Introduction to Game Development
Instructor: Lindsay Grace


Week 2: Top 10 - Important Wins and Loses

As we finish our history of games, and begin to discuss the design and development of your game, it's important to understand what succeeds and what fails. When reviewing the success and failures of game history it is important to remember that winning and losing isn't jut about having the best design or technology. Success is at the intersection of multiple factors including marketing, timing, audience, and others. Many great games never succeed commercially, and occasionally a very mediocre game triumphs.


Winning isn't everything, but it is pretty important. A win in the industry could be viewed multiple ways. The easiest is commercial successes, but even that can be evaluated multiple ways (pure number, market share, specific demographic, etc). You can also consider a game a win if it pushes your company from just another developer, to noteworthy-ness.


Industry critics, whether fan boy, 30-year veteran, or academic pull no punches when it comes to weak games. Do a search for worst-game-ever. While it's fun to read or watch the sometimes over the top reviews bashing a game, I found the following to be fair reviews and lists.

Tie, Draw, and No Show:

There's also the hotly contested, underrated and under appreciated game category. In a game dev class, this is not a very solid place from which to examine games. Simply, there's too much opinion and not much quantitative data to evaluate. However, Gamespy did embark on a fair analysis in 2003.


Since I think much can be learned from the outliers, your in class assignment is to do research and a "presentation" about one worst game each. Let's see if you can sell us this game.



Provided by Lindsay Grace for students of the Illinois Institute of Art, Chicago. These documents may be used by others when properly credited. Please email lgrace at aii edu for more information.