This study contributes to understanding the effects of crowdfunding on the value creation process in the digital game industry. Specifically, it integrates the value chain logic with the platform logic to examine collaborative value creation enabled by opening up the business models of game developers to the crowd. Through a multiple case design this research shows that the benefit of using crowdfunding goes well beyond fundraising. As an implementation of open innovation, crowdfunding unifies the channels that bring capital, technology and market knowledge from the crowd into the game. This finding leads to the exploration of a new complex system of interactions between game developers and value chain stakeholders, and invokes the analysis of crowdfunding as a form of technological platform to identify and analyze new types of collaboration and competition. This research limits its findings to the effects of reward-based crowdfunding. Other forms of crowdfunding require further investigations. The paper also aims to help practitioners understand how crowdfunding is transforming the game industry.
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