Talent agents have slowly but inexorably embedded themselves within entertainment industry for years, and it appears they are finally making their way into the videogame industry.
Developing a game is hard work. Between finding the right voice talent for a game, marketing it, putting it together, and the critical hours upon hours of designing and developing the game, many developers are starting to feel the crunch. As such, they have started turning to talent agencies, whom they once ignored. talent agencies have long helped other media like film and television with essential but periphery functions like data management and talent scouting, and they are now turning their abilities towards game development.
“Agents, after trying for a long time, have become crucial to this particular entertainment genre,” dean of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Elizabeth M. Daley said. “As the budgets get bigger and the moving pieces get more complicated, you’re a fool to try and handle deals by yourself.”
The face of talent agencies is likewise evolving to meet the needs of gaming studios with the emergence of game-centric companies like Digital Development Management, which has worked with a number of studios including Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword) and Ruffian Games (Crackdown). While many agencies treat games as an extension of other media properties such as movies and television shows, these new agencies are approaching the process with knowledge of the specific needs of the industry, allowing studios to network through the agencies and access data on successful games. Digital Development Management, for example, helps developers with business plans, allowing a studio to standardize their costs and production practices as well as providing specific research data like how many tracks the most successful racing games contain. Regulating these jobs to the agency frees up more time for the development of the game.
As more companies embrace these services, it should hopefully help them relegate tasks and focus on what’s really important: making a good game.