Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 153, Issue 1, pp 95–103 | Cite as

Virtual to Virtuous Money: A Virtue Ethics Perspective on Video Game Business Logic

  • Olli I. Heimo
  • J. Tuomas Harviainen
  • Kai K. Kimppa
  • Tuomas Mäkilä
Original Paper


In this article, we expand on the models available for defining various different business logics relevant to video game development, especially those concerning free-to-play games. We use the models to analyse those business logics from an Aristotelian virtue ethics perspective. We argue that if an individual wishes to follow the Aristotelian virtue ethics code in order to develop the virtues inherent in his or her own character (as in the personal character of the developer, not a character in the game), how he or she chooses to try and generate revenue from the fruits of his or her labour is not irrelevant. Moreover, we argue that some of these methods are in fact vices, which are damaging to the character of the developer, and should therefore be avoided.


Game design Business logics Monetisation Virtue ethics 



The authors wish to thank Juho Hamari, Pauliina Raento, and the other participants of the Games and Money Seminar, April 18–19, 2016, University of Tampere, Finland, for their valuable comments on an early work-in-progress version of this article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All three authors declare that they have no conflict of interest relating to this work.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies involving human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olli I. Heimo
    • 1
  • J. Tuomas Harviainen
    • 2
  • Kai K. Kimppa
    • 3
  • Tuomas Mäkilä
    • 1
  1. 1.Technology Research CenterUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Management and OrganizationHanken School of EconomicsHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Institute of Information Systems Science, Turku School of EconomicsUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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