Game Dev Tycoon
In Game Dev Tycoon the player is responsible for the development of a game studio. He starts as a small one-person business in a garage and develops computer games. The focus is on promising combinations of game genres, themes, game characteristics, platforms (e.g. PC or game consoles), target groups, technologies and marketing measures. With increasing success and financial possibilities, employees can be hired and qualified, buildings can be rented and more sophisticated games can be developed.
Game Dev Tycoon is easy to learn and can be entertaining. However, little use is made of the economic learning potential that comes with running a business. So far it is not suitable for use in the context of business education. Nevertheless, it may well promote the above-mentioned patterns of economic thinking in players who play Game Dev Tycoon for fun.
Game Dev Tycoon is available for PC and Mac (regular price at Steam 10€, reduced 4€) as well as for iOS and Android (5€) and has only low hardware requirements.
The economic learning potential of the game is primarily to be seen in the field of business administration and in the economic thought patterns of risk, division of labour and scarcity:
- Risk: Wrong business management decisions or the development of expensive but unsuccessful games can quickly lead to insolvency. This danger is quite real, as the danger of flops is quite real in view of the numerous decision parameters involved in game development. This is especially true in the case of high fixed costs due to employees and offices. As a result, after a number of misguided developments, even larger financial cushions can quickly be used up due to past successes. Thus, it makes sense to first develop small, inexpensive games to gain experience and reduce uncertainty. On this basis, investments in more complex games can be made with lower risk. In this context, the possibility of market research would also be interesting, but this is not implemented in Game Dev Tycoon.
- Scarcity: In addition to money, research or experience points generated by working on games and which can be used for the development of new technologies are also scarce. Consequently, the research points should not be chosen at random, but in accordance with the strategy pursued.
- Division of labour/coordination: In order to be able to develop larger and qualitatively better games, employees with different qualification profiles must be hired and specifically deployed for specific parts of the game development.
In addition, Game Dev Tycoon raises awareness of the need for investment (e.g. in new technologies) and marketing measures such as trade fairs, promotions or customer relations.
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