The Rat race: Perception of realityEdit
In today's world no one does large commercial level games just for fun any more, especially in the PC architecture (or at least we rarely learn more about those crazy people after the beta stage or the first independent release). If you are investing time into producing a game you should define first the reasons that lead you to commit to such a difficult, time and resource intensive task before you lose any more time and money. Then select the target architectures (or framework if portability is achievable).
When creating "real games" (prototypes or flash demos not included) one is mostly proposing to do a big production, since it must compete in the market against multimillionaire projects that will cost more to produce than some of the blockbuster movies coming out of Hollywood today. This of course has some exceptions, in small markets (very specific genders) and new platforms, there may be a initial time-frame where establishing a foothold is possible before competition gets impossible for a small enterprise.
One will either be in this field either for fun or profit, the latter of which being very hard to attain. Just consider your chances in the gaming market: most projects without a great concept or good planning will never be finished or will be sold to a corporate machine at prototype stage. They are the only ones that can successfully promote it, and support extra licenses, artwork and give it a known brand. If you are lucky you will be included on the developing team but the design and marketing gremlins will erase from your mind the idea to ever call it your baby. Today we can count on a single hand game author's games like Sid Meier, David Braben or Shigeru Miyamoto. Those that are able to make it into the limelight must take special care not only in protecting a great concept, but must be able to see it implemented as they envisioned it by retaining creative control of their work.
The game industry is formed by game labels, most of which are software and distribution houses. Several may also provide the Operating Systems or the hardware where games will run on. This is done in arcades, personal computers, consoles, mobile phones or other small consumer devices.