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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description


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.


When something is sold, it is said to be a retail item.


Stock Keeping Unit. Any unit recieved by the retailer that they have to keep inventory on.

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.


The act of counterfeiting software.


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.

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.


Intellectual Property


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.


When a product is not finished has passed its' date of completion.


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.

Niche Market

Buzzword for defining a narrowly-targeted market. Normally referring to a segment of consumers who are not being targeted by mainstream products.


Units sold from retail stores to customers. See Sell-In.


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.

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


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.


A business that buys, warehouses, ships, invoices and sells to retailers without exclusivity. Contrast to a distributor which carries non-competing lines of 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.


Market Development Funds. Money used to secure shelf space and end caps with retailers and advertising.


Non-Disclosure Agreement

Mission Pack

See Expansion Pack.


Another name for the final manufactured CD. See Going Glass.

Trade Advertising

Advertising not meant for the consumer, but instead intended to reach retailers, wholesalers, reps and salespeople.

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.