Stuart Doherty HA1 - Task 1 and 2 Structure of the Games Industry
DevelopersThese are the production studios which create and developthe games titles. They vary in size from over 100 employeesand freelance staff, to under 5. Most of the creativeproduction roles are found within these companies andthey offer a wide range of jobs in different disciplines.Developers can be independent or owned by a publisher.There are also some development studios which form partof publisher groups. Studios exist across the nations andregions, although there are clusters of activity in certainlocations, e.g. Manchester, Liverpool, Surrey, Warwickshire,Sheffield and Dundee.Projects are either commissioned by a publisher or initiatedby a developer and then pitched to a publisher for fundingand take–up
PublishersThese are the companies that are responsible forpromoting, marketing, distributing and, usually,financing games titles. They are mostlyinternational companies with a UK base, withsome notable home–grown exceptions.Publishers have a key influence on what gamesget made. Job opportunities tend to be in commissioning,product/financial management, developerliaison, marketing, product strategy and marketresearch.
Console Manufacturers/first party publishers First Party Publishers are the companies that make the hardware,e.g. games consoles, that games are played on –specifically Sony,Microsoft, Nintendo and, now that mobile phone based platformsare emerging, companies such as Nokia. These companies are the gatekeepers of the industry, as theydecide whether or not to approve each game targeted fordevelopment on their respective console platforms. They have animmense amount of power and influence over what gets releasedand which titles get priority marketing.First Party Publishers provide support to developers and publishersworking on their particular platforms.
Distribution and RetailDistributors sell in to retailers, delivering gamesdirect from their warehouse to the retailer. This iswhere the public buys its games. Retailersallocate shelf space for titles, throughpublisher/distribution negotiation, and organisepoint of sale promotions. The distribution andretail companies have a significant influence onthe types of games that get made.
Outsourcing CompaniesThese provide a variety of services todevelopers and publishers including: art,animation and design; rendering, graphics andphysics engines and programming; audio andsound design; and localisation.
Press and MediaThis is a large sector, providing journalisticoutput, reviews and analysis for both tradeand consumer. It includes magazines,websites, and television.