Fireman's Fund Insurance Company has announced a new insurance policy specifically aimed at game projects, covering a particular game's development from loss risk and delays due to injury or accident.
The company has already extended much of the same type of coverage to the film industry for more than 80 years, including recent coverage of film production on The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and Spiderman 3.
The firm notes that with development costs rising, developers and publishers "need to make sure they are carrying the right coverage so they are not at risk to loss," and adds that through subsidiary International Film Guarantors (IFG), the company also provides completion bonds.
By way of example, the company comments: "Game producers also face similar risks to that of the film industry, especially if the game is tied to the release of a major film. A developer might hire the lead actor of the film in order to film the motion-capturing components of the video game. If that actor were to be injured (on or off the set) and unable to work for several weeks, the developer would still have the expenses of the crew, equipment, and facility rental."
: Gamasutra contacted Fireman's Fund spokesperson Janet Ruiz, who explained the nature of the possible insurance further, noting that insurance could extend to key creative staff on the project.
She explained: "We have key person coverage... and generally what happens is that if a key person is injured or ill or unavailable it will stop the [games'] production, which will cost money."
Obviously, in the game world, one key person being unavailable may not completely cease its development. But Ruiz noted that if "one particular coder is indispensible" and that person's incapacitation would negatively affect the project in tangible monetary ways, Fireman's Fund would insure against this.]
Added entertainment president at Fireman's Fund Joe Finnegan, “Right now, most video game producers are improperly insured as business software developers — a far cry from the realities and risks involved in creating software for entertainment. We realized that this industry carried risks not unlike those found in film and television production, where we already have a long track record.”