University of Twente Student Theses


Business models on the context of educational online games

Al-JouJou, Juma (2012) Business models on the context of educational online games.

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Abstract:Although more than a quarter of new business formations are social entrepreneurial, social entrepreneurs in general and educational game developers as specific social entrepreneurs have tremendous difficulties to receive funding from traditional channels. Crowdfunding, a recently popular phenomenon on the internet, proved to be very suitable both for social entrepreneurs and for gaming projects alike. The business model generally is a source of competitive advantage and may also play a crucial role for the initial crowdfunding. The problem owner of this research developed an educational game about sustainability that is to be commercialized. Thus, this research seeks to answer the research question: What is a suitable BM for the educational online game MoRally to get crowdfunded and to match the social entrepreneurial goals of the problem owner? Social entrepreneurship is an innovative initiative with a social object; the business model is an organization's logic to create, deliver and capture value; crowdfunding is a collective cooperation of non-professionals to financially support a project; educational games combine pedagogic content with video games. To answer the research question, this study first identified success factors and evaluation criteria from the fields of business models, social entrepreneurship, and online games and then developed a preliminary business model for the educational game of the problem owner along these identified factors. A new business model and evaluation framework was developed that considers the alignment to the founder's goals and the crowdfunding suitability. A questionnaire with items for the evaluation of the created business model was filled in by 15 respondents. After the identification of weaknesses, refinements of the business model were formulated. Six respondents assessed the refined business model by using the same questionnaire. The preliminary business model included the combination of an online “board” game with a tabletop board game, revenues from in-game advertising from corporations, and a donation mechanism. The preliminary business model revealed weaknesses because there was little lock-in for customers and the profitability was doubted. The second evaluation of a refined business model showed that by opening the technological interface and thus the platform for outside educational game developers, much more lock-in for partners could be created and the potential profitability was assessed much more positively. The main managerial implication is that the problem owner should use this business model to align his financial, environmental and social goals with the project's suitability for crowdfunding. The suggested extension of the own network by a network-based business model that works closely with partners such as donation platforms and corporate sponsors was assessed as very valuable for a crowdfunding campaign and to create social impact. The development of a table-top board game first and of an online game then substantially lowers risks and allows to partly subsidize the free-toplay online game by selling the board game.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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