An Industry Analysis of Video Gaming


Within the technologically advanced and ever-changing world of the video gaming industry, nothing compares to what it did when video games first hit the market. The low-tech games of years past are replaced with high-tech games that entice people of all ages. With technology growing daily video games have become a cultural sensation that is growing ever more prominent. From the simple graphics of their earliest years to the more complex landscapes of the twenty-first century, players have seen them developed into enchanting worlds that have captivated the hearts of millions of players both young and old. Although much of today's video game players are from many demographic and geographic backgrounds, it is easy to see how they have become an integral part of society that has been in around nearly as long as the television. 

Therefore building off of a previous discussion and narrowing it down to the pioneer of the video gaming industry, Microsoft. It is no secret that a successful industry like Microsoft is characterized by the trends and developments that generally produce changes; however if we consider a more logical value in identifying the precise factors that causes such changes within the technological world of Microsoft. First, we might consider analyzing the work environment within the Microsoft Corporation, one that quite possibly provides its employees with the same cultivating environment that many parents strive to achieve for their children or at least a functional environment where they can be more productive. But like children, the employees of Microsoft might also need to be in touch with reality for example being exposed to disruptive or even disturbing concepts. Otherwise a sheltered monoculture work environment can develop that is dysfunctional and unhealthy for everyone involved.

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Just like children have needs so do the employees, which Bill Gates seems to address within his organization. Considering that the basic premise of need theories stated in our text, "people are motivated to achieve outcomes at work that will satisfy their needs. The need theories also suggest that to motivate a person to contribute valuable input to a job and perform at a high level, a manager must determine what needs are trying to be satisfied at work and ensure that each person receives outcomes that help to satisfy those needs. For instance when the person performs at a high level and helps the organization achieve its goals" (Jones & George, 2007).

Moreover when it comes to the functionality of the workplace or when employees have the decision making freedom over the work and environment, it creates an atmosphere that promotes productivity. However, there are exceptions to having this freedom of choice, for instance when corporate management sets deadlines on specific task that generally involves working in groups to achieve the desired results. Looking at this scenario from the corporate levels use of deadlines and group involvement as development tools, it is easy to see the advantages of sharing ideas and processes as they transfer across the teams. This also gives corporate management the opportunity to develop and evaluate the control systems they have in place for maintaining a motivated and productive workforce, something that management at all levels is encouraged to promote.

In reference to knowledge based management strategies, "where organizations must focus on creating and developing knowledgeable workers that can succeed and excel in a competitive, global environment. Therefore, in conjunction with knowledge management human resource management activities, programs and curricula development activities must focus on instilling, improving, and evaluating knowledge, skills, and abilities of human assets and the techniques used to promote a motivated and productive workforce. (Brewer & Brewer, 2010)" Furthermore the techniques or driving forces must have a leading impact on what kinds of change will take place within the industries structure and environment. For instance, over the next three years just as is has in the past decade, the video gaming industry will continue to expand its growth and popularity by employing bright and talented individuals who bring new and innovative ideas and technologies into an already thriving industry. This brings me to the knowledge management displayed by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer to achieve the type of success displayed in their leadership qualities.

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Take for instance the announcement of a new manager within Microsofts organization being a strategic move or a redesigning of its organization structure, where "managers create the structure of working relationships among employees by allowing them to accomplish organizational goals professionally and efficiently" (Jones & George, 2007) and shows just how influential good leadership skills can be within an organization.

For example, during the redesign efforts of Microsoft, Mr. Gates states that Ballmer's promotion is just part of a plan to extend the leadership skills and position of the company to take advantage of new growth visions that will be more receptive to the needs of the customer. By appointing Ballmer president through the redesigning of Microsoft's organizational structure, more focus can be placed on the organization vision and product strategy.

In a memorandum Gates stated that "the bulk of his time will be spent with product groups, devising the new technologies and products of the future" (Redmond, 1998). He continued with praise that is also considered a good motivational tool and also part of the needs theory stating that "we can all be proud of what we have built so far. However the future opportunities will far surpass everything we have achieved to date and I am more passionate about and committed to Microsoft than I have ever been" (Redmond, 1998).

Although a good leader should display good leadership skills, true leaders are hard to find. This is because the combination of skills, personality traits and motivation are all essential qualities of good leadership, yet are difficult to achieve. "In a study by Hatch and Dyer (2004), it was shown that effective management of certain human resource activities such as selection and development can improve a firm's overall performance. Additionally, firms that emphasize human capital development have employees that are more productive and cost effective, (Brewer & Brewer, 2010)" which is exactly what the Microsoft Corporation set out to achieve.

Within the Microsoft Corporation it easy to determine the two most common forces for analysis. First is identifying what the driving forces are which in this case is innovative ideas and technology and second is evaluating or benchmarking the impact they will have on the industry for many years to come. For instance over the years software technologies have pushed computer hardware manufacturers to create more powerful equipment. In fact, the gaming industry has become the primary force driving commercial video gaming advances to the point that they now exceed the demands of business productivity, which in turn puts a strain on the manufacturers. For example within the gaming community there have been demands for improvements to memories, graphics chips, display monitors, network connections, and sound generation. While these technological advances will benefit everyone within the gaming industry, it will especially affect those that use computers for their products by significantly increasing the price vs. performance ratio created by a huge gaming market. Therefore, building an industrial computing environment that is capable of expanding the gaming technologies listed above when such an application becomes available within the industry.

"When the changes in the nature, numbers, or types of suppliers resulting in driving forces that produce opportunities and threats, we being to understand why managers must respond if their organizations are to prosper" (Jones & George, 2007, p. 140). Although the most common forces that drive industries both large and small are changes in the long term growth rate that changes their growth up or down and affects the balance between supply and demand. For instance, a strong upsurge in long-term demand frequently attracts new customers and encourages established industries to invest in additional technologies. While quite the opposite effect takes place during a shrinking market that generally causes some industries to either go out of business or postpone investments toward new technologies. Either way, this technique of evaluating change known as benchmarking allows organizations to plan for the future by comparing performance ratios based on the changes that need to take place within the organization. Another force that drives the video industry is the changes in who buys the products, not to mention how they use them. "Therefore these changes cause a direct reflection on buyer demographics and emergences of new ways to use the products, forcing the video industry to make adjustments within the market and changes for the individual manager, in regards to opportunities and threats resulting from those driving forces in the general environment" (Jones & George, 2007, p. 139).

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When we consider everything involved with the video gaming industry such as the technological, personal, financial, and social aspects, it is easy to see that the video gaming industry has risen from near obscurity to a major industry within a very short timeframe. The industry has capitalized on a number of forces in reference to technology, society, and individual preference and when brought together, these forces have been powerful enough to drive the growth of this industry faster than any of the more customary industries of the 21st century.