The Book

“…by far the best book I’ve read about the business of video games.”

Ben Feder, former CEO of Take-Two Interactive

What explains the massive success of video games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, League of Legends, and Pokémon GO?

One Up offers a pioneering empirical analysis of innovation and strategy in the video game industry to explain how it has evolved from a fringe activity to become a mainstream form of entertainment.

Joost van Dreunen, a widely recognized industry expert with over twenty years of experience, analyzes how game makers, publishers, and platform holders have tackled strategic challenges to make the video game industry what it is today. Using more than three decades of rigorously compiled industry data, he demonstrates that video game companies flourish when they bring the same level of creativity to the business strategy that they bring to game design.

One Up is filled with primary data on over 200 game companies and case studies on leading game companies such as Activision Blizzard, Apple, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Microsoft, Nexon, Sony, Take-Two Interactive, Tencent, and Valve.

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Who should buy this book

“Whether you are a new apprentice, a seasoned executive, or a creator, this book can broaden your horizons for our exciting field.” Jay Chi, Makers Fund

Financial investors, strategic decision-makers, and creatives will benefit from the wealth of empirical research and insights gleaned from industry leaders and innovators.

What people are saying about One Up

“His positioning at the intersection between creators, manufacturers, business executives, investors, and financial analysts makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the games business.” — Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities

“van Dreunen illustrates how business and strategy decisions can make or break the success of a game or platform […] will enlighten and entertain industry veterans, investors, and noobs alike.” — Ashley McEnery, Business Operations, Discord

“The essential book for understanding the changing landscape of the game industry as it has moved from physical goods to downloads to continually evolving games-as-a-service.” — Jesper Juul, author of Handmade Pixels: Independent Video Games and the Quest for Authenticity

“…provides the historical context for our creative business and how we seek to capture the cultural zeitgeist for fun, for profit, or simply to share our creative universe with others.” — Solomon Foshko, Director of Strategic Intelligence, Wargaming

“cleverly draws on a unique set of insights from industry data and academic research and confronts (and subsequently dispels) many industry myths head-on. It is a pleasure to read and a valuable contribution” — David B. Nieborg, University of Toronto

One Up is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how video games went from a toy in the basement to the most dynamic sector of the global entertainment industry.” — Ben Decker, Head of Gaming Services Marketing, Microsoft