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Default Bethesda Softworks - Robbing Interplay Blind? @ Angry Gamers

May 27th, 2009, 01:22
I'm pretty sure at least something like that is always done with 3rd Party licenses but possibly less vague.

In fact Robert Jordan of Wheel of Time fame licensed use of his IP to a company making a MMOG and he did exactly that: pulled the plug on the direction game based on a clause of creative control. The company relented then got more involved in understanding the IP before disappearing. RJ eventually heard they were a victim of the dotcom bust.



We must remember this is the second contract that Interplay signed. Basically they signed the rights over to everything except FOOL.

Personally, I think Bethesda wrote up those clauses to keep Interplay honest. IMO they just didn't trust the company to come through and why should they have?

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May 27th, 2009, 02:12
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Do you think BioWare licensed D&D or Star Wars without clauses of creative oversight and other safety clauses for those companies to ensure their quality standards are met? I doubt it. It's just protecting your own IP, which is what Bethesda is doing.
Poor comparisons:
- Licensing D&D means they have to submit anything which alters the IP for approval. It didn't actually mean Wizards of the Coast could basically cancel the project whenever they decide Bioware isn't good enough for them. At best, they had the power to slow down the development of the game and delay the release.
And if Wizards really were dissatisfied with the game, I'm guessing the contract had some sort of specific breach clause. In return, Wizards would have had to compensate Bioware for the loss.

- Lucas Arts didn't just license the Star Wars IP to Bioware, they published KOTOR. They provided at least part of the funding and shared risks with Bioware. Since they're putting money in the project too, it's only fair that they retain creative control. And had they decided to pull the plug, they would have been losing on their investment as well.

In the case of FOOL, Interplay supported all risks and was responsible for securing all the funding. Other than hypothetic future profits, Bethesda loses nothing in cancelling the project.
Had the agreement provided that Bethesda must be satisfied with the quality and use of IP by FOOL before it can be released, that would have been fair.
But a term which says that Interplay loses all rights to use the IP altogether whenever Bethesda releases new quality standards and decides that Interplay doesn't meet them, and where Interplay gets nothing in return, that's unfair to me.
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May 27th, 2009, 02:26
IMO, making business deals is a little like playing marbles. The first thing everyone has to do is decide on the rules. If two players can do that, then they might decide to play. If they can't, then both need to turn around and walk away.

Interplay agreed to a set of rules and proceeded to play. They lost, and that's pretty much it as far as I can tell. Now I'm wondering why they played, because they didn't seem to have any real chance of winning anything.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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May 27th, 2009, 04:29
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
…that's unfair to me.
So, don't sell the IP under those conditions. Simple.

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