General information

Subject type: Basic

Coordinator: Ana Beatriz Pérez Zapata

Trimester: Second term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Pablo Migliorini

Teaching languages

  • Spanish
  • English
  • Catalan

Materials (articles, videos, guides, etc.) are used during the subject in English and Spanish. 


Basic skills
  • B2_That students know how to apply their knowledge to their job or vocation in a professional way and have the skills they demonstrate by developing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of ​​study


  • B4_That students can convey information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialized and non-specialized audiences


Specific skills
  • V12. Apply entrepreneurial initiative and innovation for the creation of new video games and business lines.

  • V13. Apply business vision, marketing and sales, economic analysis and technical knowledge for video game production.

Transversal competences
  • T1_That students know a third language, which will be preferably English, with an adequate level of oral and written form, according to the needs of the graduates in each degree


  • T2_That students have the ability to work as members of an interdisciplinary team either as one more member, or performing management tasks in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, making commitments taking into account the available resources



The subject of "Business Models" starts from the conceptual exploration of what a business model is per se and its applicability to the video game industry. The course covers a wide range of ways to monetize the different economic activities currently existing in the industry, video game monetization models, product strategies and possible contingencies arising from understanding the game as a product or service. 

The knowledge and skills covered by the subject are acquired from the different sessions of theory, teamwork, group discussions, research, etc. It is for this reason that the evaluation system rewards constant teamwork and the acquisition of theoretical knowledge on an individual basis.


What is a Business Model? 
1.1.1 Economic Activity of the Company.
1.1.2 Strategic Business Units vs. Divisions.
1.1.3 Business Models vs. Income Models.
1.1.4 The CANVAS Business Model.
1.2 Economic Activities and Business Models in the Video Game Industry.
1.2.1 Development: amateur, indie and third party development (serious games, gamification, development service)
1.2.2 Publishing: platforms, publishing, distribution, marketing and PR, consulting, financing, etc.
1.2.3 Services: incubation, acceleration, coworking, porting, translation and localization, sound, music, voiceover, QA, UX, media agencies, advertising agencies, legal, engines, version control systems, software development (Hack 'n'Plan, Jira, Trello), etc.
1.2.4 Other agents: press, training, data management, associations, streamers and influencers, etc.
1.2.5 Possible combinations to ensure the survival of the small development study.
1.3 Possible changes in economic activities or UENs and important decisions that change the business.
1.3.1 Intrinsic Changes
1.3.2 Extrinsic Changes
1.4 Protection of own developments against possible changes.
1.4.1 Types of IPs and how to protect them.
1.4.2 Advantages and disadvantages of doing business with original IPs.
1.4.3 How to develop your own or third-party licenses.

2.1 Income Models vs. Income Sources
2.2 B2B vs B2C
2.3 Sources of Income vs. Monetization Systems.
2.4 Monetization Systems
2.4.1 Pay to Play vs Free to Play + Hybrid Monetization Systems. P2P: Pay per Play, Pay per Copy, Pay Per Download, Episodic Sales, Subscription. F2P: In-game purchases, Advertising, Auciton and Player Trades, Expansions, Donations Hybrids: Freemium vs Paymium
2.5 Principles of economic design
2.5.1 Own developments: what to monetize, to whom, how and analysis of KPIs
2.5.2 Economic systems of cross-fertilization between UENs 

3.1 Competitive strategies
3.1.1 Markets vs Products. Ansoff matrix.
3.1.2 Generic Porter Strategies
3.1.3 Diversification vs. Concentration.
3.2 Corporate strategies:
3.2.1 Portfolio Analysis. BCG matrix.
3.2.2 Phases of the game life cycle in a market
3.2.3 Scope: Geographical coverage.
3.2.4 Decisions on the Business Development Method.
3.3 Operational strategies:
3.3.1 Global competitive advantage Value Activities Configuration Coordination of Value Activities
3.4 Landing: Dominant Strategies in the Video Game Industry
3.4.1 Organizational: Outsourcing
3.4.2 Corporate: Partnership
3.4.3 Competitive: Diversification

4.1 Product Logic vs. Service Logic
4.2 Contextualization: the game before and now
4.3 The game as a product and the game as a service (Game as a Service or GaaS)
4.4 GaaS: problems and business requirements
4.5 Previous decisions: creativity and value proposition
4.6 Associated income models
4.7 Co-creation and the relationship with the user
4.7.1 Negotiation and turning points Feedback and power symmetry Change of hands The end of the game life cycle

Evaluation system

The grade of each student will be calculated following the following percentages:

  • A1. Exercises and group work to be done in class or at home: 25%
  • A2. Final work in groups: 25%
  • A3. Partial exam: 15%
  • A4. Final exam: 35% 

Final grade = A1 x 0,25 + A2 x 0,25 + A3 x 0,15 + A4 x 0,35


  • The exams (partial and final) must be passed with a minimum grade of five (5) to pass the continuous assessment.
  • An activity not delivered or delivered late and without justification (court summons or medical matter) counts as a zero (0).
  • It is the student's responsibility to avoid plagiarism in all its forms. In the case of detecting plagiarism in any activity, regardless of its scope, it will correspond to having a grade of zero (0). In addition, the teacher will communicate the situation to the Department Management so that applicable measures can be taken in terms of the disciplinary regime.


  • Students with a grade of less than five (5) in the grade of any of the exams (partial or final), may retake the subject by taking a single exam that will collect all the contents of it. The mark of the resit exam will be the final mark of the subject.
  • Students with a grade of less than five (5) in the weighted mark of the evaluation activities of the first call, will be able to recover the subject by carrying out a single exam that will collect all the content of the same. The mark of the resit exam will be the final mark of the subject.
  • The maximum grade that can be achieved in an extraordinary call or second call is a five (5).



Osterwalder, Alexander, and Pigneur, Yves. (2013): "Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers." Wiley, 2013.

Nichols, Randy. (2014) The Video Game Business (International Screen Industries). British Film Institute

Osterwalder, Alexander, et al. (2015): "Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want." Wiley, 2015.


Davidovici-Nora, Myriam. (2014). Paid and free digital business models innovations in the video game industry. Digiworld Economic Journal, (94), 83.

Lovell, Nicholas. (2017). The Pyramid of Game Design. CRC Press: Taylor & Francis Group.