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Default So.. 2013, the year of RPG drought?

November 27th, 2012, 15:07
Originally Posted by darkling View Post
Insane SP fanboys ITT.

Like Obsidian gets paid after a game ships. They don't meet Metacritic #'s and everyone gets fired anyhow. THQ falling apart is meaning some bad things in some places but Obsidian isn't going to take the brunt of it. At best, it'll end up at the bottom of their "Unfinished Licensed Crap" bin with Aliens.
You seem confused about how publisher-developer payment schedules work. While it is true that most developers never see royalties and post-sales bonuses can be hit or miss, it is not as though a significant portion of the development fees aren't contingent on delivering a finished product either.

Most developer work like this receives payment on a milestone schedule with the most significant payments being for the product going gold/passing out of beta. Because publishers do love their money, these payment schedules are usually structured such that failure to reach the final milestone - allowing for delays at the publisher's discretion - will be severely unproffitable for the developer. This is often done by providing a significant portion of the pre-release funding in the form of secured third party credit. If the final milestones are reached then the publisher assumes responsibility for that debt. If they do not then the developer retains primary responsibility for repaying significant portions of any funding received up to that point and will be the first target for the third party creditors.

Now if the publisher folds before the final milestones are reached the developer is often still on the hook for any secured loans they had received so far. They will also obviously not be receiving any final payments either. Additionally the creditors will attempt to collect from the developer as quickly as possible because generally they must default before they can content the loan guarantor's assets in bankruptcy court. This is often a far worse scenario than early termination of the project by the publisher as that usually includes some responsibility on the part of the publisher to assume at least some of the debt incurred if the developer was not in breach.

Personally I couldn't care less about ever playing the South Park game but my disinterest in the game and the property its based on does not make me wish for Obsidian to be screwed. If it is inevitable that THQ does eventually go bankrupt I would hope that it at least wouldn't happen until after Obsidian has concluded their relationship with them.
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