Friday, October 7, 2011

Gaming Industry lessons and insights from Microsoft & Apple

Of all the industries we are studying in the class, Gaming is the one where Apple and Microsoft are currently in the space. We might learn more from looking at their different strategies as they entered the space. Microsoft entered originally with the Windows platform, and the launch of PC gaming. Their role was supporting developers through API documentation and they extracted value with additional units of Windows that shipped. We as a group also chose to ignore the bundled games that shipped with Windows (Minesweeper anyone?), and we focused largely on the emergence of the Xbox and Xbox 360 years later. The launch of the Xbox required Microsoft too add some fundamental capabilities, namely, big title development. Looking outside the firm, Microsoft found Bungie Studios, of Myth and Marathon success. Microsoft snatched up the small company and put them to work on Halo: Combat Evolved, the first in a long list of successful titles. More than the success of the individual titles, Microsoft had bolstered the chances success of the the Xbox (Hardware layer), Xbox Live (Social Layer), and Halo (Content Layer).

1 comment:

  1. On the other hand, and with a totally different strategy, Apple has helped to revolutionize the gaming industry without being a content creator or a pure gaming hardware manufacturer.

    Apple's strategy of focusing in multipurpose devices, ipod, iphone and ipad, while creating a strong network around their app store has helped them to become the preferred platform for content distribution (Games among others). Gaming companies, as a consequence, has focused their efforts in supporting and placing content in iTunes Store to take advantage of the network effects and the distribution channel that Apple controls.

    In a general sense we could say that Apple participate in the Hardware Layer, creating devices used for gaming, and in the distributors layer. Therefore, to keep influencing and adding value to this industry apple will have to offer more devices (Apple TV), more interconnection between devices -AirPlay seems to be following that direction- and strong support to developers and publishers.