Guide to researching the video game development and publishing industry

picture of Chad's character in Call of Duty
Yours truly in Call of Duty


My friends in the  Business Cluster are working on a research project that addresses the video game development and publishing industry.  The resources found on this page should provide them with an excellent start to finding good information for the industry.

Note that business resources can be a bit challenging to cite in APA format, so take a look at this helpful guide on citing your sources.

 Chad’s Cluster intro slides

Best Bets for Industry Analysis

The resources in this section are the best bets for analyzing the broad industry.


IbisWorld is a good place to get started for a good overview of several sectors of the U.S. industry.

  • Simply search by keyword for “video games” to find a few relevant reports.
  • Note:  Don’t just rely on IbisWorld for the bulk of your research.  Doing so will indicate that you have not done an adequate job and have not fully researched the industry.

First Research

First Research also offers broad industry overviews, which compliment the reports from IbisWorld quite nicely. You can find reports on “Entertainment and Games Software” and “Electronic Toys & Games Manufacturing.”

  • Many reports offer much better global coverage than IbisWorld.
  • Reports cover critical issues, business challenges, trends, opportunities, and more.


Passport contains some excellent market research reports on consumer products in specific countries. Passport is an essential tool to use to understand the industry on a domestic and  international level. No other database compares to Passport in it’s coverage of the international video games market.

  • The best way to search for video game information is to browse under Industries to “Toys & Games” then use the “Search Tree” to browse to “Video Games” by product category and country.
  • It is also useful in finding related company profiles, which include strategy of the companies in the industry.   Search for major companies by name in the search box.  (Look for Local Company Profiles or Global Company Profiles under the Analysis filter to find these quickly).
  • Passport also addresses the broad Political, Economic, Social, and Technological trends affecting industries. This video shows you how to find information from Passport GMID for your PEST analysis.


Mintel has a excellent market research reports that address the consumer side of the video game industry.

  • The market research reports in Mintel cover consumer buying, demand, preferences, market drivers, and other consumer information.
  • Simply use the search option for keywords (Mintel seems to prefer the term “gaming”).


WARC is a great tool to understand how companies are marketing to consumers in a particular product category.

  • Search WARC by product name (for example, Halo, Madden, etc. ) to find marketing campaigns and case studies
  • Use the Topics tab to browse by Industry Sector to “Technology & Electronics,” then to “Gaming Hardware & Software” to find additional information.


Statista is great resource to find some extremely useful statistics for your industry. Simply search for keywords companies, or brands relating to video games, game brands/games, etc.  to find stats for your project.

  • Tip:  Once you find a useful statistic, look at the “Release” tab on the left side of the page to find the “Source Link,” which will lead you to the original data source and potentially more information you can use.

Business Source Complete

Business Source Complete has a lot of useful information that can take your research to the next level. I’ve listed it here last not because it is the least important, but because I would use articles and reports from Business Source Complete to fill in the gaps of your research.

  • You will find Industry Profiles and Trade Publications that can enhance the broad coverage of other industry reports. Search for ”video game industry”, by company name, or use similar terms.
  • Look for trade publications  for excellent information written by people who are embedded in the industry.
  • Struggling to find Global industry data?  Take a look at these reports for consoles and these reports for video game software.

SEC Filings

The 10-k (annual SEC filings) for individual companies in the industry contain financial information for companies, as well as textual descriptions of business strategies, risk factors, competition, and more. Look in Part 1, Item 1 and Item 1A for this information in a company’s 10-K report. You will notice that the companies use some of the similar language found in reports like IBISWorld and others.

Top Picks for Company Analysis

The following resources are particularly useful when analyzing specific companies in the industry.

Mergent Online

Mergent Online should be your first place to look for company information.

  1. Search for your company, and look at the Company Financials tab.  You can download up to 30 years of as-reported financial information for public companies.
  2. Search for your company, and look at the Competitors tab to analyze the competition.
  3. Search for your company, and look at the Reports Tab.  Click on Equity Reports to get a stock report for your company and a few of its competitors.
  4. Search for your company, and look at the Horizon tab to understand suppliers and customer relationships.
  5. On the search menu, click the Investext Snapshot tab. Search for your company to find up to three stock reports about your company.

This video demonstrates how to find the most-essential information quickly in Mergent Online.


Investext contains analyst, stock, and brokerage reports for industries and companies.


OneSource is another fantastic resource for both company and industry information.

  • It has company news, financials, SWOT analyses, ratio comparisons, peer analysis, stock reports and more.
  • For public companies, be sure to look at the “Fair Disclosure Transcripts” link, which give you the text of earnings conference calls,  You can use this information to get an idea of a company’s strategy and how they are reacting to industry forces.

Hoover’s Online

Hoover’s Online has great company and industry information.

  • Use the Company tab to search for a particular company to find company financials, competitors, company news, and more.
  • Use the Industry Tab to search for your industry terms to find some excellent industry reports. The industry data comes from First Research, which is the same information found via the First Research interface.


Privco is an excellent resource to use when trying to find information about privately held companies.

  • Use it to search for information about AirBNB and other private companies in the industry.


Factiva is a great resource for looking for news about companies in the industry.


In LexisNexis, use the “Get Company Information” search box to search for company information.

  • In addition to company financial information, you will find company news, company organization and subsidiary information, and company legal/lawsuit information.


Related Topics: Business Cluster, Class Guides, Industry Guides