Glad we didn’t get that title, Evolve works much better. I’m little confused from the video on the TRS site though, so the developer always yields IP to the publisher? Thought TRS wanted to be on it’s own?
They are a solo developer, but most developers need a publisher too
But 2k owns Evolve not TRS to my understanding. So it was sold to THQ they went belly up then 2k picked it up likely at a big discount?
Negotiations between publishers and developers can include all sorts of different arrangements. TRS isn’t owned by 2K, we’re an independent studio working with 2K to create Evolve. In some cases publishers will buy studios that they’re working with, but that’s not the case with us. Each situation is unique though and It really depends on the studio and the publisher involved.
I wasn’t here at the time, so I can’t speak to the particular contract between 2K and TRS (not to mention it’s probably pretty secret), but we know we landed on our feet ending up with 2K when THQ closed its doors.
Source: I used to work at an agency that handles contract negotiations between publishers and devs.
Perhaps @macman can comment on what he was speaking to then??? Dunno why it doesn’t start at 22:56 though on the vid?
Yeah, in a typical game deal, publishers front the money for a game - but in exchange, they are granted ownership of the IP (intellectual property.)
Microsoft funded Bungie so they could make Halo, but now Microsoft owns the IP rights to Halo. When Bungie split from Microsoft, they couldn’t take Halo with them and Microsoft assigned the Halo franchise to another studio, 343 Industries. That’s the reason Destiny is not Halo. By going to a different publisher, Bungie was forced to abandon the IP that they helped create. But because Bungie is an independent studio, they had the right to make a deal with a different publisher, and part ways with Microsoft after their contract was complete.
Same thing applies for Left4Dead. Valve owns that IP, not Turtle Rock, largely because Valve funded it.
Turtle Rock is an independent studio, meaning that Phil and I are the owners. We own all the computers, software licenses, we pay all the bills, we make our own decisions and could go somewhere else if we wanted to. But since 2K is funding Evolve, they own the IP - just like Bungie, Halo and Microsoft.
But from what I can tell, you are perfectly happy with 2k having the ip for Evolve seeing as how they were the ones you were hoping would get Evolve. Definitely glad you guys got your way. Btw, I know 2k was your top preference, but were there any other publishers you were hoping to step up if 2k hadn’t?
There was a possibility that a financial group that was backing THQ might be able to get Evolve. That was our second preference.
The IP will be worth a lot should the franchise prove successful, but it is very expensive and risky to launch a new IP, which is one of the reasons most publishers shy away from it. We’re lucky to have 2K promoting it so hard and backing us so well. It’s a long term investment for the both of us.
I think that if you didn’t have something truly amazing, you guys wouldn’t have one of the top games to watch out for this year. You guys have in your hands what I feel will be the next big ip, and I really hope you guys get the funding and the community to keep evolve relevant 5 years from now. It does make me sad seeing so much hate and twisted words revolving around evolve, but I think that will make it all the better when your game plays so wonderfully that people won’t be able to point out any problems with the game after launch without looking like trolls
We’ll find ways to talk about DLC more tactfully in the future. It certainly helps to find out what people like/don’t like.
I really like 2K from a gamer’s standpoint as well.
Give me season passes! Honestly though, it seems offering individuals, packs, and season passes would be the the best option unless there is some fee for having more options available.
So 2k would pay you a flat rate for DLC too and assume all the risk?
That’s how contractors work, but most game developers have a different format whereby they repay the “loan” through a percentage earned through each sale. After the loan has been payed back, you begin to earn royalties at that rate (or sometimes a different rate.)
If you’re interested in how that stuff works, I did a quick internet search and found this article. Take a look at the “Recoup Rate” to see an example of how that works.
Avoiding Game Development Contract Pitfalls - Royalties
Thanks for the article @macman I am interested. You seem to be having a good success story as much as an interesting game too. Was hoping you and Phil get to taste some of the fruit of your labor should Evolve be a raging success rather then 2k reaping all the spoils.
If Evolve is a raging success, we should be doing o.k.
But we’ve got a long ways to go yet. The roughest part of the road is still in front of us.
@macman I don’t think the road is gonna be as tough as you think it’s gonna be provided you stay true to the gamers who’ll drive you 2, to success.
I do think you and Phil should get a little pop of color during these interviews though
Yeah, if any of the other games you have hidden in your vault look this awesome, then you guys should be well off. I have faith that you guys, being gamers and all, know what a gamer wants in a video game, and you guys have the skills to turn those ideas into a great game
Do project leads typically get a percent of the studio’s royalties once the studio starts receiving royalties? Seems like often the project leads of very successful games often get pretty wealthy.
Depends how they setup their contact.