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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2010-07-16 05:10:14
Indie Games Competition
So, in case you hadn't heard, Activision is running an "indie games" competition. That's hilarious. Activision is the reigning champion of heavyweight publishers, and in recent years, has thrown that weight around by milking once proud franchises for all they're worth. For them to host anything related to indie games is like Walmart subsidizing kids' lemonade stands. It's Goliath doing a talent search for teen-aged Hebrew shepherd slingsmen. It's the Devil telling Faust, "I have the rights to your soul, but ONLY for this contest. For realsies."
In the strip above is a sample of the language from the contest rules. "Solely for purposes related to the Contest", huh? Good luck beating back Activision Blizzard's legal staff if your game turns out to be a hit.
What sort of indie developer can avoid having ever "exhibited or displayed [their game] publicly through any means"? The entire POINT of indie development is to take advantage of grass roots level exposure, to find traction outside of the mainstream system.
This one's fun: "In order to be a Finalist, entrant must sign certain Submission documentation provided by Sponsor, which may include some or all of the following: release of claims against Sponsor; acknowledgment of Sponsor's development of game concepts that may be similar to entrant's Submission; first right of refusal to Sponsor for any development or publishing of Submission; agreement to provide Sponsor with splash/title/credits and logo credit similar to "funded in part by the Activision Independent Games Competition Prize 2010"; grant of name and likeness publicity rights to Sponsor; and full representations and warranties regarding the IP ownership of the Submission."
So "winning" grants Activision first right of refusal. That actually seems reasonable. They dish out the development prize money; they get first crack at publishing the result. Of course, they get to slap their logo on your indie game, like a whored out NASCAR racer. They get other rights which could be twisted and construed by whoever pays the smartest attorneys. Moreover, OH LOOK AT THAT THING ACTIVISION IS MAKING THAT'S JUST LIKE MINE. How odd! But I acknowledge it, and thank them for the prize money OH LOOK THEY'RE MAKING MILLIONS from their project that may be similar to mine but I it's too late for I have suckled on the Devil's teat!
"Solely for purposes related to the Contest" HahHAHAHAhahaahAHAHAHAAA