Occasionally, I bookmark a page, forget about it and by the time I link on it I discover its in the past. Non-the-less, with the current climate of news lacking inspiration, this blog entry lit the bulb.
The fact is, the enquirer does not know what its talking about, neither to the people commenting on the blog. Davidicus on the one hand, appears informed at some level.
The fact is, the industry in doing very well. The problem lies with the business model between publisher and developer; the relationship between publisher and developer and the professionalism of development. When referring to professionalism, I'm basing the reference on 7 years experience within a publisher and within a development house.
The Business Model
Dated and inflexible. It can take between 3 and 9 months to court publishers; during this time a project is often self funded. When a contract is signed, it is commonly signed as a prototype only. This is regularly contracted at 6 months. Based on the demands and dependent on professionalism, this code produced is often a hack that will be re-written. This is something the publisher is unaware of. After six months of a publishers support, a project can be rejected. Lesser developers perceive his as an issue with the game concept and seek to re-develop ... not he most intelligent course of action!
It becomes clear that from the outset, based on the previous model, but not exclusive, the relationship is flawed. The developer promises delivery at the expense of quality, cost or time; the magic development triangle. What point chosen depends on the developers demands or more accurately, confidence. The developer will hide methods, protecting what is actually required to make the game. The publisher commonly remains ignorant to the reality, often because they are over committed to multiple projects. The process is often based on subversion and coercion,
Speaking of British developers, they lack professional aptitude on the whole, compared to American counterparts. In evidence is its lack of management and strategic planning. For a nation who combated several wars based on intelligence and foresight, this knowledge has failed to extend into business. Its been fashionable almost for several British developers to be absorbed by American publishers. Is this a co-incidence?
Clearly the industry is not about to crash, but internally there is crisis at various levels. Developers need to look beyond games to elevate their skill set across all areas. Developers need to reflect on the development model and force change. Developers need to recognise what they have and consider diversity in their own business model. Developers must expose development to publishers. Publishers ... they are in the envious position of of one who does not need to act unless there is no option. However, publishers must assess their resources to support development. Publishers should communicate to develop a level on standardisation for assessing and accepting products pitched by developers. Publishers need to recognise in-house marketing is no longer efficient or viable to capture a modern consumer.
It has been six months since the original post; there is no sign of a crash, but a change is going to com; when I'd argue its up to the developers.