Talk:Video game developer

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List of Developers → seperate article?[edit]

I don't really like the huge list of notable game development companies. Shouldn't that be an article unto itself? Or is there a way to format it better? -Frecklefoot

Why is the list non-standard?[edit]

I was wondering—why is the list of game developers non-standard. Why don't we have it formatted like a standard list. This is what it would look like (sample):



Is that so bad? Or, conversely, we could format it like this:



If you look at the wikicode, you'll see that the headings are labelled like this:
'''A''' in the second list instead of like this:
= = =A= = = in the first list. If we did it that way, we could bring back the table of contents, which I think is very useful (done away with because the huge list of A, B, C for developers looked ugly). —Frecklefoot 14:41, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

For the record, I've just switched the list of developers to using the standard wiki list markup instead of the HTML kludge it was using. --Paul A 01:06, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Llamasoft/Minter controversy[edit]

In response to a recent removal of Llamasoft and Jeff Minter from the list (which I reverted): to those that might hold the view that Minter and his company are totally unimportant, please consider the large number of game programmers, not to mention computer programmers in general, who have been, and continue to be, inspired by his work. By that account, Minter is not "notable in his own mind only", and should absolutely be on the list if it is to have any semblance of completeness. "Notable" is not measured only by commercial size or impact. --Wernher 06:04, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree that impact is not measured by commercial success. Look at Danielle Bunten Berry, who only garned meager success for her seminal, groundbreaking games. However, I still feel Minter's work was neither groundbreaking nor influencial. Personally, I've never heard of Llamasoft or any its games. But, a lot of people seem to feel otherwise (see this discussion—I guess he's only big in the UK), so I'm okay with leaving Llamasoft in the list. However, Jeff Minter, influential or not is a person and not a video game development company, so I took his name off the list. We have a list of important game designers, so someone can add his name there if they want to. I guess he is a programmer too? I guess his name could go on that list instead. But it doesn't belong in the list of game development companies. If we did include it, we'd have to include many other luminaries such as Sid Meier, Danielle Bunten Berry and many other people who aren't companies. Peace. :-) —Frecklefoot 14:56, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)
OK, this seems reasonable. Thanks for reminding me of the more suitable related articles. FYI, Minter was and still is quite a celeb in Western European C64 demo scene / game programming circles outside the UK as well -- mostly in Germany and Scandinavia I guess, where Commodore dominated the home computer market. Many of the guys who 'grew up' with the VIC and 64 in the early-to-mid 80s will still instinctively buy whatever product the Yak makes on any platform, and we usually do not get disappointed. :-] --Wernher 19:05, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I guess his is popular in all of Europe then, not just the UK :-). Wow, are people really still developing for the C64? Great system, but isn't it a tad out of date (it's not even made anymore)? I loved my C64, but my wife made me give it away when we moved in 1996. —Frecklefoot 19:18, Mar 30, 2004 (UTC)

List of developers again[edit]

Does anyone else think the List of developers should be broken off into a seperate article? If no one objects, I'll do it in the next few days. Frecklefoot | Talk 16:21, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, please do. --Mrwojo 19:59, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Okay, done. Boy, the article sure looks puny without that list, doesn't it? :-S Frecklefoot | Talk 19:28, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

video game producer[edit]

And what's a video game producer? For example, upcoming Xbox 360 game Prey is developed by Human Heads Studios, produced by 3D Realms and published by 2k games. Thanks, --Abdull 13:43, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

You can see game producer for that information (it's linked in the article). However, I'm not sure of the use of the term as you describe above. Perhaps Human Heads is doing the actual development and 3D Realms is working as creative directors, much like a movie producer does. HTH Frecklefoot | Talk 02:18, May 30, 2005 (UTC)

external link: gcdb?[edit]

I created and run a website called "Game Company Database" ( Is it appropriate to put this under "External Links"? What are the guidelines on this? (Sorry, wikipedia newb here.)


Only very appropriate sites do we allow for addition. While this is somewhat un-wiki, in the past, this article has been blasted by spam links (links to commercial sites). While your site looks interesting, I don't think it warrants addition to the extern links section, but you can wait for others to respond. — Frecklefoot | Talk 05:00, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Actual game developers[edit]

Are any game developers working on this article? - JNighthawk 02:35, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Yep - I work for Midway Studios in Austin, TX, (home of BlackSite: Area 51 and others). I keep the article on my watchlist to try to ensure it doesn't totally derail - but one has to be wary of WP:NOR and WP:COI when editing things that are that close to you personally so I'm not likely to take a lead role. If anyone has any specific questions about the business, feel free to direct them to my talk page and I'll do what I can to answer. SteveBaker 14:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I started this article (well, restarted it from where it was—it was a mess and made no sense). I was a video game developer, then I left the industry, having worked in for seven years. Now I'm back to being a video game developer, and not much has changed. Everything in this article is still true.
By the way, SteveBaker, one of your colleagues just left your studio to join us here. Sorry! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 19:19, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


There is a typo in the second paragraph. It says an unusual few "does" other kind... Should be "do" or something. Can't really edit but someone do it. = mecasaehsucasa 02:22, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Got it, thanks. I don't know why you so you couldn't edit, though. — Frecklefoot | Talk 16:47, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Independant studios[edit]

I'm not sure if independant studios are 'small'. In the article Third-party_developer, it states valve software as an independant developer, but it is hardly small. -mickiscoole Talk 00:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Maybe they mean small as in the number of employees in the company. btw I think a lot of the not cited stuff currently in the article should stay Inoesomestuff (talk) 06:19, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Quality of Life citation.[edit]

Here's a link, [1]
As you can see, there's a survey on the bottom of the page, which says "Percent receiving additional compensation: 71%". That would corroborate the phrase "Many developers have some sort of profit-sharing plan to reward their employees". Each page in the article is about a class of game development, including testers. Only the testers are below 50% in additional compensation, making the average rate 64%. (Xkuei 20:53, 24 September 2007 (UTC))

Thanks for the cite! I added it to the article. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 22:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


I created a UserBox for people who are game developers:

Code Result
SmallPong.png This user is a Video game developer.

Enjoy! SteveBaker 01:44, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

This is similar to:
This user is interested in video game development.
but more specific. Thanks! — Frecklefσσt | Talk 15:00, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Everyday Shooter[edit]

In order to prevent an edit war, I'm going to bring up the issue here. Under the "Independent developers" section of the article, we have the paragraph:

With the advent of digital distribution of inexpensive games on current game consoles, it is now becoming possible for independent developers to make direct deals with console manufacturers to get wide distribution for their games.

At the end, Kvn8907 tacked on this phrase:

(such as Everyday Shooter, a downloadable PS3 game entirely created by a single person).

I removed it, because it just looks like blatant spam for someone's pet game. Plus, the phrase "entirely created by a single person" has nothing to do with the topic of the paragraph and makes it sound like it was added by the author of the game himself, boasting about how "k00l" he is. So, can we come to an agreement here? I think the paragraph is clear without the phrase. Does anyone else think the phrase belongs, or can we get rid of it completely? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 13:48, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Hey Einstein. I didn't add that phrase. But I guess you didn't care to look in the History section, because you know, that'd be so much work. Nope, don't bother to look down the revision list and find it was A. Swearengen who "tacked [it] on". I just reverted your edit.
Regardless, it's still a good example. I'm sure A. Swearengen didn't create the game, and after it was featured in the October issue of Game Informer, it became nationally recognized by readers of the magazine. Also, it's not self-advertisement, it's a good example of the growing trend of independent developers, in this case a game that became popular, even if it was only created by one person. If anything, I think the parentheses aren't necessary, and that maybe the GI article should be added as a reference for the line.
Your laziness in not looking at the article's history log, as well as your laziness in not looking up the game, which if you did you'd realize it's not just self-advertisement and actually is important and a good example, is disturbing. You should really be more informed and look into things more before accusing something as just being "spam". Go tan your foot, Frecklefoot. Kevin 14:44, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, it looks like I caught you on a bad day. First off, I apologize for stating that you added the line, when you just reverted my removal of it. My bad.
As for everything else I said, I stand by it. Singling out one game—even one like Everyday Shooter—just looks like blatant spam, especially while mentioning it was created by one person. And I did look at the Everyday Shooter article. I even edited it. I'm waiting to hear from other editors. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 16:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Alright. Thanks for apologizing for saying I added it. That really annoyed me.
I still say the context of the line don't lend itself to spam. It's a good example of the topic, and the fact that was made by only one person is relivent too, and a good foil for the article because a large number of games tend to be made by companies with dozens of employees.
It would be nice to get another editor's opinion on it, though it'd just be a 3rd opinion, and not necessarily any more correct than what either of us have said. It all depends on the strength of that person's argument. In the mean time, I'll take off the parenthesis for the entry, and try to find a reference for it to at least perhaps give it a little more credit, though I concede that references alone don't necessarily make information relivent to a topic.
Kevin 13:57, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

independent game developer category?[edit]

what about making a category for notable indy or one man game companies such as Spiderweb software and Positech games? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Both of those companies already have articles. See List of indie game developers. As for a category, I don't know. See what other editors have to say. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 14:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Enter the Weasel[edit]

I'm very sorry, but there's something weasel-ish (or at least fancruft-ish) about the whole "Quality of Life" section in this article. Yes, there are a few refs in it......OK.....but there's just something about it that smells like someone's using it as a gripe forum. Sure, quality of life deserves a sentence or three, but this is not a forum for's an encyclopedia.Buddpaul (talk) 02:44, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

....and furthermore....if you'll dig, some of the refs questionably (at best) meet Wikipedia guidelines for acceptable references. There's something weak at work here.Buddpaul (talk) 02:55, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
i understand that that section kind of sucks but does it really require making it unreadable with a [citation needed] [weasel words] every 2 or 3 words???? it is really distracting —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


all articles in this topic have a compensation for this. I wonder what the compensation for this would be. Clonecommander (talk) 03:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The term "video game developer" is a catch-all term for anyone involved in the production of video games: it isn't a specific role. The various articles that discuss the specific roles (e.g. game programmer, game designer, game producer, game artist, game tester) talk about compensation. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 12:23, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes - it's better to defer to the child articles because there is massive variation between the various disciplines and a full discussion here would make for an unnecessarily long article. SteveBaker (talk) 05:01, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

If no one desagree i will merge the Video game development party here. Jack Bufalo Head (talk) 14:02, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Do that. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 18:32, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Awful article both in terms of structure and content[edit]

I must say, this article really needs to be wholly reworked and I can't quite believe that there's no mention of it being beneath encyclopedic standards. Everything suggests that it was mainly written by kids who have little understanding of the industry, the profession and its history or writing encyclopedic articles. Heck, the article even lacks a good definition! I want to point out some of the biggest issues and worst examples:

-For one, the first paragraph delivers almost no important information and even includes a few statements which I consider controversial at least. Okay, so a developer can be either an individual or a company, that's useful (although the article doesn't care much about that fact beyond this point). But aside from that there's really nothing important or even correct about the paragraph. Sure, a video game developer is kind of a software developer but that's a fact almost obvious from the term itself - and the (huge) differences aren't explained. While there are similarities because both kinds of company/individual develop software it's a completely different kind of work and industry. It's like comparing a scientist to a novelist - that both write books doesn't make it almost the same thing. Developing a game, a piece of entertainment, is something completely different than a program with a certain practical purpose - the article doesn't elaborate on this at all. Instead we get masterpieces like "A developer may specialize in a certain video game console" and "Video-game developers specialize in certain types of games" which does not help understand what a developer is (so that kind of stuff really isn't material for the opening paragraph) - and specializing in a certain "type of games" is not a universal law or anything, it's quite common, yes, but it's just a common creative and business decision not even true for some of the most successful and influential developers in video game history.
-This one is mind-blowing: the main part of the article is about developer types. And it's not really about categories which do have a lot of meaning. Whether a developer is a subsidiary of a hardware manufacturer, of a publisher or independent etc. doesn't have that much relevance, knowing the differences between a first party and second party developer doesn't help much in understanding the profession. Plus the article is misleading in that it makes it appear like first party developers are the "main" type of developer or the most "important" one. As far as I am aware they pose a tiny portion of the whole industry and in all honesty, the differences to other developers are comparably small. They cooperate with the manufacturer more closely, they may receive more PR etc. but ultimately that's details. This kind of information should only be mentioned in a smaller additional chapter.
-And last but not least, the quality of life. Out of nowhere the focus of the article shifts from "developer" as a company to "developer" as an individual - while still not having really delivered any information on the work of a "video game developer". Who cares what those people do? What counts is that they dress casually and have water coolers in their office, right? Seriously, after reading the article you don't even know if developers are only programmers who also happen to do additional stuff like graphics.

I think it's quite obvious that that doesn't sound like a good article. What this article to my understanding *should* look like is this:

-The article has to be divided into distinctive and relevant paragraphs. The opening has to capture the fact that as a company a developer can be anything from a tiny informal team up to a huge organization with hundreds of employees, any group of people creating or involved in creating games really. In terms of individuals the opening already has to capture the fact that a developer is actually a loose term covering many different professions (without listing them all or describing a single one in detail).
-I think the article should separately cover "as a company" (maybe make more use of the term "studio") and "as an individual" (although I don't know what would be the most professional way to achieve this in terms of encyclopedic standards etc.). It should elaborate on what a company does look like and how the industry has changed over the years (basically starting with small teams of programmers who approached hardware manufacturers ranging up to those huge well-organized companies that produce some of the most important entertainment products) and also cover different types of companies - but not like in "first party"/"second party" but like AAA and indie and everything in-between, maybe also mention the recent rise of the social games / mobile industry (which has almost eliminated classic handheld gaming). It has to capture the fact that some companies are extremely professional institutions with management inspired by other industries (like from the automobile industry) and cultural and economic impact similar to that of the movie industry while others are just a bunch of people who have just the minimal amount of resources and know-how necessary to create entertainment software. It should be noted how today's indie is in many ways closer to the "big" studios of the past than current AAA developers
-In terms of individuals the article has to make it perfectly clear what the profession actually is and this means pointing out that the term actually covers dozens of professions (designers, programmers, artists, audio designers, managers etc.), maybe also hint at the fact that those again have many "sub-professions" (like level designers and quest designers) and mention that especially in the past and modern indie studios the distinction between these jobs was very informal (with originally programmers doing almost everything ranging from the programming to the design, audio and graphics). It also needs famous individuals as examples which make it easier to grasp the concept, mention of people like Peter Molyneux, John Carmack, John Romero, Ken Levine, Eric Chahi, Hideo Kojima or even Alexey Pajitnov (not my "list of favourites", just famous people who may make it easier for the reader to grasp the concept of a developer).
-Topics like "first party"/"third party", quality of life, relationship between the developer/publisher/distributor should rather be covered in the context of the definitions and the history.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the article. Obviously these are changes too big for me to do without going through a discussion first etc. and hope for comments and suggestions from other users. --F4LL0UT (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

From some of your remarks, it looks like you are not basing some of your comments on either reliable sources or industry experience. I can tell you for a fact some of the editors of this article have first-hand experience of the industry and have a very good idea how to write encyclopedic articles and much of what is said is fairly accurate, if not entirely based on third-party sources. You really shouldn't insult others, while yourself making unreferenced claims. Anyway, I'm not saying the article is good and doesn't need work, far from it. Much of what you say is true or does indeed needs changes. But for the majority of what you say, you need to provide reliable sources. By the way, a lot of what you suggest would probably be best added to video game development, as this article is about the developer, so it tries not to repeat a lot of stuff applicable to the discipline itself and said in the main article. I'll see if I can free up some time to take a better look. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 19:47, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I second what HELLKNOWZ says; most of the things you state this article is lacking is covered in other articles on the subject. I'm responsible for a lot of the content in all the articles in video game development and I have 15+ years video game development experience. And I've work for both small developers and very large publishers, so I think I know how the industry operates. Of course, all this needs to be backed up by third party sources, but don't assume any article is written by "kids who have little understanding of the industry" just because it doesn't meet your criteria. Nonetheless, I agree with some of your suggestions about how to expand the article, but most of them are covered in other articles, such as the ones under "Activities/jobs" section in the Video game industry template at right. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 05:08, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I apologize for my rude and cocky behaviour in my previous comment and didn't mean to insult you guys. However, to me it generally felt like the article doesn't answer almost any of the questions someone reading the article might have and in all honesty, it DOES a bad job at explaining what a developer is and generally does. It mentions some practices and I won't even argue over those with you, in my opinion the problem is really that it covers pretty random pieces information compared to what is missing. --F4LL0UT (talk) 19:44, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't speak for HELLKNOWZ, but as far as I'm concerned, apology accepted! For my part, though, I probably feel more ownership for this article than I should.
Now, if you want to look over the other articles in the series and see if something is still missing, let's talk about it. A lot of what you mentioned really is covered in other articles in the series. But we're always looking to improve and clearly this article didn't do it for you. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 23:54, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

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