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Agile development in the video game industry: Examining the effects of iteration and methods of limiting it
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This research is examining one of the most dominant managerial methods used in development in the video game industry, Agile development. More particularly, the thesis examines a certain attribute of Agile development, that of iteration. The thesis will set to examine how iteration affects several layers of development during the production of a video game and whether it can be replaced by other managerial technics.As a result, the purpose of this thesis is to raise a different viewpoint against the Agile’s iteration. Furthermore, this thesis aims to contribute to the academic research by concentrating on the video game industry, an industry that is often neglected by the academia.The theoretical framework and literature review concentrate on concepts of Agile development, overworking, development cycle in video games, definitions of project success and project failures and creative process in video game development.The thesis deploys qualitative methodology to address and research its data. The collected data belongs to two categories, data stemming from interviews conducted by the thesis’s author and data stemming from journalistic magazines.The results of both type of data are compared and act supplementary to each other, then they are analyzed to answer the research questions asked by this thesis. The results showcase that iteration has negative effects to video game developers in both a macroscale (company’s resources, annual revenue) and in a microscale (overworking, health issues) level. The results also highlight that Agile is an all-time favorite development methodology of developers in the video game industry.In conclusion, the thesis supports the notion that iteration should be suppressed and proposes a number of solutions for that matter. The suggestions are essentially encouragement towards developers: to seek higher interactivity with customers throughout the duration of all the development stages of a video game, to show more trust to established gameplay mechanics and to place more reliance on a franchise’s profit power and benefits. These measures can be used in a preventive manner in order to limit the appearance of iteration and as a result, to limit its’ negative effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 75
Keywords [en]
Agile, iteration, video game development, overworking, crunch, creativity, resources
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156211OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-156211DiVA, id: diva2:1286810
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Available from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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