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Old 10-07-2004, 07:24 PM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default So how does the game industry work ????

Hi,

I was wondering how the game industry works. From what I understand is goes like this :

1. Game developer develops game.

2. Game developer then signs on a publisher/distributor to distribute the game.

3. Game is sold to a 'middle man' / agent who is a supplier of the game to retail shops etc.

4. Retail shop owner contacts middle man and game arrives at shop.

How accurate is this description ??
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:47 PM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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You forgot the part where the publisher ****s the developer in the ass.
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:49 PM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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That, and usually the publisher is found before/at the beginning of development, as game dev takes 2-5 years on average and usually costs millions.
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:44 PM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger
You forgot the part where the publisher ****s the developer in the ass.
LOL

Ok, can someone tell me more about the "middle man". Does he exist at all or do the big retailers like electronic boutique do bulk purchasing of the games from the ditributor/publisher ????
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:22 PM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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I thought the publisher has the means to produce the games and then ships them around.
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:12 AM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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The exact chain of companies that bring a game from the developer to your local store vary quite a bit from game to game. Sometimes there will be an elaborate network of advertisers, distributors, publishers and so forth. In other cases, much of the above work will be handled by only one company. There isn't any set method in place.

Why do you ask? I get the feeling that there's more to your question than you are letting on? Perhaps if you get more specific, we can give you a more helpful answer.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:17 AM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger
Why do you ask? I get the feeling that there's more to your question than you are letting on? Perhaps if you get more specific, we can give you a more helpful answer.
You are right. Let me explain.

I'm starting a new business - an e-tailer selling games (PC. PS2, x-box, gamecube and gameboy advance). In order to compete with the top e-tailers, I will need to buy games in wholesale and in bulk. So, I wanna avoid the 'middle man' (and his mark-up) and buy from the source or as closest to the source as possible.

From what I know ( and please tell me if I'm wrong here), all the big retail shops DO NOT approach ALL THE DIFFERENT publishers/distributors to buy their games. They first contact a 'middle man' who is approached by distibutors/publishers.

For my business I am willing to approach all the distibutors/publishers individually for all the games I buy.

Let's take Serious Sam for an example. Serious Sam is created by Croteam and co-published by Godgames and Take2 Interactive right ? So, if I wanna approach the SOURCE to buy Serious Sam in wholesale and in bulk, I'm thinking that I should approach Godgames and/or Take2 Interactive ?
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:36 AM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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If you're really serious about starting a business, I'd suggest first going to college. And after that actually researching the field you want to go into, instead of asking a forum of people who aren't even in the field.
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:09 AM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Okay, well, I'm not the most knowledgeable person in the world about distribution channels. However, I can certainly point you in the right direction. Ben Sawyer published a book via Coriolis Group a few years back titled "Game Developer's Marketplace". I've got a copy of it sitting right in front of me right now. It's a wonderful reference on how the game industry works. It covers everything from the history of game design to how publishing and distribution works to... well, everything. The book is a little bit dated, being published in 1998. It's possible they have an updated version on the shelves though.

Anyway, the main reason I mention the book is because of the reference chapters at the end. There is a litany of phone numbers and contact info for various distributors, publishers and organizations in the index. If you are serious about this business, buy this book NOW. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

ISBN# 1-57610-177-0

You could also contact the IDSA (interactive digital software association). They're the guys who organize E3 every year. Gamasutra probably has a section on distribution as well (http://www.gamasutra.com). There's any number of other organization which could prove to be helpful to you. Again, they're all listed in the aforementioned book.

I wish you luck with your business. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. I may not have all the answers, as I don't deal directly with distribution, but I do try to keep my finger on the pulse of things.

Edit: I checked for you and it doesn't seem like they've released an updated version of the book. You can still pick it up pretty cheap used, even though it's out of print. There's still a few used copies up for grabs - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/off...?condition=all. Much of the contact info is still relevant, even in an industry as volatile as game development.

If you absolutely must have the most current reference possible, it seems that the author of Game Developer's Marketplace is coming out with a new book along the same lines. As I haven't read it personally, I cannot give you my impressions. However, I can recommend the author, Ben Sawyer. The book is titled Game Development Bible - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

Last edited by booger; 10-08-2004 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 10-08-2004, 11:28 AM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Uh....heh...wow....
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:39 PM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Lol@ booger,.. no moss on you bouy.
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Old 10-08-2004, 02:19 PM   #12   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger
Okay, well, I'm not the most knowledgeable person in the world about distribution channels. However, I can certainly point you in the right direction. Ben Sawyer published a book via Coriolis Group a few years back titled "Game Developer's Marketplace". I've got a copy of it sitting right in front of me right now. It's a wonderful reference on how the game industry works. It covers everything from the history of game design to how publishing and distribution works to... well, everything. The book is a little bit dated, being published in 1998. It's possible they have an updated version on the shelves though.

Anyway, the main reason I mention the book is because of the reference chapters at the end. There is a litany of phone numbers and contact info for various distributors, publishers and organizations in the index. If you are serious about this business, buy this book NOW. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

ISBN# 1-57610-177-0

You could also contact the IDSA (interactive digital software association). They're the guys who organize E3 every year. Gamasutra probably has a section on distribution as well (http://www.gamasutra.com). There's any number of other organization which could prove to be helpful to you. Again, they're all listed in the aforementioned book.

I wish you luck with your business. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. I may not have all the answers, as I don't deal directly with distribution, but I do try to keep my finger on the pulse of things.

Edit: I checked for you and it doesn't seem like they've released an updated version of the book. You can still pick it up pretty cheap used, even though it's out of print. There's still a few used copies up for grabs - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/off...?condition=all. Much of the contact info is still relevant, even in an industry as volatile as game development.

If you absolutely must have the most current reference possible, it seems that the author of Game Developer's Marketplace is coming out with a new book along the same lines. As I haven't read it personally, I cannot give you my impressions. However, I can recommend the author, Ben Sawyer. The book is titled Game Development Bible - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
Booger Thank You for your very helpful reply.

I just ordered the book from amazon.

I will look into the two other references you gave me, thanx once again.

Could you tell me a little more about how Serious Sam, im figuring you must know, after all you are sam

Any details about how Serious Sam was distributed by Godgames / Take 2 Interactive and if I wanted to bulk purchase the game would they be the cheapest source ??


Cheers once again !!
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Old 10-08-2004, 03:35 PM   #13   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Any details about how Serious Sam was distributed by Godgames / Take 2 Interactive and if I wanted to bulk purchase the game would they be the cheapest source ??
Well, Take 2 took Serious Sam (that'd be booger), looked at him, turned him around, and raped him up the ass numerous times. He doesn't like to talk about it, so you probably shouldn't bring it up again.
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:01 PM   #14   Add To Ignore List  
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Excerpt from Game Developer's Market Guide (2003):

Distributors:
Most publishers have sales forces who deal directly with the major retail chains that sell software. However, publishers don't have the staff to maintain relationships with the thousands of smaller, independent retail stores that also sell games. Distributors ect ect ect...

a long list of distributors ect ect...

This book is more updated you should pobably get this one instead.

Booger -> So did it hurt?
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:56 PM   #15   Add To Ignore List  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodzilla
Well, Take 2 took Serious Sam (that'd be booger), looked at him, turned him around, and raped him up the ass numerous times. He doesn't like to talk about it, so you probably shouldn't bring it up again.
No, Take2 didn't rape me personally. They just raped me by proxy when they raped Croteam. The whole Serious Sam thing has been good to me, overall. So I shouldn't be complaining.

As for how Serious Sam is distributed, I honestly don't know. I'm so far removed from that end of things, that I don't have a clue about it.
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