Game Changer or Game Loser? An Evaluation Study of the Danish Videogame Industry

Dusko Djekic

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish videogame developers are innovative and full of strong ideas and have established themselves in Denmark, Europe and even internationally. Though the growth potential is high the Danish government has chosen to focus its attention on other creative industries. When stripped down to the essence this strategy is based upon the idea of economic development. The cultural and creative industries have over the past decade shown positive figures when it comes to job creation and growth not only in Denmark but across the world. This development has increasingly led to culture being used strategically by governments to boost the economy, which has resulted in a wide discourse about cultural policies and incentives for cultural production as well as the economization of culture and the culturalisation of the economy. This thesis aims at examining what value videogames have and how this value might determine the nature of cultural policy? In addition, i-t seeks to understand how this value might change the ideological basis for state cultural support and what makes videogames a strategic creative industry investment? The objective of the thesis is to give an understanding of the nature of videogame development in Denmark by following the main resource, the talent, and by uncovering the contemporary cultural policy logic. The qualitative research is carried out through an evaluative case study of the Danish videogame industry. The research of this thesis finds that videogamers possess intrinsic, economic and societal value which translates into innovation, which is believed to be a key to economic growth and prosperity and an important rationale behind contemporary cultural policy. For cultural support this could mean a justification based on value and not market failure. Videogames have shown all the traits desired in the innovation model and thus present a strategic investment opportunity. As Wesley and Barczak (2010) argue, leaps in innovation often come from outsiders, both outside organization and outside industry. Talent, both local and imported, leads innovation through interdisciplinary work and across sectors. In encouraging knowledge sharing the city plays a vital role as creative hub promoting values and environment the creative class desire. In all of these aspects the government has a role to play from education and business opportunities to city planning. If Video games developers (VGD) especially Danish independent developers (Indies), can prove their innovation capabilities then this will make them more attractive in the eyes of policy makers.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages80