I have never seen any instances of corporate espionage happen before. Video games are extremely execution-driven endeavors to the point that “beating” someone to market with a new idea is almost impossible. If your game comes out first, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will do better than mine. If anything, it means that your game will be much buggier than mine because you’re trying to compress your development time and beat me to market.
Ideas in the game industry are extremely cheap and plentiful. Even good ideas are cheap and plentiful. From the highest level executive to the lowest freshly-hired intern, everybody in the industry has ideas for games, for features, for visuals, for all sorts of stuff. Video games aren’t about the billion-dollar idea, they’re about how well the team and studio can take a good idea and make it a reality. Even ideas like the patented mechanics and such that the big publishers (currently) own aren’t that valuable. The overall results are almost always still reproduceable by using different means than the original patent owner, so my team can come up with our own way of doing it rather than what EA or Bandai-Namco did.
This is why developers don’t pitch ideas to publishers, they pitch their own ability to take their idea and make a whole game out of it. That conversion of the idea to reality is incredibly important. We can all spitball great ideas until the cows come home, but none of them will really matter unless we have the funding, expertise, and time to make them a reality.
The FANTa Project is being rebooted. [What is the FANTa project?]
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