Business Environment for Gaming Expertise in the B.. (Business Environment..)
Business Environment for Gaming Expertise in the Border Region
Start date: May 31, 2004,
End date: Feb 27, 2006
Based on the completed assessments of the region, research and expertise in the gaming business exists in the nearbyRussian areas of the programme area that could add value to companies and the University of Oulu LudoCraft unit.Effective utilisation of this expertise, however, requires networking between the professionals and an assessment ofthe business opportunities. The goal of the project was to develop cooperation between Finland and Russia and topromote gaming business in the area utilising the expertise of the Department of Information Processing Scienceof the University of Oulu. First, the project planned to identify the experts on both sides of the border and create astrong cross-border expert network with a background in gaming research and business activity in the border region.The network’s expertise was to be utilised in gaming business, assessments were to be made regarding opportunitiesfor cooperation and business activity, and suitable gaming business models were to be sought. A further intention wasto study the feasibility of using the Kalevala theme in game planning, for example. Achievements: The project was very successful in creating the gaming expert network. The cooperation completed within the project framework combined the so-called older and newer methods of the culture using a new and interesting method. The project was also highly successful in gathering information. The gaming business, game production process (including regional considerations), and game platforms suitable for the region’s gaming business activities were assessed and outlined within the project framework. A separate report was produced regarding suitable business models for crossborder gaming business activities and their application. A report was also produced regarding classifying the roles and phases of the game production process, with a focus on small productions. In addition, the opportunities for utilising the Kalevala theme were assessed and a concept plan for the game product was created. As a joint effort, a small-scale test implementation within the Kalevala theme was created. Permanent gaming business activities were not created during the project, although potential ventures were created. The results of the project have, however, been utilised in later ventures. The gaming business in the St. Petersburg area was seen to be quite business-oriented already, and the industry professionals were not very willing to take the change in direction away from their main activities that participation in the project would have required. The older-culture industry professionals and Kalevala experts in the Petrozavodsk region would have been willing to participate in diff erent types of experiments with newer media; however, they would have needed the support of gaming industry professionals. The preliminary assessments and trials did, however, demonstrate that this type of business activity is possible, and even fruitful, although external funding from outside of the project for the business was not secured during the project. The role of the project was rather to build a foundation for the future utilisation of the achieved results. The Kalevala theme has been utilised by the project partners during subsequent cross-border cooperation. From the university’s perspective, the project created a good foundation for future cooperation with Russians in education and gaming industry research. Subcontracting has commenced with companies in the St. Petersburg region, and this is being continued in Finland, particularly with companies based at Joensuu Science Park.
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