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BGG People and Company Guide

Company

A company is any entity that engages in business and makes, buys, or sells goods or provides services in exchange for money. Companies can be structured in different ways, such as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. Depending on which type of company you're dealing with, it may be owned by one person or a group of people. See:

We will accept:

Publishers
A company that prepares and issues games for sale. If the logo is on the box we list them.
Dōjin groups/circles
In many areas of Japan and some areas of Asia, it is common for amateur groups to publish their own games under the name/label of their circle. They may even obtain all needed legal rights to publish games that belong to other publishers.
Website-Only Publishers
Their logo must be on the product. Otherwise use "Web Published".
Miniature makers/companies
These are allowed on accessory items. For games, their logo must be on the box.
Brands
A brand is a set of attributes (name, logo, slogan, etc) with which a company wishes to be associated. A brand is not really a company, but an identity. Brand owners may have one or more different companies publishing under the same brand name/logo.

What We Exclude:

An individual person
A business that is one of sole proprietorship is fine. Otherwise use "Self-Published".
Design studios or developers *
The ones who design and create board games.
Printer/Press companies **
The place responsible for printing the game and/or components.
Retailers
A person or business that sells goods to the consumer.
Teams, groups, couples, clubs or guilds
Company credits are intended for companies. Otherwise use "Self-Published".

(*) There have been numerous discussions about including developers in the database, and our community has expressed strong resistance to including them. Generally, the only people requesting developer credits have been the developers themselves. If we ever do add developers to BGG, they will need their own "Developer" field, akin to the one found on VGG.

(**) Fun story: We once approved a company submission that was linked to a suspiciously large number of games. Then a major publisher complained; they wanted to know why this company was linked to their games. Turns out the company was just a printing service, not a publisher. The company was removed from the Geek.

Before Starting

Companies with identical names are a huge problem for the website. When they merge, split, or change names it creates problems where database management is concerned. Because of this we give each "name" a company has ever used its own entry. Alternate names should never be listed on any company submission (except in some instances, see "Special Exceptions").

The VGG merge thread is the only public view of the company naming problems: One System to Rule them All: The Duplicates thread

  • Users and admins are human and make errors.
  • Mistakes were made and entries were merged without any research.
  • Not all company entries are specific to a single domain, they can be shared by all three domains.
  • There are different companies that use the same name.
  • Many users link the wrong company to a database submission.
  • Bad links can lead to company corrections.
  • Bad correction approvals and merges cause chaos.

Common Problems With Alt Names:

Versions

  • On a version or game page only the primary company name is shown. You cannot select an alternate name. If the company's primary name is ABC Games, this is what is shown on game and version submissions.
  • If a game or version was published under ABC Games' imprint of XYZ Games, then we will have ABC Games' name displayed on the entry instead of XYZ Games.
  • These entries then become a magnet for duplicate entries, never ending corrections and questions.

Similar Names, Different Companies

BGG shares company entries with it's sister domains RPG and VGG. Occasionally, a video game company is linked to a board game company and vice versa. Similar or alternate names are mostly to blame.

For Example: Developers: Rebellion vs Rebellion Developments

or

Example: The Event Horizons (This issue took substantial time, work and research to sort out)

Merges and Splits

Companies may merge into another, split off, or change their name. Submitting new company entries for every split off, or combing two together whenever there is a merge, is a nightmare where database management is concerned. It is also a very time consuming procedure and we have had problems in the past with the wrong companies getting merged, either because there was a lack of information or alternate/similar names.

Therefor we never combine company entries or list alternative names. Instead we give every company "name" its own entry. Since adopting this policy there has been a significant decrease in the number of company corrections we receive and fewer games linked to the wrong company.

Special Exceptions

Brands:
Occasionally we credit a brand instead of the companies or branches that published the brand. It is entirely up to the company whether they want a single "brand" entry or multiple entries for each company or branch that publishes their brand. Note: We do not list alt names for every company that published the brand. You can list them in the description box.

Spaces:
For company names spelt both with and without spaces we will allow alt names. For example: tinyBuildGAMES and tiny Build GAMES.

Abbreviations:
Company abbreviations can get alt names, especially company type abbreviations. For example: SEGA Corporation and SEGA Co.

English & Foreign Names:
The English and foreign name for a company can get alt names. The name in both languages must refer to the same company though!; not an alt name, subsidiary, branch, etc.

The Basic Structure

NOTE: Whenever a company undergoes a name-change a new database entry MUST be created. When this happens:

    1. In the information section of the company entry leave a note that it was bought out by "XYZ" company.
    2. Put a link from the original company entry to the new one, saying something like: "Mattel bought XYZ in 1978."

Special Exception - Brands: Occasionally we credit a brand instead of the companies or branches that published the brand. It is entirely up to the company whether they want a single "brand" entry or multiple entries for each company or branch that publishes their brand.

Name

The name should be the one that appears in print. If the name lacks spaces, do not add any. List the name as it is shown. When possible, please use the English transliteration of a company's name. For example "スクウェアエニックス" should have "Square Enix" as the primary name. "Square Enix (スクウェアエニックス)" is also an acceptable format.

When two companies share a name we put roman numerals within parentheses after their name. This is done for sanity and database management. What number they receive is wholly dependent upon which company was submitted into the database first.

We do not have any hard rules on whether or not a company's "type", such as Inc., Ltd, or GmbH for example, should be included in the name. For database management reasons it is better to include them rather than not. For example Regent Games Inc. and Regent Games Ltd. are two different companies. The company "type" of Inc. and Ltd. are one of the few distinguishing features between the two.

Description

The description for a company does not need to list all the games they have worked on; this will already be apparent from the linked items. Keep the description size within reason. We do not want a book's worth of text, but neither is a sentence ideal. Give a brief overview of the company, their history, and influences in the medium. It is okay to mention landmark products, but try to keep the focus on the company. The description box should never be used as free advertising space.

The description must be in English. The inclusion of the same text in another language is fine, but an English translation must also be present. Please do not include any website links! These can be submitted using the website module after the company is approved.

People

Anyone credited on the game box, manual, website or other material may be submitted into the database. People entries on the site are intended to credit "individuals" and should never be used to credit an entire development team on a single entry.

What We Include:

We accept entries for:

Designers
The individual people who plan the form, look, or workings of a game.
Artists
Including photographers and artists whose work is now Public Domain.
Art studios *
These are the only "companies" that may be entered as a person.

(*) The studio must be an art studio exclusively! An art studio that later gets into desighn or press is fine, but not desirable.

What We Exclude:

We do not accept entries for:

"Thanks To..."
Anyone listed in the "Thanks To..." section.
Design studios or developers *
A company who designs and creates board games.
Printer/Press Studio, Manufacturing or Printed Materials **
The place responsible for printing the game and/or components.
Localization/Translation
The place responsible for language translation.
PR, Marketing, Sales & Budget Analyst
They focus on public opinion and the financial aspects of development.
Quality Assurance, Testers & Playtesting
They focus on quality aspects of development.
Teams, groups, couples, clubs or guilds.
People entries are intended to credit individuals.

(*) There have been numerous discussions about including developers in the database, and our community has expressed strong resistance to including them. Generally, the only people requesting developer credits have been the developers themselves.

(**) Fun story: We once approved a company submission that was linked to a suspiciously large number of games. Then a major publisher complained; they wanted to know why this company was linked to their games. Turns out the company was just a printing service, not a publisher. The company was removed from the Geek.

Before Starting

Here are a few nuggets of information you should know before submitting:

1.) We credit individuals for their work, but do not distinguish between how much or how little they contributed to a game. All people are listed in alphabetical order by last name. By request, we can list one person as the primary contributor. This will put their name first, regardless of alphabetical order.

2.) All information entered into the database is done so voluntarily for the purposes of posterity and historical research. If a name appears on the product that consumers received then we list the name. If you decide you want a person removed from the database, keep in mind that ANYONE can add it back and we cannot prevent this from happening. We also dislike wiping entries. It is a complicated and time consuming procedure that can only be performed by a select few admins. Removing an entire entry from the database can negatively impact any content or items linked to it if not performed properly. Copyrighted or trademarked material such as images and reviews can be removed. Everything else stays.

3.) Many individuals value privacy and anonymity. If you do not want a designer badge let us know and we will make sure it stays off. The same goes for images: you may want to upload an icon, avatar or piece of artwork you did so that the entry has an image. Any photos of yourself that you do not want on the site we will remove, provided you alert us to their presence.

Getting Started

Individuals with similar names are a common problem across both domains:

Before creating a new person please do a thorough search to make sure they are not already in the database. It helps to be creative in your searches:

1.) Do a search of the database to make sure the person you want to enter is not already there.

• Search all known names - real, aliases, user and/or forum names. Keep in mind that a person's name may change, particularly after marriage.

• Take into consideration any abbreviations or alternate spellings of a name. Eample: Dave/David, Jim/James, Curry/Currie, or Mike/Michael.

• If searching for "David Funnyname" try searching: "Dav Funny", "David F.", "D. Funnyname", "Dav" or just "Funny".

• If your not sure if "David A. Smith" is the same as "Dave Smith" try doing some research with a google search to see if they actually are the same person. If possible contact the person directly and ask them.

• Be sure to include any important details and links in the "Admin Note" section.

2.) You should also check the appropriate pending queue to verify the person hasn't already been submitted by another user:

3.) After doing that, you may then proceed to enter the person.

The Basic Structure

Name

The name should be what appears in print. Alternately, it can be the name the person is best known by or the name they prefer to go by - including aliases, nicknames and usernames. Submit names in the order of "given name" then "family name", unless they appear differently in print or if this person happens to be a BGG user, the way they prefer their name be displayed.

When possible, please use the English transliteration of a person's name as the primary name. For example "小島 秀夫" should have "Hideo Kojima" as the primary name. "Hideo Kojima (小島 秀夫)" is also an acceptable format.

The description must be in English. The inclusion of the same text in another language is fine, but an English translation must also be present. Please do not include any website links! These can be submitted using the website module after the person is approved.

Description

The description for a person does not need to list all the games they have worked on - this will already be apparent from the linked items. Keep the description size within reason. We do not want a full biography, but neither is a sentence's worth of text ideal. Give a brief overview of the person, their career, life, and influences in the medium. It is okay to mention landmark products, but try to keep the focus on the person. The description box should never be used as free advertising space.

Special Badges

We have special designer and publisher badges that link directly to your person or company entry in the database. These appear above your avatar and are awarded by an admin. They are not added automatically because some people do not want them, so it's opt in rather than opt out. If you want either of these badges be sure to leave an admin note!

NOTE: These badges are given out to users with a person or company entry in the database. Person or company submissions must have at least one game attributed to them in order for them to remain in the database. If for some reason a person or company submission is orphaned (i.e. it has no games attached to it) you may lose the badge.

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