Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Media Studies


Nick Dyer-Witheford


In today's marketplace the ability to innovate is considered a key driver of success and economic prosperity (Florida, 2002; Howkins, 2001). From an innovation perspective, video game development has often been viewed as an exemplary case of a creative digital industry whose products and services are quickly consumed and hence require a constant flow of new content. This dissertation reviews innovation in the video game industry more critically. After examining the main lines of contemporary innovation theory, it proposes a model of the innovation process in the development cycle of console video games, evaluating the roles of three principle actors: consumers, publishers and developers. It then shows how, while the interaction of these stakeholders sometimes results in original new products and services, it also often fails to do so and indeed can actually impede truly creative innovation. The study aims to dispel popular myths about the embrace of innovation by the video game industry and contribute to the debate on the role of innovation in today's post-industrial economy.