Principles of Business and Entrepreneurship for Games
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2021
Prerequisites: GAME37183
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Bachelor of Game Design
Program Coordinator(s): Jeffrey Pidsadny
Course Leader or Contact: Jose Rueda
Version: 20210907_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: The Program-wide Design Challenge is a weeklong assignment that challenges students to work in teams to research, design and propose solutions to a defined game design problem. Similar in spirit to game jams or hackathons, the activity encourages students to propose innovative solutions while applying the lessons they have learned in class. During the design challenge, faculty provide supportive mentorship through scheduled consultations. The activity is scheduled for the week afterReading Week, and teams are often assigned and composed of students from across multiple years of the program. The details of the activity, including the day-to-day schedule, will be defined at the discretion of the Game Design faculty. Students are still expected to attend their regularly scheduled breadth elective courses during the week of the design challenge.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students explore business models of the games industry. They reconstruct and interpret some historic entrepreneurial ventures as case studies and the leadership traits of the leaders behind businesses. Students analyze and critique the work of business leaders and entrepreneurs in the games industry and also the work of other students and from class. Students propose and develop business plans based on their own interests and opportunities, including marketing plans and financial models. Students have regularly scheduled class time and are also expected to spend some independent time outside class exploring and developing their business plans. Students must spend significant amounts of time on research, reading, and writing their business plans. Reflecting the collaborative nature of the games industry, students engage in team-oriented activities in addition to individual activities.

Program Context

Bachelor of Game Design Program Coordinator(s): Jeffrey Pidsadny
Building on knowledge and skills obtained in previous courses, this course gives students the opportunity to explore the design of a business plan in order to provide them with additional experiences for their capstone and portfolio.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to assess the viability of an initiative, informed by an entrepreneurial approach and a variety of business models for games.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Identify fundamental business models in games.
  2. Self-reflect on the key traits of a project or business entrepreneur
  3. Adopt a business development approach in the identification of opportunities.
  4. Discuss fundamentals of business modeling, capital structure, and valuation.
  5. Compose constructive feedback on the entrepreneurial projects of others informed by appropriate research and analysis.
  6. Situate personal entrepreneurial projects within broader context informed by awareness of self and research.
  7. Develop a basic business plan along with schedules to identify opportunity, operations, marketing, resources, risk, contingencies, and exit from an entrepreneurial endeavor.
  8. Present a business pitch and supporting materials to an audience of stakeholders.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 In-class exercises + discussion forum25.0%
 Business Model Case Study15.0%
 Business Opportunity Report15.0%
 Business Plan20.0%
 Business Pitch20.0%
 Program-Wide Design Challenge5.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
Academic Missed Work Procedure (Late Submission Policy) All assignments are due within 15 minutes of a deadline set by the professor. Assignments submitted after this time, and up to one day late, will receive a 5% grade reduction. Work submitted after this time, and up to three days late, will receive a 10% grade reduction. Work that is more than three days late will not be graded. Re-submission of work might be granted under exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the professor. A student may request an extension, stating the reason in writing to the professor at least one day before the deadline. An extension may be granted at the discretion of the professor. Missed in-class activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a grade of zero. A student expecting to be absent from a class activity where a grade would be earned must notify the professor in writing at least one day prior to the scheduled date and make arrangements to reschedule. An extension or alternative evaluation arrangements may be granted at the discretion of the professor. As a rule, work is not accepted after the last day of the term. A student may request in writing an extension to submit work after the last day of the term. An extension may be granted at the discretion of the professor.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar

  • Not Eligible for PLAR

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Jose Rueda
RequiredTextbookThe Video Game textbook: History, Business, and Technology, Brian J. Wardyga, CRC Press, ISBN 978-0815390893, 2019
RequiredTextbookLeadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills, Andrew Dubrin, Cengage Learning, 2015

Applicable student group(s): Bachelor of Game Design Students
Course Details:
Module 1 - Business Models in the Game Industry
  • Historical business models and the value chain
  • Business markets and consumer buying behaviour
  • Marketing strategies and communications
Exercises and Discussions - 10%
Business Model Case Study - 15%
Module 2 - Leadership and Entrepreneurship
  • Traits, motives, and characteristics of leaders in the video game industry
  • Developing teamwork
  • Entrepreneurship, creativity and leadership
Exercises and Discussions - 10%
Business Opportunity Report - 15%
Module 3 - Business Plan & Pitch
  • Market research
  • Business modeling
  • Principles of marketing planning for games
  • Principles of financial planning for games
  • Developing a business pitch
Exercises and Discussions - 5%
Business Plan - 20%
Business Pitch - 20%
Program-Wide Design Challenge     5%

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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