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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:
|FY 2020-2021||Name||Country||Revenue in $bn|
|1||Sony Interactive Entertainment||Japan, United States||18.190|
|6||Activision Blizzard||United States||6.388|
|7||Electronic Arts||United States||5.537|
|8||Take-Two Interactive||United States||3.089|
|9||Bandai Namco Entertainment||Japan||3.018|
|11||Nexon||South Korea, Japan||2.286|
|18||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||United States||0.7324|
In 2021, the largest public companies by game revenue were Tencent, with US$32.2 billion, followed by Sony, with US$18.2 billion, and Apple, with US$15.3 billion, according to Newzoo.
|Name of Publisher|
|505 Games (Italy)|
|Aksys Games (US)|
|Annapurna Interactive (US)|
|Devolver Digital (US)|
|Focus Entertainment (France)|
|Frontier Developments (UK)|
|Humble Games (US)|
|Koei Tecmo (Japan)|
|Marvelous Inc (Japan)|
|NCSoft (South Korea)|
|Nippon Ichi Software (Japan)|
|Paradox Interactive (Sweden)|
A video game developer is a broad term for 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 programmers, designers, artists, 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 minicomputers and mainframes. Spacewar! was developed by MIT student hobbyists in 1962 as one of the first such games on a video display. The first consumer video game hardware was released in the early 1970s. The first home video game console is the Magnavox Odyssey, and the first arcade video games are Computer Space and Pong. After its home console conversions, numerous companies sprang up to capture Pong's success in both the arcade and the home by cloning the game, causing a series of boom and bust cycles 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 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, many of which were of poor quality, as well as waning interest in console games in favor of personal computers. Home video game 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. To a lesser extent, the arcade game market also weakened as the golden age of arcade video games came to an end.
The video game industry encompasses the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. The industry encompasses dozens of job disciplines and thousands of jobs worldwide.
A console game is a type of video game consisting of images and often sounds generated by a video game console, which are displayed on a television or similar audio-video system, and that can be manipulated by a player. This manipulation usually takes place using a handheld device connected to the console, called a controller. The controller generally contains several 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.
Graftgold was an independent computer game developer that came to prominence in the 1980s, producing numerous computer games on a variety of 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit platforms.
A casual game is a video game targeted at a mass market audience, as opposed to a hardcore game, which is targeted at hobbyist gamers. Casual games may exhibit any type of gameplay and genre. They generally involve simpler rules, shorter sessions, and require less learned skill. They don't expect familiarity with a standard set of mechanics, controls, and tropes.
Guitar Hero is a series of music rhythm game video games first released in November 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.
The video game industry in mainland China currently is one of the major markets for the global industry, where more than half a billion people play video games. Revenues from China make up around 25% of nearly US$100 billion video game industry as of 2018, and since 2015 has exceeded the contribution to the global market from the United States. Because of its market size, China has been described as the "Games Industry Capital of the World" and is home to some of the largest video game companies. China has also been a major factor in the growth of esports, both in player talent and in revenue.
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.
Video gaming in the United States is one of the fastest-growing entertainment industries in the country. According to a 2010 study released by the Entertainment Software Association, the computer and the video game industry added $4.9 billion to the economy of the United States. There are some estimates that by 2015 the worldwide gaming industry will possibly reach $70.1 billion.
Majesco Entertainment Company is an American video game publisher and distributor based in Hazlet, New Jersey. The company was founded as Majesco Sales in Edison, New Jersey in 1986, and was a privately held company until acquiring operation-less company ConnectivCorp in a reverse merger takeover, becoming its subsidiary and thus a public company on December 5, 2003. ConnectivCorp later changed its name to Majesco Holdings Inc. on April 13, 2004.
In the video game industry, AAA is an informal classification used to categorise games produced and distributed by a mid-sized or major publisher, which typically have higher development and marketing budgets than other tiers of games.
Video game monetization is a type of process that a video game publisher can use to generate revenue from a video game product. The methods of monetization may vary between games, especially when they come from different genres or platforms, but they all serve the same purpose to return money to the game developers, copyright owners, and other stakeholders. As the monetization methods continue to diversify, they also affect the game design in a way that sometimes leads to criticism.
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", "live games", or "live service games" since they continually change with these updates.
Video gaming in Indonesia is a growing sector, holding the 16th largest market in the world and about half the Southeast Asian market in 2017. Over 40 million people in the country are active gamers, with mobile gaming being the dominant sector in terms of revenue. The development of video games in the country began with imported consoles and arcade centres, prior to developments of online gameplay in PC games and increasing prevalence of the internet cafés. Mobile games began gaining importance as smartphones were introduced.