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Development, financing and distribution in the contemporary game industry

This ongoing research is set to explore the production cultures and the industrial practices in the development of games (video games, alternate reality games, tabletop games). It specifically investigates the processes and workflows by which the industry develops, finances and distributes the product in the contemporary market, in a context of dominant internationalisation and interconnectivity.

The research analyses how a game is produced, from concept to the post-release, and what are the steps through which an idea is transformed into a ludic experience. The investigation analyses both the successful elements and the flaws of the contemporary industrial processes through representative case studies. The aim is to define an effective workflow for industries to adopt and adapt to their productions. In the contemporary production, marketing has increasingly taken advantages of transmedia strategies to find new consumers and consolidate old users. Therefore, this research explores transmedia storytelling as an industrial tactic to expand the narrative behind the game on other media and reach a cross audience.

The impact of this research resides in formulating a workflow for the development of games which facilitates the industry in minimising the costs of production, economically support the development, efficiently organise the working team and set effective marketing strategies to expand the consumers.

The investigation involves an open-ended strategy for qualitative data collection, observation, interviews and mixed research methods. The research focuses on contemporary production and involves the participation of working game developers such as Matteo Lana and Gerardo Verna. The study is at an early stage and is expected to generate a series of research outputs such as publications and workshops.


Balla, G. in Carbone, M. B. and Fassone, R. (2020) Il Videogioco in Italia: Storie, Rappresentazioni, Contesti. Udine & Milano: Mimesis.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Gianluca Balla
Dr Gianluca Balla - Dr Gianluca Balla is a Senior Lecturer in Game Art, Animation and Visual Effects at Brunel University London. With a background in Engineering (BA, MA) and extensive experience as a filmmaker, content producer and scriptwriter, he completed a Ph.D. in Production Technology and Practice at the University of York and founded two production companies. Balla wrote, produced, and directed several shorts which have been screened in international film festivals around the world. His digital works have been exhibited in London. In 2018, the film 'Shelf Life' (commissioned by the EAD and financed by the AHRC) that Balla directed was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in Film Awards (RIFA) at BAFTA for its use of binaural audio and innovative sound design which allowed a visually impaired audience to identify the positions of characters and objects in space. In 2017, he was nominated as a member of the selection committee for the Fiction category of The Globe International Silent Film Festival. Balla is proficient in various graphics software, programming languages and cloud technologies, and regularly provides consultancy sessions for universities, professionals, and companies in the creative industry. His commitment is in enhancing student employability in the technical field through inclusive teaching methods shaped by academic and industrial practice. Balla is engaged in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Humanities and STEM. The updated list of publications is on ORCID: 0000-0002-0954-8051

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Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 14/11/2023