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At Your Service: Event-Based Design in Japanese Mobile Games

EasyChair Preprint no. 1186

2 pagesDate: June 14, 2019


The phrase "games as a service" (GaaS) has been used to describe digital applications, such as subscription-based or free-to-play social and mobile games, which provide game content to players on an ongoing revenue system. GaaS has recently met with consternation in English-language markets due to what some consider exploitative monetization practices, though the idea of designing games around "service" for players is not new. In Japan, the word "service" has been used by various designers well before the advent of social or mobile gaming to describe their approach to considering player psychology and providing sufficient pleasure and value to players. Considering this history of service-oriented design in Japan, this paper will investigate what constitutes providing service in Japan's mobile games industry. Through an analysis of the responses of 16 semi-structured interviews with a variety of mobile games developers in games companies located in the Tokyo area, this paper attempts to understand how operations developers ("live ops") for mobile tend to view their jobs and the products that they create as “services." A common feature to all of the responses was an emphasis on "events," rather than an ongoing game loop, as a core function of everyday work, of delivering value to players in limited-time segments, and of being recognized within development teams and the company at large.

Keyphrases: Design, developers, games-as-services, Industry, mobile games

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Bryan Hartzheim},
  title = {At Your Service: Event-Based Design in Japanese Mobile Games},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1186},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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