Article Edit | History | Editors

VGG People and Company Guide RSS Feed

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.

We will accept publisher listings for:
A company that prepares and issues games for sale. If the logo is on the box we list them.
A company that makes video games, usually with the financial and marketing support of a publisher.
Dōjin groups/circles
In Japan and some other parts of Asia, amateur groups publish their own games under the name or label of their circle. They may even obtain all needed legal rights to publish games that belong to other publishers.
Website-Only Publishers
Their logo must be on the product. Otherwise use "(Web published)".
A brand is a set of attributes (name, logo, slogan, etc.) by which a company wishes to be associated. A brand is not a company on its own, but an identity of that company. A brand might be owned by multiple companies, and a company might release games under multiple brands.
We will (usually) decline publisher listings for:
An individual person
A business that is one of sole proprietorship is fine. Otherwise use "(Self-Developed)" or "(Self-Published)".
Design studios
The company or people involved in art related aspects.
Printer or Press†
A business responsible for manufacturing a game or its components. It is not itself a publisher.
A person or business that sells goods to the consumer is not a publisher, unless that retailer also releases its own games.
Teams, groups, couples, clubs or guilds
Company credits are intended for companies.

† 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
  • Users and admins are human and make errors.
  • Mistakes were made and entries were merged without any research.
  • Not all company entries are specific to a single domain, they can be shared by all three domains.
  • There are different companies that use the same name.
  • Many users link the wrong company to a database submission.
  • Bad links can lead to company corrections.
  • Bad correction approvals and merges cause chaos.


  • On a version or game page only the primary company name is shown. You cannot select an alternate name. If the company's primary name is ABC Games, this is what is shown on game and version submissions.
  • If a game or version was published under ABC Games' imprint of XYZ Games, then we will have ABC Games' name displayed on the entry instead of XYZ Games.
  • These entries then become a magnet for duplicate entries, never ending corrections and questions.

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.

Special Exceptions

Occasionally we credit a brand instead of the companies or branches that published the brand. It is entirely up to the company whether they want a single "brand" entry or multiple entries for each company or branch that publishes their brand. Note: We do not list alt names for every company that published the brand. You can list them in the description box.

For company names spelt both with and without spaces we will allow alt names. For example: tinyBuildGAMES and tiny Build GAMES.

Company abbreviations can get alt names, especially company type abbreviations. For example: SEGA Corporation and SEGA Co.

English & Foreign Names:
The English and foreign name for a company can get alt names. The name in both languages must refer to the same company though!; not an alt name, subsidiary, branch, etc.

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. In the information section of the company entry leave a note that it was bought out by "XYZ" company.
    2. Put a link from the original company entry to the new one, saying something like: "Mattel bought XYZ in 1978."

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.

2. Description

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.

[What Links Here]