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Wikipedia:Notability (video games)

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This is an advice page that explains how the concept of notability may apply to articles about video game releases including items like visual novels; this does not include serious games used by businesses and organizations for teaching. This essay is not paramount, and editors should see if other notability guidelines may apply, in particular the notability criteria for web-specific content and the notability guideline for products. For articles or lists about video game elements (such as minigames or game concepts), consult the general notability guideline and guideline for the Video Games WikiProject.

Notability of core video games


A video game is appropriate for an article if it has been the subject of significant commentary or analysis in published sources that are independent of the game developer.

  • Published sources include any reliable sources, such as newspapers, magazines, books, documentaries, websites, and consumer reports.
  • Independent sources must not be primary sources, press releases (or re-prints), advertisements, manuals, official game guides, or material from business partners.[1]
  • Significant commentary should report more than basic game data (such as its title, platform, publisher, and creative staff). Commentary should be critical and detailed.
  • Old or international releases are more likely to be covered in sources that are not immediately available online. A reliable source that briefly mentions a title's influence on a genre or type of game can show evidence that significant commentary probably exists in print and/or non-English sources.[2]

Derivative games (such as ports, remakes, compilations, and expansions) may be covered in a Wikipedia article, but not necessarily in a separate article. See the standard below.



Awards and nominations do not by themselves demonstrate a game's notability; however, significant commentary on the award or nomination by a reliable source would meet the notability guideline. In some cases the award-giving organization themselves may be seen as a reliable source. A guide to the reliability of such an organization would be that the award nominations are quoted in other reliable sources, and it may be more appropriate to look for and use such third-party sources for purposes of judging notability. In some cases, commentary from the award recognition, especially for indie games, may take several months to appear.

For an award to create a presumption of notability, it needs to be an industry-wide independent award that has been known to generate significant commentary about a game. A few awards that have been known to meet these criteria are the Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (AIAS), the British Academy Video Games Awards (BAFTA), the Japanese Game Awards, the Game Critics Awards from E3, the Spotlight Awards, the Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the Entertainment/Interactive Art Awards, and any award given at the Independent Games Festival (IGF).

Online polls, "top 10" lists, and awards from individual publishers (such as IGN or Gamespot) do not create a presumption of notability because they rarely generate significant commentary in reliable published sources. However, these awards may still be worth mentioning in the article, even if they do not demonstrate notability.

Notability of derivative game releases


New game releases that either expand or re-release an existing game do not always warrant a stand-alone article. Most derivative releases should be covered at an article about the original release, unless there is significant distinct game content (and reliable commentary about those differences) to treat the new content as a separate game. Avoid creating spinout articles that are short or redundant. Any distinct features of a derivative release that can be verified can always be covered in the parent article.

Guidelines for derivative game releases
Type of release Sequel Expansion pack Remake/Port New episode Fan disc Compilation Patch Translation
Cover it? Always Always Usually Always Always Usually Rarely Rarely
Go into detail? Usually Usually Sometimes Rarely Sometimes Rarely Very Rarely Very Rarely
Distinct article? Usually Sometimes Rarely Very Rarely Very Rarely Very Rarely Very Rarely Very Rarely
Exemplary articles Halo 2 StarCraft: Brood War Chrono Trigger Tales of Monkey Island Metroid Prime: Trilogy BioShock Final Fantasy VI

The above table offers advice on how to treat different types of game releases. The game manufacturer's naming or marketing is not important in considering if a stand-alone article is warranted - it is how reliable secondary sources treat the game. For example, a game may be marketed as a "new episode", but reliable sources talk about the game as a sequel. Larger releases offer more distinct content and thus justify creating a separate article, whereas smaller updates do not.

This also applies to game releases produced by fan communities (such as mods). A new article should only be created for a game release with independent reliable commentary about the distinct game content.

See also



  1. ^ Self-promotion and product placement are not the routes to having an encyclopaedia article. The published works must be someone else writing about the video game. The barometer of notability is whether people independent of the subject itself (or of its manufacturer, creator, or vendor) have actually considered the content or site worthy enough that they have written and published significant commentary that focus upon it.
  2. ^ Finding critical reviews for older games may be difficult as most publication was done by print gaming magazines before the explosive growth of the Internet; in addition, due to its history, the video game industry is more Japan-centric than most tech industries. Information by a single reliable third-party source in English on the games' historical retrospectives may be the only easily accessible source at times. The source does not need to go into a detailed discussion about the game, and may only briefly mention that the title was key to a genre's or classification's development.