RebelPlay - Run Away

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by HarryBalls, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. HarryBalls

    HarryBalls New Member

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  2. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I just don't get this 'rule' that you must not ever ever sell your IP. If the only way you can get that game finished is with their funding then your "IP" is valueless.

    If you have a game lying around that's making nothing and someone wanted to buy the IP it would only make sense if you then go on to exploit that IP yourself. If it remains sitting on a hard drive somewhere then what's the point in not selling? IP is only worth something when it's generating revenue.

    Also, think about it from a publisher's point of view. They're giving you up front money to help develop that game in the hope it makes them some money back. They're taking a risk there. (As a sidenote, it's excellent that RebelPlay are recouping the advance based on 100% of the income and not from your share - HUGE difference and how it should be done). Anyway, they're taking on the risk, now if that game goes on to do pretty well what stops the developer making New Game 2 and generating all the future revenue from it? After all, the game only got completed because of the original investment and publishing. You'd feel a little hard done by I'd imagine.

    I guess it's the way you think of the initial money. If you consider it just a loan that you pay back then you'd be better off going to the bank. If you see it as investment from a private funding source then really you're lucky to only be giving away a portion of that one project. Try going and getting some VC funding and you'll be losing a chunk of the entire company.

    Note, I'm not saying you should always sell your IP, it should be a last resort thing where possible. You should also never sell something for below value if you can help it.

    This idea that it's an absolute must not do type of thing regardless of the offer, seems crazy to me. If someone offered $1 million for any of our IP they're welcome to it. It's not always a mistake to sell it.
     
  3. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    +1 at every paragraph.

    Quake is a valuable IP. Mario is a valuable IP.

    An idea from a guy with no money is just an idea from a guy with no money. I could stop anyone on the street and get one of those. When you have something like Quake or Mario, get running. In the meantime, get a sense of proportion.
     
    #3 Applewood, Aug 13, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  4. Digital Entanglement

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    I completely agree. This is how publisher/developer relationships work, the developers get a steady paycheck and the publishers take the risk of giving them money to work on products.

    Even if you completely sell out your IP to them, you still have a pretty good chance of getting a contract to let you develop the game based on your directions. It's not like you're working with EA who has both the time and ability to make you develop your game a certain way.

    I hate having to register to read, so I looked up some summary articles: (also registered since it's the only way to read the full interview)

    http://www.strategyinformer.com/new...talks-becoming-a-publisher-want-3-big-changes
    http://www.develop-online.net/news/38425/Sony-XDEV-execs-launch-punk-indie-publisher

    I have to say, it's misleading to say they want you to "sign away" your IP. That (to me) implies that they want all rights AND royalties. In reality, according to their direct statements, they control the IP but you get royalties AND refusal rights on sequels with your IP in written contract. Overall, it looks great, wish I had the money to launch something like it.
     
  5. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I'll post the same thing I said there.

    If people don't like their terms then don't use them but it would be silly to fund development of an idea without getting access to IP. The devil is in the details and that is what they are funding.

    We are living in a strange world of entitlement right now. I'm not saying IP doesn't have value but if you are going to ask for a big bag of money from somebody then you need to put skin in the game too. The details are up to the principals but the notion that it should never involve IP... IP is just another deal point and the principals need to work it out.
     
  6. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It's not even that the value of IP is debateable. One thing most here don't seem to get is that their game isn't really even an IP. I don't know what the dictionary definition is, but I'm sure is has something based around built up inherent value, where an unpublished first game has none of that to begin with.
     
  7. Dogma

    Dogma New Member

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    I am no expert on the subject, but doesn't it completely depend on the deal? I don't mind giving up IP, but I do mind being at the mercy of a publisher, like what has happened to many developers. GRIN and Infinity Ward come to mind.

    I don't fully agree that the risk is just with the publisher, just because they fund (part of) a project. A publisher takes calculated risks and if x out of y projects succeed they earn back enough money to stay in business. For a developer if one project fails the studio is closed.

    I also think that it might be impossible for a studio to become independent of a publisher. With investors at least you can buy them out, with a publisher you will probably never earn back enough money to do so. To me it all looks very unbalanced, but maybe my view of publishers is too negative...
     
  8. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Selling IP is not the end of the world, but you should try to keep it if you're able to develop the game yourself :) so yes, varies case by case.
     

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