This article needs additional citations for verification .(August 2009)
|Part of a series on the:|
|Video game industry|
A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that have been developed either internally by the publisher or externally by a video game developer.
They often finance the development, sometimes by paying a video game developer (the publisher calls this external development) and sometimes by paying an internal staff of developers called a studio. The large video game publishers also distribute the games they publish, while some smaller publishers instead hire distribution companies (or larger video game publishers) to distribute the games they publish. Other functions usually performed by the publisher include deciding on and paying for any licenses used by the game; paying for localization; layout, printing, and possibly the writing of the user manual; and the creation of graphic design elements such as the box design. Some large publishers with vertical structure also own publishing subsidiaries (labels).
Large publishers may also attempt to boost efficiency across all internal and external development teams by providing services such as sound design and code packages for commonly needed functionality.
Because the publisher often finances development, it usually tries to manage development risk with a staff of producers or project managers to monitor the progress of the developer, critique ongoing development, and assist as necessary. Most video games created by an external video game developer are paid for with periodic advances on royalties. These advances are paid when the developer reaches certain stages of development, called milestones.
Video game publishing is associated with high risk:
Numerous video game publishers are traded publicly on stock markets. As a group, they have had mixed performance. At present, Electronic Arts is the only third-party publisher present in the S&P 500 diversified list of large U.S. corporations; in April 2010, it entered the Fortune 500 for the first time.
Hype over video game publisher stocks has been breathless at two points:
Below are the largest publishers according to their games net revenue earning in billions of dollars during 2019-2020 fiscal and calendar periods.
|FY 2019-2020||Name of Publisher||HQ Country||Revenue in $bn|
|1||Sony Interactive Entertainment||Japan||18.190|
|6||Activision Blizzard||United States||6.388|
|7||Electronic Arts||United States||5.537|
|8||Take-Two Interactive||United States||3.089|
In 2016, the largest public companies by game revenue were Tencent, with US$10.2 billion, followed by Sony, with US$7.8 billion, and Activision Blizzard, with US$6.6 billion, according to Newzoo.
Below are the top AA (midsize) video game publishers, ranked by Metacritic in January 2014 based on game quality according to reviews.These lists are based on the ranking by best to worst publishers according to metacritic's website. Note that two major publishers, Take-Two Interactive and Sega fell to mid-size and one, Square Enix, jumped from mid-size to major. Three mid-size publishers ranked in 2013 were dropped from 2014 chart, namely Xseed Games and Kalypso Media. No iOS games were included in the figures.
|2014 Position||Name of Publisher||2013 Position|
|11||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||3|
|17||Focus Home Interactive||10|
A video game developer is a software developer specializing in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.
The history of video games began in the 1950s and 1960s as computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations on mainframe computers, with MIT's Spacewar! in 1962 as one of the first such games to be played with a video display. The early 1970s brought the first consumer-ready video game hardware: the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and the first arcade video games from Atari, Computer Space and Pong, the latter which was later made into a home console version. Numerous companies sprang up to capture Pong's success in both the arcade and the home by creating clones of the game, causing a market contraction in 1978 due to oversaturation and lack of innovation.
The 3DO Company, also known as 3DO, was an American video game company. It was founded in 1991 by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, in a partnership with seven other companies. After 3DO's flagship video game console, the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, failed in the marketplace, the company exited the hardware business and became a third-party video game developer. It went bankrupt in 2003 due to poor sales of its games. Its headquarters were in Redwood City, California in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.
The video game crash of 1983 was a large-scale recession in the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985, primarily in the United States. The crash was attributed to several factors, including market saturation in the number of game consoles and available games, as well as waning interest in console games in favor of personal computers. Revenues peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by 1985. The crash abruptly ended what is retrospectively considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America, as well as weakened the arcade game market.
The video game industry is the industry involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide.
A console game is a form of video game, consisting of manipulable images generated by a video game console and displayed on a television or similar audio-video system. The game itself is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller. The controller generally contains a number of buttons and directional controls such as analogue joysticks, each of which has been assigned a purpose for interacting with and controlling the images on the screen. The display, speakers, console, and controls of a console can also be incorporated into one small object known as a handheld game.
Video game development is the process of developing a video game. The effort is undertaken by a developer, ranging from a single person to an international team dispersed across the globe. Development of traditional commercial PC and console games is normally funded by a publisher, and can take several years to reach completion. Indie games usually take less time and money and can be produced by individuals and smaller developers. The independent game industry has been on the rise, facilitated by the growth of accessible game development software such as Unity platform and Unreal Engine and new online distribution systems such as Steam and Uplay, as well as the mobile game market for Android and iOS devices.
Neversoft Entertainment was an American video game developer, founded in July 1994 by Joel Jewett, Mick West, and Chris Ward. Neversoft was known for the Spider-Man video game as well as the Tony Hawk's and Guitar Hero video game franchises. The company was acquired by Activision in October 1999. Their last game was the Extinction mode of Call of Duty: Ghosts, and the studio merged with Infinity Ward, a primary developer on the Call of Duty franchise, on May 3, 2014, and was made defunct on July 10, 2014.
Treyarch Corporation, formerly known as Treyarch Invention, is an American video game developer, founded in 1996 by Peter Akemann and Doğan Köslü, and acquired by Activision in 2001. Located in Santa Monica, California, it is known for its work for the Call of Duty series, alongside Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software.
Cornerstone is a relational database for MS-DOS released by a company best known in the 1980s for developing interactive fiction video games. Initially hailed upon release in 1985 for its ease of use, a series of shortcomings and changes in the market kept for Cornerstone from achieving success. It is generally considered a key factor in the demise of the company.
Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game franchise published by Activision. Starting out in 2003, it first focused on games set in World War II. Over time, the series has seen games set in the midst of the Cold War, futuristic worlds, and outer space. The games were first developed by Infinity Ward, then also by Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games. Several spin-off and handheld games were made by other developers. The most recent title, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, was released on November 13, 2020. The next title, Call of Duty: Vanguard, will be released on November 5, 2021.
The 2000s was the fourth decade in the industry's history. It was a decade that was primarily dominated by Sony, Nintendo, newcomer Microsoft, and their respective systems. Sega, being Nintendo's main rival in the 1980s and 1990s, left the console market in 2002 in favor of returning to third-party development, as they once were. Overall the decade saw the last of the low resolution three-dimensional polygons of the 1990s with the emergence of high definition games, and often focused on developing immersive and interactive environments, implementing realistic physics, and improving artificial intelligence.
Guitar Hero is a series of music rhythm game video games first released in 2005, in which players use a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing primarily lead, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar across numerous songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover versions of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.
Platform exclusivity refers to the status of a video game being developed for and released only on certain platforms. Most commonly, it refers to only being released on a specific video game console or through a specific vendor's platforms—either permanently, or for a definite period of time.
The 2010s was the fifth decade in the industry's history. The decade was notable for producing the first truly "3D" games and consoles, introducing cloud gaming and virtual reality to consumers, and the rising influence of tablet-based and mobile casual games. The industry remained heavily dominated by the actions of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, but it remains unforeseen how their dominance will be affected by cloud gaming and the growing smartphone and tablet market.
Numerous video games were released in 2012. Many awards went to games such as Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, Journey, Mass Effect 3, The Walking Dead and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The year began with the worldwide release of Sony's handheld game console, the PlayStation Vita, originally launched in Japan in December 2011. The end of the year marked the worldwide release of Nintendo's home game console, the Wii U.
In the video game industry, games as a service (GaaS) represents providing video games or game content on a continuing revenue model, similar to software as a service. Games as a service are ways to monetize video games either after their initial sale, or to support a free-to-play model. Games released under the GaaS model typically receive a long or indefinite stream of monetized new content over time to encourage players to continue paying to support the game. This often leads to games that work under a GaaS model to be called "living games" or "live games", since they continually change with these updates.