A Lot Of Game Devs Refer To Fan Wikis, Apparently
After Tim Schafer admitted to referencing fan wikis for his games, hundreds of other devs also owned up to the habit.
Fan wikis are a great resource when you need to quickly look up a certain item, quest, or character from whatever game you're playing, and it turns out the developers making those games also rely on wiki pages for the same reason. Double Fine's Tim Schafer recently tweeted in appreciation of the creators of fan wikis, with a heap of other developers from big games also confessing to referencing fan wikis.
"I wonder if you know how often game developers pull from your sites to make presentations about their own games," Schafer tweeted, with the many games under his belt including Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, Broken Age, and Day of the Tentacle. "I know I do it A LOT."
I just want to thank fan sites and fan wikis everywhere. Not just for being fans, but for helping us find information about our own games. I wonder if you know how often game developers pull from your sites to make presentations about their own games. I know I do it A LOT.— TimOfLegend (@TimOfLegend) February 4, 2021
And not just presentations. When you're making a sequel, and you want to make sure something matches the original, it's faster to get the information from a fan site than from my musty, disorganized, and possibly-on-a-zip-drive archive. :)— TimOfLegend (@TimOfLegend) February 4, 2021
Many other developers replied and quote tweeted, noting they also commonly referred to fan wikis. The games represented in their fan-wiki confessions and thanks included Don’t Starve, Civilization, Call Of Duty, Borderlands, Dead By Daylight, EVE Online, Dishonored, and many, many more.
There wouldn’t have been a Dishonored 2 without the fan wiki, lol https://t.co/4BvgW0eHdc— Sachka Sandra Duval (@RadioSachka) February 4, 2021
One developer from TTGames, a studio that works on various Lego titles under WB Games, noted that with the amount of different IPs included in the Lego brand, wikis like the Star Wars Wookieepedia and Marvel wiki were vital to their work.
The prevalence of this practice has led some to ask whether leaning on fans' work so extensively is ethical, however, with some suggesting that fan wikis and contributors deserve a credit in the finished game, or that prominent contributors and editors should even see a part of the game's profits.
Others have suggested that studios should bear the responsibility of managing the often-extensive game wikis, especially if it's commonly used as an in-house tool. Only a few developers actively manage their own game wikis. Starbound developer Chucklefish is one example, as told by a Fanbyte feature on fan wikis, with the studio hiring Tom Katkus after he created the game's first wiki.
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