In a world where the novos gamo developer is becoming ever more present in the minds of the PC gamer, in no small part to the new emphasis blogs such as ourselves place on the indie scene, there seems to be a rising divide between the “old” and “new”. While the hoi-polloi steadily build themselves a niche in the market, the gaming oligarchs have been out there doing their thing for decades now. Over these years, the veritable aristocracy of gaming has built up a remarkable set of development houses, often marriages between various gaming studios. Check Your HUD has put together an illuminating (albeit incomplete) diagram illustrating just where all that blue blood flows.
Of course, being an unashamed Valvophile, my first reaction was “What the shit? Where the hell is Valve!” However, when you take a look at it, the sheer scale of such a task of working out just where all these developments studios come from is a massive one. There’s huge amounts of interelationship between the various developers, and it would seem half the battle is finding a big enough monitor to fit it all on.
Above all, the biggest thing I’ve noticed from it, is just how big both EA and Activision/Blizzard are these days: And how they represent the video-game equivalent of the music industry’s labels. EA alone has 35 development studios. The complex workings of the Actizard merge are displayed in all their convoluted glory, and it seems on there that it’s very much a tangled mess of different financial power houses. I would guess myself that the structure will probably balance itself out: all the various subdivisions will likely have a vested interest in working their way up the mishapen ladder, with any luck giving us some excellent games as they try to out-do each other – we can hope.
The diagram’s a work in progress at the moment though at the moment, so any further discussion should probably wait till then, we’ll try to keep tabs on it for you all. One final thought is, they really could have done with a way of defining the publishers from the developers on there.