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What does AAA stand for? We have found one definition saying: "What does a Triple A rating mean? The ILFs are rated independently by the rating agency Moody's Investor Services. AAA (Triple A) is the highest rating that can be assigned by the rating agency to ILFs of this type. The rating is independent of JP Morgan Fleming and is only given after a thorough examination by the rating agency of a number of elements. These include an examination of the portfolio management team and its investment process, internal control procedures, the quality of securities held by the portfolio and the consistency of performance by the ILFs. A full technical definition on an AAA rating can be obtained from Moody's Investor Services. " From: http://www.efs-online.com/efs/faqs/jpmorganfaqs.asp, Q11
The term “abandonware” was coined in 1997 to refer to any game that has been discontinued by its publishers. Even through a game isn't being commercially sold, it doesn’t make it legal to download from sites not permitted by the publisher. Even if a company stops distributing a product, does not mean the copyright lapses.
See Also:Warez
Advance on royalties. Money given from a publisher to a developer to create a game that will be recouped from the developers royalties on sales. For instance, if a developer is given $25,000 as an advance to create a game. When the developer is finished with the game and it is sold, the developer will not recieve any money from the sales royalties until the advance has been paid back. So if the product is retailed for $30, and the net proceeds for the publisher to sell the game is $15 and the developer has a 10% royalty, the developer will recieve $1.50 for every game sold. Before the developer recieves any money after the advance the game will have to sell 16,667 units ($25,000 / $1.50).
Affiliated Chain
A group of retail stores who take advantage of large-scale purchasing or co-op advertising buying efficiency by associating with each other.
Agents will normally be a buffer in between a publisher and a developer, working for the developer. The standard agent's pay is 10% of what the developer is given on the advance.
Blizzard Entertainment
Renowned game designing company who created the smash hit games Diablo, Warcraft, and Starcraft, as well as their sequels.Praised by pc gaming columnists worldwide, Blizzard Entertainment has earned itself a reputation for releasing only high-quality games.
In game industry there is no real director position, besides possibly a corporate position like "Director of Technology". The position which is closest to this film position in games would be a designer or producer, depending on the company.
A business that buys, warehouses, ships, invoices and sells to retailers for non-competing products. Contrast to a wholesaler which carries non-exclusive lines of products.
Someone who distributes items to retail stores. For instance, a publisher will have a game printed into its material/box for and then send them to distributors who will store them in warehouses and distribute them to retail stores when they are needed.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo. This is the main event of the year for the game industry for publishers to woo retailers and show off games that will hopefully be ready for the Christmas sales season.
Acronym: "European Computer Trade Show". This is Europe's premier industry trade show and is roughly analogous to the US' own E3 (q.v.). It is held in London and usually uses one of the sprawling Earls Court exhibition complex's many halls. The ECTS is specific to computer games and the interactive electronic media industry. Although there were attempts to run it twice a year initially, it is currently held only in September to coincide with Christmas release schedules.
End Cap
A display that is placed at the end of a retail shelf and considered the premiere placement. Publishers will pay extra for end caps so that their games are more prominent to customers.
Ethereal Darkness Interactive
Northampton, Massachusetts based Independent Game Developer founded by Raymond Jacobs and well known to GameDev.net; over the course of three years they designed, produced and sold the Indie game Morning's Wrath.
Expansion Pack
An expansion to a previously sold game which usually includes new characters, enemies, levels, stories, and bug fixes. Sometimes refered to as Mission Pack.
A concept that grew out of the desire to make software free for use, but not to give up all authorial rights which a public domain license does.
Game Developer Conference
A conference for industry professionals to gather, do business, attend lectures and round tables given by professionals and schmooze. Abbreviated GDC, this event is hosted by Miller Freeman and information can be found at http://www.gdconf.com/.
Game Schools
There are several University type schools for game programming, a list of which be found here: (WWW)
Game Developer Conference
Going Glass
Terminology used when software is burned onto the final CDs that will be distributed and sold. So named because in contract to "gold" CDR discs, the distribution CDs are clear. See Going Gold.
Going Gold
Terminology used when software is burned onto a "gold" cd that will be sent to the CD manufacturers to be reproduced.So named because of the CDR burnable CDs are gold backed normally. See Going Glass.
Gold Master
The CD that will be sent to the CD manufacturers to be reproduced. So named because of the CDR burnable CDs are gold backed normally.
Interactive Digital Software Association. An organization dedicated to improving the business aspects of the industry, often in the areas of piracy and the industry's image.
Independent Developer
A developer that is not owned by a large publishing company.
Infinate Power
Infinate Power is a game development group based out of Alberta, Canada. There focus genre(s) are: R.P.G.'s Fantasy, Action, and Adventure. For More information go to http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/9250
Intellectual Property
The art, sound, music, code, 3d models, design, story, and the like created during game production that make the product what it is. Typically, IP can be copyrighted, trademarked, or patented.
Intellectual Property
A right given to use a brandname or theme from another company for a game. For instance many movies have been licensed for video games, such as Goldeneye.
Licensed Games
A game based on a story or character from another medium, such as a movie, comic book or TV show. Examples include Batman, Beavis and Butt-Head, Bart Simpson, etc. The rights to make these types of games have to be licensed from their respective owners.
Licensing Deal
An agreement between a publisher and a developer where the developer grants the rights to distribute a game. Deals are normally exclusive and detail regions for distribution, such as North America or world wide. See Work-For-Hire.
The process of convincing a gamer to buy that piece of cheap tat on the shelf. A good marketer can sell snow to Alaska. A bad marketer would have trouble selling snow in a desert. So if you find you've bought a dud game, criticize everyone but the marketing team: they're *paid* to make you buy these things.
Market Development Funds. Money used to secure shelf space and end caps with retailers and advertising.
Mission Pack
See Expansion Pack.
Non-Disclosure Agreement
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between two parties which outlines confidential materials the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict from generalized use.
Niche Market
Buzzword for defining a narrowly-targeted market. Normally referring to a segment of consumers who are not being targeted by mainstream products.
Non Disclosure Agreement
A contract between two parties where they agree not to discuss details that they tell each other about matters they would rather keep private. This is different than a submission agreement though.
Paper launch
Product specifications released well before the real product launch. A paper launce describes all the features the new product will include in order to beat the rival companies. This is especially common in the computer hardware industry.
The act of counterfeiting software.
Price Point
A term used to classify a product in a price range.
Often this is someone from the game's publisher who will be the liaison between the publisher and the game development team. It is really crucial that this person knows how to communicate between both teams as otherwise a lot of problems can arise. Sometimes this is the title of someone in the game development company who is working as the project lead.
A company that funds and sells games, but usually not directly. Publishers usually sell games through retailers, and often do not develop the games themselves.
Publishing Deal
A deal that is made, usually at first for funding, between a development company and a publisher. The developer will often get a royalty percentage of the net profit on the game once it is sold, minus their advance.
When something is sold, it is said to be a retail item.
A retailer is someone who sells things. For instance, the store CompUSA or Babbages are computer software retailers.
The process of getting a product from the factory - the developer, in this case - onto the shelves in a store, and, ultimately, into a plastic bag in some hapless punter's hand. This process is nowhere near as easy as most people think.
Units sold to retail stores. See Sell-Through.
Units sold from retail stores to customers. See Sell-In.
Another name for the final manufactured CD. See Going Glass.
Stock Keeping Unit. Any unit recieved by the retailer that they have to keep inventory on.
When a product is not finished has passed its' date of completion.
Submission Agreement
A document you'll have to sign to get a publisher to look at your game. Publishers have a lot of ideas they are considering and they don't want to risk someone suing them for an game they were already considering or working on.
(AKA: 'Corporate Suit') Derogatory term used by front-line development staff for anyone who _has_ to wear a suit to work. Usually applies to managers, producers, accountants, company directors and anyone else who generally has little to do with either programming, graphics, audio or game design. Also applied to anyone in the company who has little or know knowledge of how computer game design and development is done. ["Joe? Heck no, he don't know jack 'bout programming; he's just a Suit! We gotta kowtow to him, 'cuz he's the guy who pays us."]
Third Party Developer
A developer which is not owned or run by the maker of a platform or operating system. For instance all developers besides Microsoft are third party developers for Windows. Developers for consoles need to be licensed by their console manufacturer before they are allowed to develop for the platform.
Trade Advertising
Advertising not meant for the consumer, but instead intended to reach retailers, wholesalers, reps and salespeople.
A trade exchange system whereby employees of two different developers or publishers trade retail copies of one game for another. Popular at the close of E3 and ECTS shows.
Unique Selling Proposition
In advertising, the single unique proposition you make to your customer about your product that is strong enough to convince them to buy it. There are 3 parts to this principle: 1. Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer. Not just words, not just product puffery, not just show-window advertising. Each advertisement must say to each reader: "Buy this product and you will get this specific benefit". 2. The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique -- either a uniqueness of the brand or a claim not otherwise made in that particular field of advertising. 3. The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e., pull over new customers to your product. from Reality in Advertising by Rosser Reeves
Unique Selling Points. Normally what will be put on the back of a box or an advertisement showing how a game is different and better than its competitors and predecessors.
A business that buys, warehouses, ships, invoices and sells to retailers without exclusivity. Contrast to a distributor which carries non-competing lines of products.
A deal where a publisher pays a development team to do a specific set of work and all work done is owned by the publisher. These deals are normally initiated at the publishers request for a specific product, as opposed to the developer creating a spec and getting a deal on it. See Licensing Deal.

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