Talk:Video game industry

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Lack of Citations[edit]

Where do statistics like "Only the top 2% of games make a profit and the remaining 98% of games released lose money." come from? Statements like this seem outlandish to someone who isn't involved in the industry when they aren't directly cited using footnotes. Please provide sources.--Senseiireland 21:26, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

The whole article needs citations. This is one horribly bad wikipedia entry. Where did all these categories came from? Who determined what's belong in this industry? Where did you get the statisitcs. I'm so tempted to delete the entire thing. Suredeath 22:44, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

there is too much unreferenced information. Since the citation needed links have been up forever yet no one has found any citations I say remove them as false. Jedi6-(need help?) 05:55, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I'll remove them all now. We can always bring them back if someone finds sources for them.--Senseiireland 04:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC) I can't belive how much of this article needs to go! I got rid of the entire first paragraph -- please, if you can cite that info, do because it's well-written aside from the lack of citations! The rest of the article needs citations too; I added only one 'needs citation' tag, but to be honest, there's a lot of unsourced info. I'll come back in a week. If things haven't improved, more will be gutted -- a shame, since this article reads fairly well. Unfortunately, we can't have a bunch of stats and claims that aren't backed up.--Senseiireland 04:39, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The "Practices" section mentions the treatment of various sections of the industry by others but should there not be some mention of how the industry has treated their consumers? I do not want to turn this into a personal gripe article but I seem to remember several abusive practices such as Activision releasing and promoting two different games (one much inferior to the other) as the same Spiderman video game and there has been a consistent pattern of system requirement fraud over at least a ten year period (even mentioning that the requirements have been controversial rather than - as I would say - fraudulent might be sufficient). It seems that this industry gets away with things that would not be considered legal in other industries. Was there not a Sony like scandal involving a small games company comprimising computers and using a misleading end user agreement with their copy protection software? Should these practices not be mentioned? Or perhaps dealt with in an article about the state of consumer protection in the entertainment industries? I can not cite info now but I will have a look. I remember BoingBoing.net covering the copy protection vandalism. Apple Rancher 22:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)


While the article on games developers is quite good, this article is absolutely atrocious and needs a complete rewrite. As a programmer for an Independent studio I disagree completely with everything stated here about such studios and most of what's said about larger corporations. Far too much of this article reads like the personal opinion of someone with their own agenda (weasel words?). Perhaps the article should say that as the games industry (particularly here in the UK) is such a small industry in terms of the numbers of people it employs - and is rather an insular world - it usually isn't a good idea to state your own personal speculation on how the industry works as encyclopaedic fact. Nothing should be allowed to remain on this page without proper citation of a reputable source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.154.33.122 (talk) 13:05, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

The whole last paragraph of Economics is lacking citations. It also feels very biased and dated. I'm not part of the industry, but it certainly doesn't feel like it's struggling financially. Donximo (talk) 17:17, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Under 6.1 there needs to be more citation. as a bit of a technophile and an independent game designer I can easily say that it is not super expensive to make a video game on your own with software available now. It only gets expensive when you start dealing with high end 3D. There must be information online somewhere to correct this misinformation. This article is definitely biased and needs revision. 96.30.128.229 (talk) 12:29, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Money, money, money[edit]

In the overview someone cites and compares the revenues of the game and movie industry as fact. Can whoever wrote it please cite their sources?

I wrote it, but I have nothing to cite. The comments came from a keynote address, I think, at the GDC or E3. The speaker cited that the belief that the game industry makes more than Hollywood is a myth. People who push that statistic used dubious methods to garner it. For example, they used total movie ticket sales, but not DVD and videotape sales. They added PC and video game console sales, but not DVD player or VCR sales to the movie side. I think they even added in dubious game hardware, such as printers. So, evening out the data gathering methods, he got the data I added.
If I can find something online, I'll cite it. Otherwise, it'll have to stay un-cited. I agree that citing is better, but it just wasn't possible in this case. :-( Frecklefoot | Talk July 5, 2005 19:58 (UTC)
While the movie industry is still bigger than the gaming industry, the $180 billion figure seems to be drawn from thin air. Though I couldn't find any direct confirmation of the $31 for the gaming industry, it seems to be close to accurate ( [http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=6942 numbers here say $35.3bn would be 5.3% growth, which comes out at about $33bn this year.) -Banned 14:02, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

The money comparing seems off. The Hollywood 31 Billion number is cited in an artical as kindof a sidenote, with the main artical being about porn. It doesn't say if that is the US Number or worldwide, or some other scope. To make an accurate comparison (to the seven billion the game industry takes in in the US) you have to make sure that the 31 billion number is also for the US only... Also, It would be nice to put in industry growth.. i think i read somewhere that box office sales have been declining in recent years....

StarDolph 20:16, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I actually discovered that the comparison was erroneous. For example, it lumped in the sales of personal computers into the revenue for video games. But at the same time, it didn't add in sales of DVD players, for example. So the comparison was rigged to favor the industry. If it already hasn't been, I'll remove the statement until someone can find a verifiable source that doesn't use a rigged comparison. — Frecklefoot | Talk 20:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, that statement is now cited, but just from an article. It doesn't state where it got it's figures, so I can't disprove it. Leaving it for now unless someone can find where the article got it's info. — Frecklefoot | Talk 20:30, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering about revenue and noted that this [[1]] from ArsTechnica mentions that the total revenue for consoles and PCs is $18 billion while [2] one mentions ticket sales being $9B where as [3] one mentions it being more like $42B for all revenue ( not just tickets). Finally, [4] one from a [5] article mentions video games as being "bigger than film" but I think it might depend on how you cut it.--66.92.12.26 (talk) 13:52, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

See Also links[edit]

I removed these two links from the "See also":

They are already present in the article. I know that there has been some discussion on the Village Pump a while back about whether or not to have links in the See Also section that are already present in the article. I think the consensus was that if the article is very long it is okay to put the related links in the see also. This article is pretty short (currently), so I don't see a need for these links in the see also. Just MHO... &mash;Frecklefoot 18:42, 5 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Removed stuff about Unix being developed for gaming (looks like rubbish to me, I checked the Unix article though). Mat-C 05:40, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I appreciate the diligence, but its not rubbish. I found it in a technical interviewing guide (something like The Top Things You Should Know for a Technical Interview). It mentioned that and it piqued my interest, so I investigated and validated it. I don't know what they Unix article says, but I suspect Unix-philes would be upset to let it be known the origins of their OS was a game. :-) Anyway, putting the UNIX info back in. Thanks for expanding the other descriptions. —Frecklefoot 16:23, Apr 23, 2004 (UTC)
It is rubbish. The game served as an introduction to programming for the PDP-7. While it's obvious that unix has some of its roots in the game, saying that it was developed so that the programmers could play a game is much too strong of a statement. I've removed it. -Banned 14:02, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I've seen this claim around a number of places, and I don't think that source contradicts it. Perhaps the claim should be modified to 'the desire to get a game working was a motivation for writing Unix', or something like that. Google for 'Unix origin game' got me this in The Art of Unix Programming. I don't know if this source (or its own citation for that bit of information) are considered useable here, so I'll leave it to you. I believe Ritchie also cited the importance of the desire to play Space Travel in connection to developing C in his talk to HOPL-II (the second History of Programmign Languages conference).--Apantomimehorse 08:23, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Adding the source you provided for the information. Thx. — Frecklefoot | Talk 16:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Indie not independant[edit]

changed independent to indie developer. The two definitions of the term are completely different. Independent refers to someone that has "no formal relationship with a publisher", but indie refers to small teams, low budgets, and a dislike for publishers. It's a small difference, but something I'm particular about, and so are other developers.

And it sounds cool too, right? --66.45.139.80 01:50, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

While you may like to differentiate these terms with your friends and fellows, this is original research. You will need to cite a one the typically accepted publications to back up this assertion. - me

Numbers with source, finally[edit]

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70864-0.html?tw=wn_technology_8 I'm too lazy to write. Suredeath 00:04, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Numbers from the industry it self. http://www.theesa.com/archives/files/Essential%20Facts%202006.pdf It's interresting to see that ESA, produced different numbers (lower) in their annual report. ESA is also behind this new research. Be aware that this paper is biased. The data was gathered from a population who possesed a game device, but the conclusions are drawn uppon the whole us population. --212.242.209.208 08:42, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Finally i found the paper which is referenced in the article by Suredeath. http://www.theesa.com/archives/files/2006%20WHITE%20PAPER%20FINAL.pdf --212.242.209.208 09:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

The ESA is the association for the US, it's not worldwide. For numbers, you can better look at gamasutra.com, one of the world's biggest websites for professionals in the video- and computer game industry.[mecanita]

Economics[edit]

The statements from: " Early on, development costs were minimal, and video games could be quite profitable. Games developed by a single programmer, or by a small team of programmers and artists, could sell hundreds of thousands of copies each. ...

to

... Now budgets can easily reach millions of dollars, even if middleware and pre-built game engines are used. Most professional games require one to three years to develop, further increasing the strain on budgets. " is completely untrue.

This line of thinking has been stated over and over, ever since computer games were made available for home computers. Computer games can still be made by small teams or individuals, with low costs and still generate a substantial profit; all without ever going to a large publisher. This even applies to Massive Multi-player Online games. RuneScape and Id Software are classic examples of debunking this Economic section in the article. The Economic Section is going to need to be redone and also geared with a positive outlook and the future trends of independant developer teams providing successful titles at low costs. --MrPatrick 16:05, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Providing some counter-examples doesn't make it untrue. Many more financially successful games costs millions of dollars to develop than not. These are the ones that go on to sell into the thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands.
Id did produce Wolfenstein 3D and Doom independently on a small budget. But that is in the past. Their latest engine, Doom 3, was developed in a more traditional manner, costing much more than their earlier endevours.
I have yet to see a contemporary indie producing a game as successful as a large-scale, non-indie game. Games cost a lot to produce now, that's all there is to it. If you're a Renaissance Man and can do all the art, coding and sound F/X yourself, (or can get friends to it for free) more power to you. But even so, that would not be the norm, which this article describes.
Some casual game companies have had some success, but they don't even approach the success of the year's highest selling games.
I support the inclusion of rosier material and counter-examples, but nothing that is not true. — Frecklefoot | Talk 16:32, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
" Many more financially successful games costs millions of dollars to develop than not. These are the ones that go on to sell into the thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands. " And many well-financed games have bombed more than not. Titles such as Myst and Deer Hunter which were low cost games have had exceedingly high sales. For a game to earn a large profit, a large budget is not required (though it helps). With web distribution becoming an acceptable method, the power of publishers and retailers are diminishing. (Ref: Deconstruction of the Music Industry).
I stand by the example of Id Software, it is a proven business case study. Yes it is in the past as all case-studies are; however, studying past case-studies allows individuals to exploit the future.
Runscape is " a contemporary indie [that has produced] a game as successful as a large-scale, non-indie game. " $5/month for 850,000 subscribers, plus millions of accounts subjected to advertisement, I would say proves my point. Jagex has outperformed other large scale professional companies.
" Games cost a lot to produce now, that's all there is to it. " This is only true for the growing console gaming market. For PC's, middleware and engine platforms are now at affordable prices, some offer deferred payments or royalty fees only, such as Multiverse. The PC gaming market is facing Deconstruction, while the growing console market is resistant. --MrPatrick 17:35, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Let me first backup and say I am not trying to be argumentative, and I'm sorry if my first response seemed a bit overheated. I welcome any discussion about this and any other article. I'm glad you're open to discussion before making large changes.
Now, let me address each of your points individually:
"And many well-financed games have bombed more than not."
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, more titles bomb than make a profit. It's a very risky business to be sure! I never meant to imply otherwise.
"Titles such as Myst and Deer Hunter which were low cost games have had exceedingly high sales."
Almost. Myst did have very high sales (second highest grossing computer game of all time), but it wasn't especially cheap to make. They had to pre-render the environments (each screen), which wasn't cheap or commonplace then (it's still not cheap, but more commonplace). Deer Hunter was a cheap title to produce (but it was also developed by a professional video game developer, not by an indie), but it had high sales for what it was produced for (in dollars). They were lucky and tapped a previously ignored segment of the market (hunters). It didn't sell well among regular, non-hunting gamers. But it was big with hunters (or those interested in hunting, I guess).
"For a game to earn a large profit, a large budget is not required (though it helps)."
This is true (Bejeweled and RuneScape as you mentioned), but these are few and far between. They are counter-examples, not the norm. There are tons of hobbyist and indie games released on the market every month, but most don't make a profit. A game that is hyped months in advance has a better chance of making it big than a game from an indie with little or no marketing money. Yes, many of these over-hyped games bomb, but they're pushed in gamer's faces and they actually look forward to them being released. For a current example, look at The Sims 2: Pets. It's been hyped for months now and gamers are anxiously awaiting its release. It's the same with many other games. Some indie games may breakout without the huge marketing dollars, but, again, they are counter-examples, not something we should even hint are the norm.
"With web distribution becoming an acceptable method, the power of publishers and retailers are diminishing. (Ref: Deconstruction of the Music Industry)."
Web distribution is becomming more commonplace, but it hasn't killed the retail market (yet). It has had a bigger impact on the music market (but downloadable games don't cost $1.00 each). Even so, more high-profile games that are released online have a better chance of making it big than small, homebrew games.
However, games distributed online are much cheaper for the developers (indie or non-) and result in larger profits. This could be part of the "rosier" stuff you wanted to add. But they haven't yet supplanted the traditional retailers.
"I stand by the example of Id Software, it is a proven business case study. Yes it is in the past as all case-studies are; however, studying past case-studies allows individuals to exploit the future."
But the point is that even id (yes, it is "id" with a small "i") themselves can't produce games on the cheap anymore. They did many years ago, but now they have to pay artists to produce the huge number of models their latest games use and they have a larger pool of programmers, not just John Carmack slamming away at a keyboard. It made it big when the market was different, when the PC was scorned as a serious game machine.
"Runscape is " a contemporary indie [that has produced] a game as successful as a large-scale, non-indie game. " $5/month for 850,000 subscribers, plus millions of accounts subjected to advertisement, I would say proves my point. Jagex has outperformed other large scale professional companies."
Okay, I admit I was wrong on this one. But again, this is an exception, and I don't think we want to say it is anything but. As a matter of fact, I think it gives Jagex more credit by pointing out they bucked the prevailing trend.
" Games cost a lot to produce now, that's all there is to it. " This is only true for the growing console gaming market. For PC's, middleware and engine platforms are now at affordable prices, some offer deferred payments or royalty fees only, such as Multiverse. The PC gaming market is facing Deconstruction, while the growing console market is resistant."
This misses the point. PC games are really the only ones that hobbyists can produce. I wouldn't say the console market is "resistant"—it is simply impossible to produce a console game without a console development system, not a cheap (or publicly available) piece of hardware (actually, an entire setup. And, actually, Microsoft has announced hobbyist development systems for the Xbox 360, though they are strictly for tinkering and not the same as full-blown development systems).
Just because cheap middleware and engines are available now doesn't mean that any (or, at least, many) games released by hobbyists/indies are going to be successful. Availability of tools doesn't always translate into success. Plus, those are benefits only on the programming side. Most games these days require a hefty volume of high-quality art to make a splash. And, any way you slice it, art is time-consuming and expensive to produce. Again, there are counter-examples, but they are not the norm. If they were the norm, we'd have a very different industry than we have now.
So, I'm not against including information about indies making it big, but we have to make it clear that they are the exception and not the norm. Otherwise, it'd be like saying most young actresses who go to Hollywood make it big after their first audition. — Frecklefoot | Talk 19:24, 12 October 2006 (UTC)


I agree. Though middleware - especially 3D engines- aren't exactly cheap with professional 3D engines costing $ 300,000 + $ 50,000 per seat. Also, publishers have much power these days and that's not going to change because more and more publishers are going to sell their products online.

Another exception is Cornered Rat Software, developer of Battleground Europe.(The former World War Two Online) So the norm is: Indies aren't sucessfull generally.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mecanita (talkcontribs)

Actually, there are some high-quality 3D engines available for cheap (Torque, for example). But high-quality games still are expensive to produce, even with the cheap game engines. — Frecklefoot | Talk 20:49, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

There seems to be a suggestion here that production costs are the be all and end all of the cost of publishing a game. This couldn't be further from the truth. The biggest selling games are the games that are most advertised in mainstream media - and that takes serious money. Consider a game like Grand Theft Auto, every iteration of the game that doesn't overhaul the engine is surely less expensive to produce than the last but I guarantee that more than twice as much money has been pumped into it on advertising. Myst is an exception, it got free advertising because it was lucky enough to come along at a time when mainstream journalists were first starting to cover games and most people hadn't followed their development since the end of the golden age. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.154.33.122 (talk) 13:29, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Protected by fans and consumers.[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned that this industry is the only industry protected by its fans every time its practices come into question. If Jack Thompson comes and says video games are violent, the fans and consumers move heaven and earth to disprove him and sometimes even humiliate him for his views that oppose their beloved industry. If someone says ratings should be stricter, BOOM! The consumers go and defend corporate giants like EA and Rockstar. You have to admit it people, it is a weird phenomenon. I have never seen consumers fighting for McDonald's or even dedicating time, money and work to defend, lets say, Hershey's or Philip Morris. But if Konami is in danger, there go the fans. Not even record companies get this kind of love. 190.57.1.157

Football (Soccer) has mobilised itself on a political level when needed. When Charlton fans were fighting to return to their beloved Valley Stadium they formed a political party for the local government elections and polled 15,000 votes and forced the local government to change its mind. Also the Football Supporters Association in the UK was the only group to stand up to the government and stop it from introducing identity cards for all UK football fans. Video games are not the only industry protected by its fans. - X201 15:17, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, british football. Pfft....190.57.1.157

You're from El Salvador and you're "pfft"ing British football? I guess you only consider it real football when someone starts a war over it!

But back on topic. No it shouldn't, because that is purely your opinion. You should be comparing games with another branch of entertainment, not sweeties (not that Ameircan chocolate is at all sweet!). The movie industry gets away with murder in parts of the world where it drives the economy, and it's is well enough protectd by politicians not to need the fans to stand up for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.154.33.122 (talk) 13:47, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Pac-man.png[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:Pac-man.png[edit]

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

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Japanese[edit]

Does anyone else feel the "Japanese video game industry practices" section is out of place in this article? While all articles should represent a worldwide view, I don't think this section is very well integrated into the article. Anyone have any ideas on how to improve it? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 13:32, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Japanese video-games account for the largest number of video games produced and sold outside the US. In some genres, such as RPGs, their market share far surpasses the US. While other countries due have video-game production, it is limited, especially to markets outside the country-of-origin. Only the US/Canada and Japan have the ability to massively export titles across the world. In recent years there have been some more European companies doing so with more reality-based games or statregy games, but not enough for a country. Possibly enough for a section on Europe as a whole, but even that is tenuous. The RotW should still have a section, but it could just be a summary section.じんない 19:09, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't understand most of the response above. What's RotW? And what was your point, besides that Japan produces a lot of RPGs? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:04, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
I presume RotW is "rest of the West". The point is that the Japanese game industry is so big it merits its own section (in Jinnai's view; I don't really have an opinion). bridies (talk) 03:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
While I agree that the Japanese industry is worthy of note (and a section), nothing in the section at the present time has a citation. Like the rest of this article, it's rubbish and supposition until we see some sources. Additionally, the relative lack of concern about real-name credits is only true in some sectors, and has more to do with the fading culture of "lifetime employment" than it does with different philosophies about game development.--76.227.225.205 (talk) 02:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The entire article is pretty bad but the numerous mentions of Japan either need a sub-heading or an entirely different page. The lack of citations in the entire article saddens me when I know of dozens of books about the video game industry. 173.62.224.156 (talk) 04:16, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Predecessors[edit]

Can we remove this section? It seems fairly well referenced, but it's already covered in the History of video games article. At the very least, it should be trimmed down to a sentence or two, since it is covered in-depth elsewhere. Anyone object? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:04, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Since no one objected, I went ahead and removed it. It's a dupe of what's in the History of video games article, as I pointed out above. It doesn't really belong anyway. It talks about the first video games, not the industry as a whole. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 07:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

US video game industry practices and British industry info is now outdated[edit]

It seems odd to me that we have the third biggest countries practices, which by the way is now outdated and is now considered to be 4th according to this: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/040610-canada-boasts-the-third-largest-video.html and we have the 2nd biggest video game industry japan but we have no american section. Am i to assume then that this wiki is about the american video game industry (with the exception of japan and england) and not it's generalizations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.177.159.254 (talkcontribs)

Who is this "we" you refer to? Yes, the article was written from an American perspective. Of course Wikipedia is an international encyclopedia, so the American perspective could be pointed out better in the article. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 19:26, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Ah thank you for that clarification. We i mean the editors/writers of this page. I believe then it should be pointed out somewhere in this article that it is an american perspective because it cannot be both a "worldwide view" and an "american perspective". I was merely saying since americans have a big stake in the market of video gaming they should have there own section that way it appears more netural. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.177.155.244 (talk) 20:49, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Video_game_industry Some good data sources are linked to from this. (I'd love to see the Wikipedia page economics section get as detailed as that Wikia page.) --136.142.214.19 (talk) 17:29, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Space Travel and UNIX[edit]

So it seems back in 2003 some guy wrote a book on programming in UNIX and included a brief history section, which has been referenced here to indicate that UNIX development was initiated to play Space Travel. Specifically, the source states: "The utility programs that Thompson and Ritchie wrote to support hosting game development on the PDP-7 itself became the core of Unix" That's a great theory, but it is completely contradicted by the creators of UNIX themselves.

In its own history of the creation of UNIX (http://66.14.166.45/history/os/The%20Creation%20of%20the%20UNIX.pdf), Bell Labs offers this tidbit about the genesis of the OS:

"The origins to UNIX can be traced back, somewhat fuzzily, to the early spring of 1969 during an informal discussion of just what the researchers wanted a computer operating system to do.

Thompson, once it was obvious that Multics was going away, decided to satisfy two urges: to write an operating system of his own, and to create an environment in which to do future work. "Dennis, (Rudd) Canaday and myself were just discussing these ideas of the general nature, of keeping the files out of each other's hair, and the nitty-gritty of expanding, of the real implementation: where you put the block address ...", Thompson explained.

At the end of the discussion, Canaday picked up the phone, dialed into a Bell Labs dictation service, and read in his notes. "The next day these notes came back," Thompson said, "and all the acronyms were butchered, like 'inode' and 'eyen.'"

Butchered or not, the notes became the basis for UNIX. Each researcher received a copy of the notes, "...and they became the working document for the file system," Thompson said."

So in other words, the idea for UNIX originated with discussions spurred by the end of Bell Labs' involvement in Project MAC and the design of MULTICS.

Taking up the story from concept to implementation is co-creator Dennis Ritchie (http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/hist.html), who had this to say about Space Travel and UNIX: "Space Travel, though it made a very attractive game, served mainly as an introduction to the clumsy technology of preparing programs for the PDP-7. Soon Thompson began implementing the paper file system (perhaps `chalk file system' would be more accurate) that had been designed earlier. A file system without a way to exercise it is a sterile proposition, so he proceeded to flesh it out with the other requirements for a working operating system, in particular the notion of processes. Then came a small set of user-level utilities: the means to copy, print, delete, and edit files, and of course a simple command interpreter (shell). Up to this time all the programs were written using GECOS and files were transferred to the PDP-7 on paper tape; but once an assembler was completed the system was able to support itself. Although it was not until well into 1970 that Brian Kernighan suggested the name `Unix,' in a somewhat treacherous pun on `Multics,' the operating system we know today was born."

In his recollections, Ritchie makes it clear that implementing Space Travel and implementing the file system are two different projects. Thompson himself makes this point even clearer in an interview available at http://www.princeton.edu/~hos/mike/transcripts/thompson.htm:

"MSM: The PDP-7, you used the famous graphics machines you found. Um you went to when you found out you had in mind to just put the file system on there or ...?

Thompson: At first, yes, we used it for other things, the famous space travel game, and it was a natural candidate of a place to put the file system. When we hacked out this rough design of a file system on the dictation that day in Canaday’s office, um I went off and implemented it on the PDP-7."

Now, Space Travel and UNIX are linked. Thompson went looking for the PDP-7 because he needed a new computer on which to run Space Travel and porting the game helped him gain the experience with the computer he needed to implement the previously brainstormed file system on the computer. Heck, its even possible (though unlikely) that without Space Travel, Thompson never decides that the PDP-7 is a good testbed for the basic systems that eventually formed the core of UNIX and the whole thing never happens. That is quite a bit different, however, from claiming that UNIX was created to play Space Travel. From what I have seen it appears that none of the creators of UNIX have ever made that claim. Indrian (talk) 22:42, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Sorry it's taken me so long to revisit this. You prove your point with sufficient references. It looks like the article's been reverted to your version already, so I guess this discussion is moot, but thanks for clarifying the issue. Peace. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Shouldn't there be something about game industry consolidation?[edit]

-thx — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.17.80.70 (talk) 08:27, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

That topic would probably be more appropriate in the video game publisher article. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 23:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

Outdated and Lacking Article[edit]

This article is definitely missing a lot of key information about the gaming industry. I urge people to try to improve the quality of this article ASAP due to the significant economic and societal impacts of this industry. Feng277394 (talk) 21:28, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

What do you feel it is lacking? Plus, a great deal of information is found in the other articles in this series. They can be reached via the template at right. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 23:12, 31 July 2013 (UTC)


Article premise?[edit]

The premise of this entire article seems off when applied in hindsight historically. There was no "video game industry," what you had were various established industries (coin, consumer, computer) with video games in them. Each of those industries have different resources, needs, distribution, markets, etc. that summing them together as a single industry makes little sense. I.E. the coin industry was already a long industry before video coin-ops were created, and video games in that industry continued to conform to the structure of that industry, which is a completely separate industry from the consumer industry. I.E. the "video game crash of '83" was a north american consumer industry crash, it did not affect the computer industry (which had recently come out of it's own shakeout thanks to the Commodore driven price war) and it did not affect coin (which also, having a completely separate market had just been coming out of it's own shakeout as well). When most people are talking about the "video game industry" now they're referring to the consumer industry and the studios who produce games in it - it's become synonymous with that. This article really should do a better job of clarifying all this. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 20:33, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

German article[edit]

Note: A German article about this topic should be created, such as de:Videospielindustrie. -- Horst-schlaemma (talk) 15:43, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't read German. Care to give us the gist of it? Or, you could even transcribe it yourself, assuming you have a pretty good grasp of German (which it seems you do). — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 16:05, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
There's no corresponding German article, while Germany is among the biggest gaming markets - and my proficiency should be sufficient enough to create one, yes. ;) Cheers Horst-schlaemma (talk) 21:00, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

replace the word "Industry"[edit]

Is it possible to replace the word "industry" with maybe "business" or "branch" or "trade" or something? Also see e.g. publishing User:ScotXWt@lk 13:15, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

  • If you look at how the video game business is referred to in reliable sources, it is nearly always characterized as the "video game industry." Therefore, we go with the reliable sources. Indrian (talk) 14:16, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
"Market" could be an option, though, which is often used as well. -- Horst-schlaemma (talk) 15:06, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
The market would be the individuals and corporations that buy, sell, and trade video games. This article is about development as well, so "market" would be too narrow.