Originally posted by kolorabi
I can not agree with this. Sure, there are a lot of bandits around (though I think the industry has matured somewhat), but to say that any game developer from a "less wealthy" country can just pack in the bags and give up because they will never get paid seems a bit too simplistic and negative to me. If that had indeed been the case, then all those eastern european companies would simply not have survived. If Croteam hadn't gotten any income at all, would they still be producing games ten or so years after Football Glory? I doubt that very much.
Actually you are spot on: most of those companies in fact did not survive or defunt or work for ridiculous money that you wouldn't accept as your monthly wage, let alone for a complete commercial game.
The team you mentioned is just one example and I guess they in fact had a good lawyer and the finance right from the beginning. Most startups do not.
Or they just have the income that keeps them going and enough for daily expenses but nothing much more, but they prefer doing games instead of say packing bags in a factory... It could be that if you are in Croatia you do not have much choice, and even ridiculous money is better, than nothing at all.
Just think of the real ClickBoom guys (coming from similar circumstances): they kept on working for years for pittance money and no money at all sometimes, because they couldn't do anything else useful in their life anyway due to non-existant employment and wages in their area.
How about creating the game "White Viper" for a couple of C64s?
Or having worked there I have inside info on Novotrade and their financing related to say e.g. such a small company as Sega... (not to mention much earlier titles for say Epyx, Andromeda etc) All I say is you'd feel insanely embarassed in the name of the guilty ones.
Do you know "Ecco the Dolphin"? Right. Do you know what sort of money the company had from one of the biggest selling games ever? Do you know how much money the guys who made it had from it? Do you know why the last time I heard from the lead guy he worked on sound synthesis and said he'd never write any game ever again?
I do and I hope he changed his mind since that
Or the guy who did "Cyborg Justice" (?don't remember correct title, but something along those lines robots beating up each other) by Sega that was surely not an all time bestseller, but certainly did worth more, than what you pay a month for an average programmer in the US?
Actually if you just refer to Metin who is not from a poor country at all, but instead simply faced the "temptation problem" coming from a different legal area than their publishers... They used to work on for many years until giving up in a hope that at least once they get paid. Afair the only financial success they could account in this sense was getting monthly payment for some game towards the end.
The last thing that dies is hope
I never said to pack and give up. But the paid ones ( we don't know that yet for real) are unreasonably less than the unpaid or badly paid ones. And that gives a nice insight into the conscience of the moneymen involved with the games industry a few years ago, and it seems old habits just don't go out of fashion even now...
It is possible that Ubi simply don't care as they know they will never will deal the guys again so it is not intended rip-off just the result off the company plugging all their resources that should have been assigned to deal with Cauldron. Does that make them any better...?
I say that yes, if you are from either a less wealthy country or can't properly represent yourself legally in the publishers country you are more than likely to get ripped off. You see even companies like Ubi feels tempted to do it if they can and there goes your very high profile publisher that shouldn't allow any sort of mud slinging paint their reputation. Yet they did it. Why? Because they could and couldn't care less about some poor guys from Slovakia babbling on their unvisited site about not getting paid. Nobody would believe them, and even if some does, they couldn't care less either. It is always "somebody else's problem" if you know Douglas Adams.