Library Dissertation Showcase

Has the implementation of microtransactions been profitable in the gaming industry and when assessed against Corporate Social Responsibility, Consequentialist and Non-Consequentialist Theories, has this been ethical?

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

This dissertation connects a relevant and topical conversation among a variety of stakeholders and sectors concerning the challenging and complex argument between microtransactions, profitability and ethics. It aims to establish to what extent the microtransaction model is profitable for a firm and whether or not it is unethical when assessed against Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Consequentialist and Non-Consequentialist Theories. By using the literary evidence to analyse the possible conflict that exists from the reported ethical implications of using microtransactions and the traditional view of financial management where shareholder wealth maximisation takes precedent over everything else.

In terms of methodology, this dissertation focuses on secondary research analysis, including, academic books, journal articles, company reports, government publications and newspapers. Quantitative data is used with the aim of identifying whether microtransactions are profitable for gaming companies. Geometric growth calculations will be applied against net revenue, profit and online services revenue of three of the largest gaming publishers in the world; Electronic Arts, Take-Two and Activision Blizzard. In addition, qualitative data will provide context, alternative opinions and theory to the debate, with the ethical question being addressed through using the models of Corporate Social Responsibility and consequentialist and nonconsequentialist theories. microtransaction model usage and profit and revenue growth highlighting the model to be profitable. Whilst ethical models, like non-consequentialist and consequentialist theories defined by Dubiel-Zielińska (2015), and corporate social responsibility defined by Carroll (1979) have given contrasting views on whether the microtransaction model is ethical or not. Further research, however, may be required to prove the microtransaction model’s profitability and ethical nature conclusively.

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