At the time of this project (between 2006 and 2008), the UK electronic games industry faced significant technological and business challenges, including the co-ordination of resources to deliver higher specification games for next generation consoles and the disruptive threats and opportunities presented by mobile, online and DVD games. Developers needed to better understand the management capabilities required of them, while retaining the vital creative processes that have underpinned success. While recognising the UK industry’s creativity, government and industry reports suggested that the sector was lacking in management discipline and professionalism.
The research sample was designed following pilot work on the sector for a Regional Development Authority, SEEDA and TIGA, the developers’ association and discussions with industry leaders. The sample included developers operating across the five main business models deployed in the sector; work-for-hire, super-developers, original Intellectual Property development, specialist/niche development and service/tools providers. In addition, the sample included developers at varying levels of project capability, firm size and maturity and also covered developers of the key platforms and genres in the market.
This research undertook detailed process mapping of eight exemplary companies. Four were recognised as leading UK developers, the other four were at an earlier stage of development.