Degree Name

Masters by Research


School of Economic and Information Systems - Faculty of Commerce


The development of information technologies brings innovations into traditional entertainment, and this development allows for the creation of a new leisure style: online entertainment. Online entertainment is an emerging industry, and increasingly, companies are pursuing this new trend with profit motives. However, the struggle of online-music industries shows that the market is not yet mature, and is still seeking viable business models. Online-game industries are also going to face similar problems that those online-music industries have already experienced. The purpose of this thesis is to study business model developments for the online-game industry. The focus will be the PC-based Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). By utilizing the structure of the digital content value chain as a conceptual framework, this thesis will use this framework to analyse the structure of current business models. In order to improve current business models, analysing case studies and investigating key issues, which have a potential to influence the business development, are important in this thesis. The research will focus on three areas: marketing, game-play and financial issues. By seeking practicable solutions for key issues, these proposed solutions will be applied to create viable developments and restructure business models. The research method will review the last five years of research literature, explorations and case studies. This thesis mainly focuses on the case studies of Asian online-game developments, with a focus on Japanese and Korean game industries because their industries are the major players in the online-game market. In addition, the survey methods will include the use of the online questionnaire in order to obtain experiential resources and to increase the accuracy of this research. The contribution of this thesis is to establish viable business models based upon the experience of Japanese and Korean online-game developments as patterns, for Chinese and Western online-game industries.