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Gamewatch.org [Nov. 1st, 2004|01:45 am]
So, let's talk about it. What would you like to see?

Edit: Hello all. I'm sorry about this, but I've turned on screening for anonymous comments in this thread and the top one on the blog. We have a troll who has been spamming comments every few hours or so, and I just don't have time to keep coming in here and deleting them. Rest assured if you post anything that ISN'T vulgar, I will unscreen it as soon as I see it. Hopefully the troll will lose interest soon and I can lift this.
Edit 1/4/2005: Comment screening turned back off; thank you all for your patience. =)

From: (Anonymous)
2005-01-28 02:45 pm (UTC)

Expand this past dev houses?

How about expanding this past sweatshop dev houses, but publishers that abuse the small indie studios, under-reporting sales for example? GMX comes immediately to mind. It sounds almost like the 'coyotes' sneaking immigrants across the border for exorbitant amounts, then abandoning them, taking the money and running. Small dev houses are desparate to get "across the retailing border" and onto store shelves. A oversight of predatory publishers would fit right in with your plans, I think.
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From: ea_spouse
2005-02-01 09:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Expand this past dev houses?

While I agree that bringing standards to publishers as well as developers is a great challenge that faces the industry, the issue of publishers in general is more complex than the comparatively simple demand for livable working conditions. There are certainly publishers that participate in flatly illegal and immoral activities as regards creating games, and they can be confronted on a case-by-case basis, but the larger problems facing publisher-developer relationships in particular can sometimes stem from developer issues as well. Right now, developers have the ability to make promises that they can't keep, in a very large way. The publisher has very little way of knowing whether the developer will actually deliver on those promises. They tend to rely on things like a past history of games shipped on time, which is fine but can be detrimental for small developers trying to get a foothold in the industry.

If we establish standards for the way games are made -- which is what is ultimately necessary to obtain consistent, livable working environments -- the benefits will carry over to publishers, who will then have a rubric to request of a given developer and ask if they are meeting those production standards before signing a contract.

In the cases that you mention, where a publisher deliberately under-reports sales, that's something of a different matter, and falls into the arena of the lawyers. As far as an overview of good and bad publishers... that gets into somewhat foggier legal territory, and tends to occur more behind the scenes than in the public eye. I'm not sure that Gamewatch has any ability to change that, or should.
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