Understanding Game Modding through Phases of Mod Development

Satyam Agarwal, Priya Seetharaman


Game modding has been rapidly emerging as a source of competitive advantage in the gaming industry. While gaming companies are increasingly focusing towards establishing modder communities, very little is known about the process of modding itself. In this paper, we have carried out an analysis of activities of mod developers on mod distribution websites and their interactions with mod users. The theoretical lens of meta-structuring of technology use mediation helps us understand the phases of mod development. The phases relate to the activities that gamers and modders perform in order to maximize the game-play experience and usage of the mods respectively. We believe that these phases are integral part of mod development and can be used to establish appropriate support infrastructure to nurture modder communities. The paper concludes with implications for gaming firms and modding communities along with potential for further research in the area.


  1. Arakji, R., Lang, K., 2007. Digital Consumer Networks and Producer-Consumer Collaboration: Innovation and Product Development in the Video Game Industry. Journal of Management Information Systems 24(2), 195-219.
  2. Attride-Stiring, J. 2001 Thematic netweorks: An Analytial tool for Quantitative Research. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 385-405
  3. DeSanctis, G., Poole, M. S. 1994. Capturing the complexity in Advanced Technology use: Adaptive Structuration Theory, Organization Science 5(2), 121- 147
  4. George, S., Lavoué, E., Monterrat, B., 2012. An Environment to Support Collaborative Learning by Modding. Le Centre national de la recherchescientifiqueestunorganisme public de recherche.
  5. Jones, M., Karsten, H. 2003. Review: Structuration Theory and Information Systems Research, Working Paper, Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge.
  6. Harman, S., 2012. DayZ's Dean Hall: Rocket Man Rising. August 21. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012- 08-21-dayzs-dean-hall-rocket-man-rising. [Accessed 3rd December, 2014]
  7. Harvard Law Review. 2012. Spare the mod: in support of total-conversion modified video games. Harvard Law Review, 125(3), 789-810.
  8. Henrikson, D., Nicolajsen, H. W., Pors, J. K. 2002. Towards Variation or Uniformity? Comparing Technology-Use Mediations of Web-Based Groupware. In Proceedings of the 10th European Conference of Information Systems, Gdansk, Poland
  9. Laakso, M., Nyman, L., 2014. Innovation Opportunities: An Overview of Standards and Platforms in the Video Game Industry,Technology Innovation Management Review, available at http://timreview.ca/article/808. [Accessed: 3rd December, 2014].
  10. Makuch, E., 2014. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim sells 20 million copies. January 27, available at http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-elder-scrolls-vskyrim-sells-20-million-copies/1100-6417363/. [Accessed: 3rd December, 2014]
  11. Orlikowski, W. J. 1992. The duality of technology: rethinking the concept of technology in organizations. Organization Science, 3(3), 398-427.
  12. Orlikowski, W., Yates, J., Okamura, K., Masayo F., 1994. Shaping Electronic Communication: The Metastructuring of Technology in Use. Organization Science, 6(4), 423-444.
  13. Osathanunkul, C., A classification of business models in video game industry. International Journal of Management Cases, 17(1), 35-44.
  14. Postigo, H., 2007. Of Mods and Modders: Chasing Down the Value of Fan-Based Digital Game Modifications. Games and Culture.2(4), 300-313.
  15. Pozzebon, M., Pinsonneault, A. 2001. Structuration Theory in the IS field: an Assessment of Research Strategies.In Proceedings of European Conference on Information Systems held at Bled, Slovenia.
  16. Ryan, G. W., Bernard, H. R. 2003 Techniques to identify themes. Field methods. 15(1), 85-109
  17. Remo, C., 2008. Analysis: Valve's Lifetime Retail Sales for Half-Life, Counter-Strike Franchises. December 3. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index. php?story=21319. [Accessed 3rd December, 2014]
  18. Sotamaa, O., 2010. When the Game Is Not Enough: Motivations and Practices Among Computer Game Modding Culture. Games and Culture, 5(3), 239-255.
  19. Statistic Brain. 2013. Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V Statistics. Dec 19, available at http://www.statisticbrain.com/skyrim-the-elder-scrolls -v-statistics/. [Accessed: 3rd December, 2014].
  20. Yu, A. Y., Khalifa, M. 2007. A Conceptual Model for Enhancing Intra-Group Knowledge Sharing [Online] http://sprouts.aisnet.org/7-15 [Accessed: 29th January, 2015]

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Agarwal S. and Seetharaman P. (2015). Understanding Game Modding through Phases of Mod Development . In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS, ISBN 978-989-758-098-7, pages 114-121. DOI: 10.5220/0005378801140121

in Bibtex Style

author={Satyam Agarwal and Priya Seetharaman},
title={Understanding Game Modding through Phases of Mod Development},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 3: ICEIS,
TI - Understanding Game Modding through Phases of Mod Development
SN - 978-989-758-098-7
AU - Agarwal S.
AU - Seetharaman P.
PY - 2015
SP - 114
EP - 121
DO - 10.5220/0005378801140121