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December 22, 2006

Hold on there Sparky!

Filed under: Thoughts and Rants — Tom B @ 3:45 pm

Simon Carless, the Editor of Gamasutra, contacted me recently because a AAA development contract has recently be made public. These contracts are all covered by confidentiality agreements and rarely come into the public domain. But the Court in a law suit related to the agreement unsealed the contract and, as a result, it became public information. This means that it’s open to public review. Simon asked me to review and comment on the article for Gamasutra. Of course, I accepted the challenge.

The entire agreement is over 30 pages long and it was a bitch to get through. I just finished the review and sent my comments off to Gamasutra for publication. A nice Christmas present for anyone interested in how these deals are done. This was a three game deal worth over $24,000,000.00. Of course, the deal was never completed and that’s the reason for the pending law suit. But the details in the agreement make a good model for the sort of accountability major publishers require from their third party studios and the extent of their total control over the process when the stakes are this high!

My comments should make the contract a little easier for non lawyers to digest, though it is still a large chunk of content to absorb. The comments alone are over 3000 words! I hope everyone who reads it enjoys and learns from it. Here’s the link to the ARTICLE!

Have a great Christmas and totally Kick Ass New Year!

GL & HF!

Tom B


  1. Whooo! so you moved out to Seattle? I guess you’ll miss the florida sun soon enough (thats that called, SAD?? :)

    Anyway, great article on Gamasutra Thomas, really enjoyed reading it. It’s such a rare beast seeing the nitty gritty of these contracts, but that one was MUCH BETTER than some of the ones I’ve been party to :)

    Anyway, all the best to you and Thomas (junior) out there in Seattle from us here in the motherland (Britain).


    Comment by Phil Carlisle — January 12, 2007 @ 7:46 pm

  2. Phil!

    Seattle’s way better…we have rain, snow and I still get windstorms too! Who needs sun?

    Glad you liked the Article…That contract was a beast! Though I have to say, that deal stunk in many ways. ANd most of them proved out. Spark and Activision are still in litigatpoin

    Too bad about the cancellation of IGC…I was looking forwad to our annual get together. Maybe you can make it to GDC instead.

    You know that Thomas is working at GG now? Full time baby!

    As I parent I just have one thing to say about that…Both my Kids have jobs!!! WHOOT!

    Comment by Tom B — January 12, 2007 @ 9:10 pm

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