Category — Industry Contracts
Click here to read this article on the pros and cons of developing games under license from others.
In this third part of a very interesting 3-part “inside baseball” article, Newsweek alleges that Kutaragi dragged his feet on signing third party exclusives for the PS3 while Microsoft was aggressively pursuing exclusives from third parties such as EA (FIFA), Konami (Winning Eleven) Take-Two (Bioshock) and Ubisoft (the next Splinter Cell). Famously, Sony lost its Grand Theft Auto exclusive with Take-Two and Rockstar Games. And Assassin’s Creed, long assumed to be a PS3 exclusive, has now been confirmed to be under development for the XBox 360.
- PS3 vs. Xbox 360 Head to Head, PS3 Reviews and other Miscellanea (December 11, 2006)
- Newsweek Alleges Kutaragi Dropped the Ball on PS3 3rd Party Exclusives (November 21, 2006)
- Is the Lack of Force-Feedback in Sony’s PS3 Controller a Technical or Legal Issue? (June 28, 2006)
- Immersion Wins Latest Round of Sony ‘Rumble’ Suit (March 13, 2006)
- Sony 3D Artist Fired for saying “Xbox 360 is better” than the PS3 (February 2, 2006)
- Region Coding for PS3 Unlikely (November 8, 2005)
Attorney Tom Buscaglia explains the reason why game development contracts are so complex.
This GameDaily.biz feature presents Careen Yapp’s (VP of Licensing and Business Development for D3 Publisher) thoughts on how publishers make their decisions to take on a developer and what developers should understand when preparing a presentation to a publisher.
Dale’s Comment: Gamasutra also included a recent “Feature” entitled “Pitching Your Game to a Publisher”. While less informative, it is amusing!
Eric Zimmerman, co-founder and CEO of gameLab, proposes a bill of rights that postulates “the correct and proper ethical positions” for game developers to take when negotiating contracts with publishers. The x rights he discusses in this piece are:
- The right to full ownership of what we fully create.
- The right to be billed as the game creator in marketing and on game packaging at least as prominently as any mention of the game publisher.
- The right for every individual involved in creating the project to be given accurate and prominent credit within the game.
- The right to move freely between publishers on new game projects.
- The right to a fair and equitable share of profits derived from a game.
- The right to full and accurate accounting of any and all income and disbursements relative to our work.
- The right to promote and the right of approval over any and all promotion of our games and ourselves.
- The right of approval over means for distribution, as well as for licensing, merchandizing, and other derivative versions of our games.
- The right to a publishing arrangement that reflects the iterative nature of game development; one that recognizes that changing a game as it is developed is part of creating a game.
- The right to a publishing arrangement that results in a process that conforms to accepted standards regarding work hours, compensation, and labor practices.
- The right to acquire publishing rights to a game if the publisher has stopped distributing the game.
- The right to employ legal representation in any and all business transactions.
- The right to final say in creative disputes regarding the game.
Attorney Tom Buscaglia takes a look at royalty audits, a provision in most publisher contracts that few developers choose to exercise, but, Buscaglia suggests, many should.