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Game publisher field - official policy vote


Publisher field  

6 members have voted

  1. 1. What should be our future policy on the publisher field?

    • Option 1 (as explained below)
    • Option 2 (as explained below)


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It has come to Soeb & my attention that there is an inconsistency in how the publisher field has been used on game pages. This is especially important with the new publisher and developer pages (e.g. http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Publisher:Bethesda_Softworks)

 

I think it'd be best to let the community decide how we use the field. There are currently two options on the table - explained below and reflected in the poll above.

 

Option 1 (suggested by Soeb)

For games where the initial publisher is now defunct (e.g. Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third, Red Faction: Armageddon), the current IP owner should be listed as 'publisher'. This would require replacing THQ with Deep Silver (Saints Row) and Nordic Games (Red Faction series). The following arguments have been suggested for this option:

  • The original publisher is now defunct, and therefore all rights and assets of these older games have been transferred to the new owner (e.g. Deep Silver). This effectively makes Deep Silver the current publisher.
  • This current publisher would be the place to go to for support issues.
  • There are many indie games published by THQ (and others) that have now got their publishing rights back. In these cases, THQ is no longer the publisher.
  • PCGW's purpose was never to hold a game's history: not interested in maintaining a list of old publishers.
  • The new owner owns the IP itself, they're responsible for all future deals regarding releasing the game in either retail or digital space.

 

Option 2 (suggested by hungryeyes)

For games where the initial publisher is now defunct (e.g. Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third, Red Faction: Armageddon), the initial publisher who paid for the game to be developed should be listed. This would mean (for example) keeping THQ listed as the publisher on the older Saints Row and Red Faction games. The following arguments have been suggested for this option:

  • If the game is no longer under active development or improvement, then the last company that had an active hand in publishing it was THQ (or the initial publisher).
  • If an IP has changed hands multiple times, it isn't always clear who the current IP owner is (e.g. Re-Volt), and therefore the initial publisher would have to be listed anyway (Acclaim). If option 1 was chosen this would lead to an inconsistent policy.
  • It would be strange to list a company that didn't exist until 20 years after a game was developed as its publisher just because it now owns the rights to the series.
  • Option 1 would require deleting the old publisher page and creating a new one, as well as editing every game page each time an IP changed hands.
  • A game publisher is a company that 'publishes video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a video game developer'.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_publisher) If this is accepted as the definition then THQ is the publisher of Saints Row 2/3 because Deep Silver did not fund development it merely acquired the licenses after THQ's demise.

Thread will be open for discussion until 25th August.

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They should just both be listed, it's pretty awkward if the box art has a different publisher than the one listed in the infobox. I don't think we should choose between them, since they both effectively published the game they should both be listed instead of choosing one over the other based on the points listed. Listing one or the other either way can be equally confusing.

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The way I see it the infobox should only list publishers that have actually sold it under their name at some point; if the new owner isn't selling it then they aren't the publisher in that sense.

 

This also rules out any guesswork regarding rights holders since whichever company is selling it must have had the right to do so.

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They should just both be listed, it's pretty awkward if the box art has a different publisher than the one listed in the infobox. I don't think we should choose between them, since they both effectively published the game they should both be listed instead of choosing one over the other based on the points listed. Listing one or the other either way can be equally confusing.

I would agree with this point, and also there's no reason why we can't list multiple publishers. Especially as a game might have a different publisher per OS or digital store over different times.

 

This information is useful, as a number of games from a specific publisher might use common DRM, or an in-house engine, or they might have specific support documents that are only relevant to that release, and the new publisher might have completely different patches for a digital version of the same game.

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  • 1 month later...

What if one publisher has rights in Russia, another in England and New Zealand and a third for online distribution such as Steam, as is the case with 1953 - KGB Unleashed. Additionally, the game developers dispute UIG's right to publish the game on Steam. Who do you put as "the" publisher?

 

Allow multiple publishers to be listed and disambiguated with rights, territories and dates with the most prominent or current publishers listed first. 

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Allow multiple publishers to be listed and disambiguated with rights, territories and dates with the most prominent or current publishers listed first. 

This is already possible. If you place the "{{Infobox game/row/publisher|Publisher Name}}" template multiple times it works perfectly fine. If you want to add extra information just use something like "{{Infobox game/row/publisher|Publisher Name|RU}}" and "{{Infobox game/row/publisher|Publisher Name|EU}}". This will format it in the same way pages format OS X/Linux developers or release dates.

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