Talent Agents a New Force in the Video Game Industry
It happened to the motion picture industry in the 1930s and the music trade in the 1960s. Talent agents, initially brushed off as nothing more than opportunistic middle men, succeeded in making themselves vital parts of the machinery, helping the fast-growing but messy businesses mature. Is it time — finally — for the same thing to happen with video games? Agents have been trying to plow this turf for over a decade, succeeding with helping industry giants like Electronic Arts navigate Hollywood. But a deep cultural divide between the slick, Armani-suit-wearing agent crowd and rumpled computer-code-writing gamers has proven difficult to bridge. Sure, it made sense for a few extremely elite game creators to sign on with the likes of Creative Artists Agency and United Talent Agency. But in a booming business, why would most big-shot developers — or even small-shot ones — need help finding jobs, and why would publishers, burning through talent, want a bunch of agents around to slow them down? Fewer people are asking these questions now, with upstart video game agencies like Digital Development Management growing rapidly. Indeed, with the $46 billion worldwide video game market in upheaval — budgets are soaring for console titles even as free online games sharply cannibalize sales — agents are suddenly awfully useful: finding the right talent to complete increasingly complex titles, structuring deals across media, bringing in third-party financiers. And more agents than ever are looking to make a name for themselves in video games and new media, a consequence of layoffs after the merger last year of the William Morris and Endeavor agencies. “Agents, after trying for a long time, have become crucial to this particular entertainment …
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Publication information: Article title: Talent Agents a New Force in the Video Game Industry. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Manila Bulletin. Publication date: March 31, 2010. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.