Games Crowdfunding as a Form of Platformised Cultural Production

Tutkimustuotos: VäitöskirjaCollection of Articles


The recent decade has seen an increasing number of ‘game production studies’, with critical examinations on industry structures, production models and labour issues. This study critically examines an emerging area of independent production of digital games, games crowdfunding. Asking funding directly from ‘backer’ audiences, game developers have been able to sidestep the publishers of the traditional game industry. However, crowdfunding has had a myriad of repercussions for everyday game work, production networks, and how games are received and sold, amongst other things.

Through a mixed-methods approach combining elements from game studies, critical political economy and cultural studies, this dissertation conceptualises games crowdfunding as a production logic that affects every area of game production. In getting rid of the traditional publisher, developers need to acquire a lot of new competencies and shoulder a lot of work previously handled by the publishers. Backers are found to possess several other roles beyond just funding and hold a wide variety of participation motivations beyond just acquiring the crowdfunded game. As projects have become more professional, many backers treat crowdfunding as a form of pre-ordering.

In the discussion, games crowdfunding is contextualised as a form ’platformisation of cultural production’, with game development and economics revolving around a central platform and intermediaries connected to it. The production model is revealed as a site of tension between alternative production opportunities, precarious game work, commercialisation and emerging user opportunities. Further studies are needed to understand the full gamut of games crowdfunding, including small campaigns.
KustantajaTampere University
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-03-1757-7
ISBN (painettu)978-952-03-1756-0
TilaJulkaistu - 2020
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University Dissertations - Tampereen yliopiston väitöskirjat
ISSN (painettu)2489-9860
ISSN (elektroninen)2490-0028


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