Molyneux: Deals Between Publishers and Developers Don?t Work Anymore

Bigmouth strikes again.

Posted by Staff
Molyneux: Deals Between Publishers and Developers Don’t Work Anymore
One thing that cannot be said about Peter Molyneux is that he is afraid to voice his opinion. This was certainly the case at a London Games Summit lecture the developer gave yesterday, in a frank and open talk with Mark Webley, which was originally entitled ?Taking Lionhead from Inception to Microsoft.?

Peter gave a series of ?tips? to indies, the first of which was the common-sensical: ?Know what you want?have a long-term goal and timescale in mind.?

Peter, something of a legend amongst developers and gamers alike, clearly knew what he wanted with Lionhead ? recognition from his industry peers worldwide, laudatory write-ups in the press for making innovative games, and piles and piles of cash from Microsoft who eventually bought out Lionhead! (We jest Peter! We love you really!).

Next up, Molyneux also urged developers to, "Never, ever, ever sign away your IP - ultimately, as an independent developer, your IP is your bargaining power."

A few more well-worn development industry clichés were wheeled out for good measure, including: "Every game says something about your company"; "You're only as good as your last game"; ?"Be true to your goals" and "Enjoy what you're doing". Clichés they may well be, but they still bear repeating now and then.

The sprightly Lionhead twosome were most adamant that developers should not get ?...pulled into the spiral of doom.? For non-dev types reading, this does not refer to some mythical abyss where lazy developers are cast away for eternity ? it merely refers to the practice of signing a new game in order to get more resources (cash money to you and me) to finish a game in development. That way leads to madness, bankruptcy and devastation, according to Molyneux and Webley. This message is of course fairly easy for Molyneux to preach, now that his studio is bankrolled by Microsoft.

In the Q&A session which followed the talk, Molyneux also admitted that the way in which current payment contracts and deals are set up between publishers and developers is ?completely flawed? noting that "...there needs to be a mindset change in this industry" and that the current system, "a hybrid model [derived from] the record industry...just doesn't work any more".


Johnhl 5 Oct 2006 21:55
As an indie developer it all rings very true
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