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Heikki Tyni: Games Crowdfunding as a Form of Platformised Cultural Production

Tampere University
LocationKalevantie 5, Tampere
Remote connection
13.11.2020 14.00–16.00
Entrance feeFree of charge
Heikki Tyni
The recent decade has seen an increasing number of ‘game production studies’, with critical examinations on industry structures, production models and labour issues. The doctoral dissertation of Heikki Tyni examines critically an emerging area of independent production of digital games, games crowdfunding.

Asking funding directly from ‘backer’ audiences, game developers have been able to sidestep the publishers of the traditional game industry. However, crowdfunding has had a myriad of repercussions for everyday game work, production networks, and how games are received and sold, amongst other things.

Through a mixed-methods approach combining elements from game studies, critical political economy and cultural studies, the dissertation conceptualises games crowdfunding as a production logic that affects every area of game production. In getting rid of the traditional publisher, developers need to acquire a lot of new competencies and shoulder a lot of work previously handled by the publishers. Backers are found to possess several other roles beyond just funding and hold a wide variety of participation motivations beyond just acquiring the crowdfunded game. As projects have become more professional, many backers treat crowdfunding as a form of pre-ordering.

In the discussion, games crowdfunding is contextualised as a form ’platformisation of cultural production’, with game development and economics revolving around a central platform and intermediaries connected to it. The production model is revealed as a site of tension between alternative production opportunities, precarious game work, commercialisation and emerging user opportunities. Further studies are needed to understand the full gamut of games crowdfunding, including small campaigns.

The doctoral dissertation of M.A. Heikki Tyni in the field of game research titled Games Crowdfunding as a Form of Platformised Cultural Production: Effects on Production, Reception and Circulation will be publicly examined at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences of Tampere University at 16 o'clock on Friday 13 November. The venue is Linna building auditorium K103, address: Kalevantie 5. Professor David B. Nieborg from University of Toronto will be the opponent while Professor Olli Sotamaa will act as the custos.

Because of the coronavirus situation, the event can be followed via remote connection only.

The dissertation is available online at