Is Agile Not Agile Enough? A Study on How Agile is Applied and Misapplied in the Video Game Development Industry
Video games have become the most dominant and successful entertainment industry worldwide; however, many video game development (VGD) projects and studios struggle to succeed. At present, there are no commonly accepted VGD best practices or frameworks that can bring together the complex and competing needs of software engineering and creative production. Although studios are reportedly using agile frameworks, the actual extent of application and effectiveness of agile in the VGD context is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study is to empirically determine how and why agile frameworks are applied in VGD. Interviews were conducted with eight New Zealand VGD studios. It was found that Scrum and Kanban are often adapted from their conventional use to meet the needs of different pipelines and delivery milestones within the phases of VGD. However, inexperience with agile practices often leads to misunderstanding and miss-implementing them in ways that seem to contribute to commonly experienced collaboration challenges.