry has differed from traditional manufacturing industries, which reflects the responsiveness and close proximity between product and service as key elements of the online game experience. This article conceptualizes this product–service offering in the industry and highlights its requirement for a widespread geographical network, as well as close proximity and responsiveness between elements of the network. In the empirical study of the growth of the Chinese online game industry described here, we argue that Chinese companies have managed to grow by utilizing the strategic control of service, player preferences, and responsiveness in this network, and translating this control into constant incremental improvement of their game development offering.