Who has a greater impact on a game's financial performance: producer or designer?

After analyzing commercial PC games between 1994 and 2006, Ethan Mollick, assistant professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that producers have a greater influence on game revenue than designers.

Ethan Mollick, assistant professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania, has a forthcoming article in the Strategic Management Journal titled “People and process, suits and innovators: The role of individuals in firm performance.”

Through his analyses, Mollick determines that individuals in middle manager roles (producers) have a larger impact on firm performance than do individuals in more innovative roles (designers).

Data on producers and designers were gathered from the credits of PC games that generated revenue between 1994 and 2006 and were limited to those individuals “who worked on more than one game, and who worked with other combinations of designers and producers, rather than repeatedly being part of the same team at the same company” (Mollick, 2012: 17).

My question to you: what do you think of Mollick’s conclusion that producers have a greater influence on a PC game’s revenue than designers?


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