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Publisher / Developer Listings: An Overview
For the purposes of the VGG database, a developer is an entity that makes games and a publisher prepares and issues games for sale or distribution. A publisher bears the financial risk of the release and makes the final choices for a game's look, design, and manufacturing, albeit typically in consultation with one or more artists, designers, and manufacturers. Companies can be structured differently: 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.
† 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 VGG database.
Problems With Names
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
Similar Names, Different Companies
VGG shares company entries with it's sister domains BGG and RPG. 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
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.
English & Foreign Names:
How to Submit a Publisher Listing
The Basic Structure
NOTE: Whenever a company undergoes a name-change a new database entry MUST be created. When this happens:
1. Primary name
The name should be the one that appears in print/credits. 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.
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.
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.
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