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The global API Ecosystem: A deep dive into gaming

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Digital platforms play an increasingly transformative role in the global ecosystem of interactive media and games. Recently, we studied one type of platform boundary resource, namely application programming interfaces (APIs). We examined more than 15,000 APIs and mashups, mapping the global locations where APIs are created. Our results show the global distribution of APIs, and their concentration in various parts of the world. In this talk, I will dig deeper into the gaming API ecosystem to share insights about the development of interactive games. On the side, I will discuss the process and tools we used in our data-driven methodology.

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The global API Ecosystem: A deep dive into gaming

  1. 1. 1 Jukka Huhtamäki @jnkka // fi.linkedin.com/in/jukkahuhtamaki Tampere University of Technology Interactive Media and Games Seminar mediaX at Stanford
  2. 2. About this presentation • This presentation is a revised version of a recent presentation at HICSS 2017: Huhtamäki, J., Basole, R., Still, K., Russell, M., & Seppänen, M. (2017). Visualizing the Geography of Platform Boundary Resources: The Case of the Global API Ecosystem. Available: http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/41804 15/01/17 2
  3. 3. Introduction
  4. 4. What is an API? 4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbVtliFXOOY
  5. 5. What is a mashup? johnnycashhasbeeneverywhere.com 5
  6. 6. Why APIs? • APIs are replacing “traditional” interfirm relationships • APIs are lightweight boundary resources that allow for complementors to create value for the focal companies • APIs are artifacts of both lightweight software development and business strategy 15/01/17 6
  7. 7. 15/01/17 7
  8. 8. API ecosystem 15/01/17 8
  9. 9. 15/01/17 9Biswarup Ganguly, CC BY 3.0
  10. 10. 15/01/17 10Code example: Rob M. (2016) Tesla Model S JSON API: http://docs.timdorr.apiary.io/#
  11. 11. Sector View: Games and APIS
  12. 12. 12 sectoranalysis.net
  13. 13. 13 sectoranalysis.net
  14. 14. API Ecosystem Global View
  15. 15. 15/01/17 15 (Evans and Basole, 2016; Basole, 2016)
  16. 16. 15/01/17 16 (Evans and Basole, 2016; Basole, 2016)
  17. 17. We asked • What is the structure of global API ecosystem for games? • Where are APIs located geographically*? • Is the geographical location of a company less important in the digital age? 15/01/17 17
  18. 18. Method • Data collection using crawling and scraping • Data-driven visual network analytics • Semi-automated data curation process 15/01/17 18
  19. 19. Data curation • 13,366 APIs and 6,271 mashups from ProgrammableWeb • Using URIs as identifiers, company location lookup using Crunchbase • Mapping the 6,218 APIs with location data to city-level entrepreneurial regions and global regions 15/01/17 20
  20. 20. API Co-use • Cf. co-citation analysis Three resulting connections (here regions): Twitter - Twitter Search Twitter - Google App Engine Twitter Search - Google App Engine
  21. 21. Geographical global view 1. Where are the APIs available globally? 2. How are APIs co-used between regions?
  22. 22. H 15/01/17 23
  23. 23. 15/01/17 24 Regions connected on basis of API co-use
  24. 24. 15/01/17 25 Regions connected on basis of API co-use
  25. 25. … Main category
  26. 26. … All categories
  27. 27. Deep dive to games and APIs
  28. 28. APIs in Games category: two step egocentric network 30Interactive: http://bit.ly/gameapivis2017
  29. 29. 31 APIs and mashups
  30. 30. Case Minecraft
  31. 31. Case Minecraft
  32. 32. Minecraft // Value Co-creation (Ramaswamy, 2009; Vargo and Lusch, 2004)
  33. 33. Value co-creation: Augmented virtual reality and bots https://github.com/PrismarineJS/mineflayer
  34. 34. Minecraft // Value Co-destruction • Search for “Minecraft spambot” (Plé and Chumpitaz Cáceres, 2010; Echeverri and Skalen, 2011; Vartiainen and Tuunanen, 2016) 37
  35. 35. Sidenote: Games and Metagames Cf. Boluk & LeMieux (2016): “From speedrunning and ROM hacking to virtual economies and international e-sports, metagaming has become a dominant form of play, a game design paradigm, and a way of life not only occurring around videogames, but all forms of digital technology.” 38
  36. 36. Takeaways • API ecosystem is highly concentrated to a few regions • API ecosystem is particularly flexible for actors to offer and consume services • API co-use is not API usage • Public APIs vs. Private APIs

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