Warner Bros. Adding Royalties to Bad Games Using Their Licenses

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Morgan Jolley, May 26, 2004.

  1. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/05...s_6099292.html

    Basically, WB is charging more for their licenses after-the-fact if the games made from them suck because it's destroying the brand.

    I definitely think this is a good idea. It'll keep bad games from being made, or at least punish those who make them.
     
  2. Jonathan Carter

    Jonathan Carter Supporting Actor

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    This isn't going to last very long. People will stop making games based on WB's properties and just use some other license. Besides, I see plenty of bad games developed using a property that sucks also. Are the game companies compensated if they make a game based on a property that sucks?
     
  3. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    That'll be pretty damn hard, since Time-Warner owns a lot of very popular licenses. Just off the top of my head, you've got the Harry Potter and LOTR movies, DC Comics in any print or multimedia format, and a huge amount of TV productions on most network and a lot of cable channels.

    Personally, I like the idea, but only if they punish stars who lend their talents to horrible games as well, i.e. anyone who was in "Enter the Matrix". It's bad enough actors are entering the video game arena and off the bat make more than the developers, but it would be worse if nothing happened to already overpaid hacks.
     
  4. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    So who makes the call that a game is bad? It is all subjective unless they just purely go by units sold, even that isn't accurate as there are great games that never see the top 10.

    For instance Enter the Matrix, sold millions of copies, Jesse considers it horrible, while I enjoyed it quite a bit. It just all depends on the person that is playing it. Some will like it some won't.

    I don't see how this can actually work without pissing off every developer that works on a WB property, as much as I would like to see more quality control coming from game developers.
     
  5. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    They said they're going to use review sites, like GameRankings.com, to decide if a game is good or not.

    The real question is whether a game selling millions of copies or not is an exception. Enter the Matrix sold a lot, but it sucked, so people would be reluctant to buy another Matrix game, which is devaluing the property. Or if another game was made and it was good, it could sell extremely well.
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    This is the next dumbest thing in a long line of dumb things that come out of the entertainment biz. As Jonathan stated above, is WB ready to compensate a game company if said comapny makes an A+ game, but the movie WB makes sucks and pulls the game into the red? Hell no! Then they need to shut their mouths and do what they do (make movies and sell merchandise) and let others do what they do best (make games, etc.)

    No game company wants to make a bad game and no production studio wants to make a bad movie. But stuff happens and bad ones get made. If WB doesn't like it, then they can stop being greedy b*s and just stop selling the licenses at all. Or give licenses away for free and evaluate whether or not WB will allow the release once it is finished.

    But this is all so stupid. Once you sell someone something it belongs to them, they can do what they want. If I sell you my xbox and you use it as a doorstop, what business is it of mine? I received the money I agreed it was worth, the rest is not my concern.
     
  7. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Because of Superman 64, I doubt many people will want to buy a Superman game. The destruction of the property itself reduces the ability of the company (WB) to make money off of it in the future. Making a bad movie does the same thing, but they're not willing to take losses on someone else's stupidity, only their own.
     
  8. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    So will Warner Brothers be giving a discount to EA if the Catwoman film scores badly on RottenTomatos? I mean, it's only fair.

    The article makes it sound like the film company sells the licence & then never sees the game until it ships, and are then suprised if the game stinks. That's usually NOT the case - the film company sees progress regularly & is involved with the creative process as they generally have right of refusal on all artistic & design decisions with their properties.
     
  9. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    ...not to mention that influence from the licensor can easily derail a project, and I wouldn't think it's fair to penalize the developer in those sorts of cases.
     
  10. Jonathan Carter

    Jonathan Carter Supporting Actor

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    Only to an uneducated gamer. Besides, say it did taint the franchise. Does the WB license Superman out to game companies for less $$ now than they used to because Superman 64 may have affected potential sales. I highly doubt it. Why should a new developer pay the price for what an old developer did?
     
  11. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Superman64 has sold over a quarter million copies - not amazing, but better than it deserved. EA have since bought the licence y'know. Think a Superman game done with the production values of the recent LOTR games would flop?
     
  12. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin Stunt Coordinator

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    How about this, they share the risk and charge LESS for the license and a percentage based on how well the game sells.
    This way more money can be used in development and there is more inetrest to making sure a game is done well. They can even offer more incentives based on sales and offer the same companies that do good jobs on their games future incentive to turn out good games.
    Obviously, the future of the franchise can benefit as well as be hurt so if you are punsihed for a bad game, what about rewards for a good game, other than the sales from the game. Share the risk.
     
  13. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately Morgan, that's life. I'm 100% sure no one twisted WB's arm and made them sign the property over and I'm also 100% sure they cashed the license check no problems. So if the game sucks, too bad. They sold the name out to a 3rd party, they got paid what they asked, in exchange for that compensation WB risked the property's future value.

    And again to flip it around, if Superman 64 had been GTA Superman and made $$$ and been best game ever, is WB going to share the profits from the next movie or licenses since Superman 64 increased the license value? Uhh... no.

    So they takes their number and their chances just like everyone else. If they are really afraid of damaging the product viability, then they shouldn't sell licenses at all.

    This really is just a bunch of whining by WB, IMHO. If I was any sort of reputable game developer, I wouldn't touch one of these "new" license agreements with a 10 ft pole. It potentially bankrupts you on a bad game and gives very little more in return for a good one. Game devs are businesses as well...
     

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