Knowing who created the games you love has never been easier, but the adoption of game credits standards still needs to be improved in the industry.
Learning about the developers who make the games we enjoy hasn’t always been easy. During its infancy, the games industry lacked the now customary practice of including developer credits. Over time, developers began sneaking their names into their work, leading to a shift in industry standards for the inclusion of an official credit roll like what we see at the end of a movie or TV show.
Impact of games industry credits
Credits significantly impact the lives of game creators in many ways. Rather than edifying curiosity or appealing to vanity, credits serve a key role in today’s industry by validating developers’ years of demanding work and career advancement. Credits also open doors for those in the industry, serving as proof of individual contributions to today’s hits which become tomorrow’s classics.
Changing landscape of credits
A leading topic in game credits is deciding how credits are best managed, presented, and updated within a game. Crediting practices may vary drastically from company to company, highlighting ambiguities in accepted policies. In fact, credits standardization is still a work in progress due to the complexities of game development and the relatively young age of the industry. One group that leads the discussion on this topic is the Game Credits Special Interest Group (SIG) of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). The Game Credits SIG has crafted crediting standards for developers and studios as a reference for consistent and reliable crediting practices. These crediting standards help guide decision-makers on who should receive credits, how to attribute credit to distinct contributors, and more. Ambiguities and uncertainties related to the crediting process become even more tenuous, considering that credits are rarely a top priority during the volatile process of shipping a game.
Although there is room for improvement, the progress of crediting practices since the industry’s early days paints a bright future for developers. We can learn much from other industries and their crediting standards, with many opportunities to leverage the dynamic nature of video games. Now more than ever, the topic of game credits has received thoughtful consideration and lively discussion. People want to know who helped create their favourite games and what other projects they worked on. The more that people recognize the value and power that credits have, the sooner we will witness an industry-wide adoption of crediting best practices.