According to NPD Funworld, sales in the U.S. video game industry reached $11.4 billion in 2003, just under the $11.7 billion high attained in 2002. The industry has experienced a remarkable degree of growth and turbulence over the last three decades, making it a popular subject for speculation and analysis. The video game industry provides an exceptional context for studying competition in culturally based industries for a number of reasons. First, it is a highly visible industry that has been well documented over the past two decades. Second, the industry has undergone several distinct generations of competition, permitting us to examine how different battles played out over time and to attempt to identify the critical factors influencing the success and failure of competitors.