I’ve heard stories in every royalty-driven business, but especially in the game industry, about management worries about paying “too big an amount” to royalty recipients. I’ve read stories about how this has alienated talent and destroyed “overnight success” studios. I’ve always found this to be baffling behavior on the part of the alleged management.
I’ve always rejected the lame excuses that pass for justification of changing the deal after the fact or trying to write such complex contract so as to insure that the very people who produce The Success™ don’t get “too much money” out of the deal. (I can’t imagine what “too much money” is myself. Heh.)
Seth’s succinctly makes the point that I’ve always felt emotionally, but could never articulate half so well.
We often hesitate to pay a portion of the upside to someone who is taking a risk, because we’re worried that perhaps, just perhaps, his risk will pay off and he’ll make a fortune…
Thanks explaining it, Seth. We already committed to doing it, but it’s nice to see another genius concur with our own thinking.
For the record, my personal goal is to help every single team member make a fortune. Every time we ship. Every time we help each other reach the end zone, the goal, the finish line.
I can’t promise team members and partners (we don’t have “employees” here) that we’ll make even one fortune, but we are damn sure going to have fun trying!!
I want everybody’s royalty checks to have more zeroes on the end than I can count. I can’t think of a better motivation for them to want to sign on for the next game and do it all again.