Transnational development cultures: navigating production, market, and cultural difference within European-Chinese game development teams

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Abstract

Discourse on the global games industry draws attention to the growth of China, in terms of both its consumer market and the games publishing landscape. Trade associations and government agencies have sought routes for Western games studios, publishers, and rights holders to connect with similar organisations in China. However, there has been limited focus on how Western and Chinese game developers understand and navigate the challenges of transnational collaboration and creativity in games production. This article presents a case study of five transnational game development teams, all of which were composed predominantly of developers from the UK and China who were tasked with producing game prototypes for both markets. Data gathered during game production included development diaries, interview data, game prototypes, and production documentation. Three themes emerged from analysis of the data: production practices and transnational working, navigating regulations and restrictions, and market and cultural differences. Findings highlight that developers encounter challenges around political and cultural difference that could inhibit production or lead to uncertainties in design decision making, but also that developers can quickly establish routes to collaboration and knowledge sharing that can help to overcome these barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFDG '22
Subtitle of host publication Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games
EditorsKostas Karpouzis, Stefano Gualeni, Johanna Pirker, Allan Fowler
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781450397957
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2022
Event17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games: Games as culture and communication - Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece
Duration: 5 Sep 20228 Sep 2022
Conference number: 17th
http://fdg2022.org/

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games
Abbreviated titleFDG 2022
Country/TerritoryGreece
CityAthens
Period5/09/228/09/22
Internet address

Keywords

  • Game production studies
  • Game making cultures
  • China
  • Localisation
  • Culturalisation
  • Game regulation
  • UK

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