A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. A video game is a Game that involves interaction with a User interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. A developer may specialize in a certain video game system, such as the Sony PlayStation 3, the Microsoft Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii, or may develop for a variety of systems, including personal computers. is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest Media conglomerates with Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Computer technology Corporation, which rose to dominate the Home computer The Xbox 360 is the second Video game console produced by Microsoft, and was developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, and SiS. is a Multinational corporation headquartered in Kyoto Japan founded on A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated
Some developers also specialize in certain types of games, such as RPGs or FPSs, an example of which would be Square-Enix who are mainly associated with the RPG genre. A computer role-playing game ( CRPG) is a broad Video game genre originally developed for personal computers and other home computers A first-person shooter ( FPS) is an action Video game from the Shooter game The initial development of Maze War is a Japanese video game and publishing company best known for its Console role-playing game franchises which include the Final Fantasy series the Dragon Some focus on porting games from one system to another. See also Software portability In Computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created Some focus on translating games from one language to another, especially from Japanese to English. is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States An unusual few do other kinds of software development work in addition to games.
Most video game publishers, such as Electronic Arts, Activision, and Sony, also maintain development studios. A video game publisher is a company that publishes Video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a Video game developer Activision Inc is an American Video game developer and publisher. is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest Media conglomerates with However, since publishing is still their primary activity, they are generally described as "publishers", rather than "developers".
Outside of publishers, there are well over 1,000 video game development companies today. Many are tiny 1- or 2-person operations creating Flash games for the web, or games for cell phones. Adobe Flash (previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash) is a set of Multimedia software created by Macromedia and currently Others are large companies with studios in multiple locations, with hundreds of employees. As a rule, developers are privately held companies; only a very few non-publishing developers have ever been publicly traded companies.
Video game developers fall into one of three main categories: third-party developers, in-house developers, and the smaller independents. Developers usually employ a staff of programmers, game designers, artists, sound engineers, producers and game testers, though some of these roles may be outsourced. A game programmer is a Programmer who primarily develops Video games or related Software (such as Game development tools. A "game designer" is a person who designs Video games or one who designs traditional games such as Board games Video Games Designer A video game designer A game artist is an Artist who creates art for one or more types of Games Game artists are responsible for all of the aspects of Game development that call A game producer is the person in charge of overseeing development of a Video game. A game tester analyzes Video games to document software defects as part of a Quality control process in Video game development. Outsourcing is Subcontracting a process such as product design or Manufacturing, to a Third-party company Confusingly, an individual person in any one of these roles may be referred to as a "video game developer".
Historically, the preferred development method has shifted several times. The original arcade and console games of the 1970s and early 1980s were developed in-house by manufacturers such as Atari and Williams, with each game using a single programmer. Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. Meanwhile, the home computer market attracted hobbyist programmers who lacked the resources to publish their own games, which led to the first developer-publisher relationships. Although the earliest of these developers were effectively independents, selling directly to computer stores, industry trends towards larger, more expensive games and larger publishing contracts for national and global retail encouraged the development of a strong third-party. By the 1990s, independent development had almost disappeared from the industry consciousness, with a rare exception in id Software. id Software (ɪd officially is an American computer game developer based in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. In the mid-2000s, however, independents have seen a renewal of industry attention, primarily due to concerns over the overwhelming scope and cost of the games that major retail publishers now demand. Some developers are responding to these pressures either by leaving the retail publishing market entirely, or by streamlining their process with a new emphasis on outsourcing the bulk of their work, much as movie studios do.
Third-party developers are usually called upon by a video game publisher to develop a title for one or more systems. Both the publisher and the developer have a great deal of say as to the design and content of the game. Game design is the process of designing the content and rules of a Game. In general, though, the publisher's wishes trump the developer's, as the publisher is paying the developer to create the game.
The business arrangement between the developer and publisher is governed by a contract, which specifies a list of milestones intended to be delivered, for example, every four to eight weeks. A contract is an exchange of promises between two or more parties to do or refrain from doing an act which is enforceable in a court of law By receiving updated milestones, the publisher is able to verify that work is progressing quickly enough to meet the publisher's deadline, and to give direction to the developer if the game is turning out other than as expected in some way. When each milestone is completed and accepted, the publisher pays the developer an advance on royalties. Royalties (sometimes running royalties) are usage-based payments made by one party (the "licensee" to another (the "licensor" for ongoing use of an The developer uses this money to fund its payroll and otherwise fund its operations. In a Company, payroll is the sum of all Financial records of Salaries, Wages bonuses and Deductions Paycheck A paycheck
Successful developers may maintain several teams working on different games for different publishers. In general, however, third-party developers tend to be small, and comprised of a single, closely-knit team.
Third-party game development is a volatile business, as small developers may be entirely dependent on money from one publisher. A single canceled game can be lethal to a small developer. Because of this, many of the smaller development companies last only a few years or sometimes only a few months. The continual struggle to get payment for milestones and to line up the next game contract is a persistent distraction to the management of every game developer.
A common and desirable "exit strategy" for an extremely successful video game developer is to sell the company to a publisher, and thus become an in-house developer.
In-house development teams tend to have more freedom as to the design and content of a game, compared to the third-party developers teams. Part of the reason for this is that since the developers are employees of the publisher, their interests are as exactly aligned with those of the publisher as is possible. The publisher can therefore spend much less effort making sure that the developer's decisions do not enrich the developer at the ultimate expense of the publisher.
In recent years the larger publishers have acquired several third-party developers. While these development teams are now technically "in-house" they often continue to operate in an autonomous manner, each with its own culture and work practices. For example: Activision acquired Raven (1997), Neversoft (1999), Z-Axis (2001), Treyarch (2001), Luxoflux (2002), Shaba (2002), Infinity Ward (2003) and Vicarious Visions (2005). Raven Software is a Video game developer based in Middleton Wisconsin. Neversoft or Neversoft Entertainment is an American Video game developer, founded in 1994 by Joel Jewett Mick West and Chris Ward Underground Development (formerly known as Z-Axis was a Video game developer founded in 1994 in Hayward California and acquired by Activision Treyarch Corporation is a Video game developer that was founded in 1996 by Peter Akemann and Doğan Köslü (né Don Likeness Luxoflux is an American Video game developer. It was founded by Peter Morawiec and Adrian Stephens in January 1997 and is based in Shaba Games is a Video game developer founded in September 1997 located in San Francisco, California, and acquired by Activision in 2002 where Infinity Ward, located in Encino California, is a Computer game developer founded in 2002 by 22 former employees of 2015, developers of Vicarious Visions is a Video game developer. It was founded by brothers Karthik and Guha Bala while in high school circa 1990. All these developers continue to operate much as they did before acquisition, with the primary differences being in exclusivity and the financial details.
History has shown that publishers tend to be more forgiving of their own development teams going over budget and missing deadlines than third-party developers.
An in-house development team that works for a console hardware manufacturer is also known as a first-party developer. In the Video game industry, a first-party developer is a developer who is part of a company that actually manufactures a Video game console. A company that is closely tied to a console manufacturer (or occasionally a publisher) is known as a second-party developer. In the Video game industry, a second-party developer is a developer who while being a separate entity from any console manufacturer is tied to a specific one usually Rather confusingly the publishers themselves are sometimes referred to as third-party developers in the context of their relationships with the console manufacturers (Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo). A third-party developer is a developer not directly tied to the primary product that a consumer is using This particular distinction of first, second and third party developers does not generally apply to PC games development.
Independents are small software developers that are not owned by or beholden to a single publisher.
Some of these developers self-publish their games, relying on the Internet and word of mouth for publicity. The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks Without the huge marketing budgets of mainstream publishers, their products never get as much recognition or popular acclaim as those of larger publishers. However, they are free to explore experimental themes and styles of gameplay that mainstream publishers would not risk their money on.
With the advent of digital distribution of inexpensive games on current game consoles, it is now becoming possible for independent developers to make direct deals with console manufacturers to get wide distribution for their games, such as Everyday Shooter, a downloadable PS3 game entirely created by a single person. Everyday Shooter is a downloadable Shoot 'em up Video game. It was released on the U
Other independent developers create game software for a number of video game publishers on various gaming platforms. In recent years this model has been in decline, with the larger publishers such as Electronic Arts and Activision increasingly turning to internal studios, usually former independent developers that they have acquired for the majority of their development needs.
Video game development is usually performed in an extremely casual business environment. T-shirts and sandals are common work attire. Work hours are usually flexible; many developers start the work day at 10:00 AM, though employees usually work at least a full 40 hours a week. Employees are paid fairly well for what seems to outsiders to be light work. Many developers have some sort of profit-sharing plan to reward their employees. Profit sharing, when used as a special term refers to various Incentive plans introduced by Businesses that provide direct or indirect payments to Employees 
Many find this type of environment to be rewarding and pleasant, both professionally and personally. However, the industry is also known to require generally high working hours of its employees, sometimes at a level seen as unsustainable and destructive. 
It should be noted that in addition to being within the software industry, game development is also within the entertainment industry, and most sectors of the entertainment industry (such as movies and television) are generally known to require long working hours and dedication from their employees. See also Entertainment (disambiguation and The Entertainer (disambiguation Entertainment is an activity designed to give people Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic The creative rewards of entertainment industries in general attract more potential labor to the industry than some others, creating a competitive labor market within the industry and thus requiring a higher level of performance from those who wish to remain competitive as employees. Workforce (Voyager episode The workforce is the labour pool in Employment. Labour economics seeks to understand the functioning of the Market and dynamics for labour. However, even given this, many feel that current working conditions in the industry are causing significant deterioration of the quality of life of its employees, and within industry communities (such as the IGDA) there is an increasing amount of discussion about the problem. International Game Developers Association (IGDA is a professional society for video and Computer game developers worldwide Factors such as 'crunch time', described below, tend to heighten the overload.
Most video game developers are notorious for overworking their employees. "Crunch time" is the point at which it is not going to achieve everything needed in order to complete the milestone on time, meaning the publisher will not pay the developer until the milestone is indeed completed; and since most development companies are such small operations, this presents a real risk that the company won't be able to pay its employees on time. Worse threats occur when it becomes apparent that the team won't be able to ship the game, as a whole, on time.
An extremely common management response to this is to invoke "crunch time", dictating a 60- to 80-hour week with work over the weekends, in the hope that the team will be able to catch up. The complexity of the work flow in video game creation makes it very difficult to manage the team's schedules, meaning that it is an unusual project that does not surprise its managers with slippage at some point.
Controversially, employees in the United States are not paid overtime pay when crunching, as all developers maintain salaried employees. Overtime is the amount of time someone works beyond normal working hours. Salaried employees are classified as exempt, who are not paid by the hour, and are classified as "professionals". Therefore, most state laws on overtime pay do not apply. A notable exception is California where software developers are specifically protected by enforcing a minimum hourly wage (for every hour worked) to be considered exempt. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean.  As of 2008, due to the amendment to California Labor Code Section 515. 5 by Bill SB 929 , this minimum wage of $36/hour works out to be USD $74,880 per year. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been
Attention to crunching came to something of a head in 2004 when a blog entry titled "ea_spouse", a manifesto of sorts, was published. A blog (a contraction of the term " Web log " is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary descriptions of Railing against the cruelty of crunch time, it was posted by Erin Hoffman, the then-fiancee of Electronic Arts developer Leander Hasty (Hasty and Hoffman have since joined an independent development studio, 1st Playable Productions , and founded a website oriented towards the discussion of the game development environment industry wide, Gamewatch ). EA Spouse is the name commonly used to refer to a Blog post originally made on November 11, 2004 to LiveJournal. NOTICE TO WOULD-BE-ROMEOS*************** Hoffman said her life was being indirectly destroyed by the company's work policy. This led to a great deal of debate in the industry, but without any visible changes until March 2005, when Electronic Arts internally announced that it was planning to extend overtime pay to some of its employees not currently eligible.
Video game industry
|Activities||Jobs||Types of video games||Companies|
|Video game developer|
Video game publisher
List of video game companies
List of publishers
|Lists of video games|
List of video game industry people