Revenge of the Litigated

Shamus Young

New member
Jul 7, 2008
3,247
0
0
Revenge of the Litigated

There is a way that small companies can protect themselves, and it doesn't even require an overhaul to our legal system.

Read Full Article
 

sir.rutthed

Stormfather take you!
Nov 10, 2009
979
0
0
Thank you, Shamus for proving once again that common sense is a rather uncommon thing in people. This is something every father should teach their children, but somehow a lot of people can't seem to put 2 and 2 together when it comes to certain companies and people.
 

Cousin_IT

New member
Feb 6, 2008
1,822
0
0
The problem with the "don't do business with corps that have questionable background" is that the (Western) gaming industry is dominated by a few publishing megahouses that all have dodgy pasts to some degree. Consequently, by your reasoning, surely developers are left with a Hobson's choice [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson%27s_choice] since all publishers with the big bucks to spend on game development have got skeletons in the closet?,*

*in before someone starts worshiping Valve as the saviors of gaming
 

sir.rutthed

Stormfather take you!
Nov 10, 2009
979
0
0
Cousin_IT said:
The problem with the "don't do business with corps that have questionable background" is that the (Western) gaming industry is dominated by a few publishing megahouses that all have dodgy pasts to some degree. Consequently, by your reasoning, surely developers are left with a Hobson's choice [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson%27s_choice] since all publishers with the big bucks to spend on game development have got skeletons in the closet?,*

*in before someone starts worshiping Valve as the saviors of gaming
Well, there's companies that make mistakes, and there's companies that habitually make mistakes. When you have a long string of lawsuits against a potential business partner that's a strong sign that you shouldn't do business with them. You may have other options for doing business, and those other options may have done their fair share of dirty dealings, but that doesn't mean you can't work with anyone. You just have to find other people who are respectful enough to honor their agreements and hope that your summation of their character is at least mostly correct.
 

Crunchy English

Victim of a Savage Neck-bearding
Aug 20, 2008
779
0
0
Shamus, if there's a smarter thing written on this forum somewhere, I don't know what it is. On a related note,
My father used to tell me a story about my great-great grandfather, it goes like this: (short, I promise)

My grand-dad once started up a carpentry business, and to do so he borrowed a lot of money from a lot of people. He was successful for a few years, but he was a carpenter not a businessman and he went under around year 5. He hadn't paid back even half of his investors.

There was no contract involved, my Grandfather simply shook hands with everyone who invested in his company. In this day and age, even an investor who had a contract as thick as a phonebook wouldn't be protected if a company went bankrupt. My great great grandfather paid back every dime, over the next 15 years. I've been inspired by that story of integrity my entire life.

It's not a DREAMWORLD for people to honour their word, and if you can't see that, I feel sorry for you. That kind of cynicism eats away at your well-being.

When you shake a man's hand, it should MEAN something. Forget people working FOR Activision, who is working AT Activision, and how are they rationalizing it to themselves? How can they look these people in the eyes, promise them something, watch the higher-ups screw them, and then go to work on the next project with any kind of hope? How can they not say, "I work hard for these people, and they turned me into a liar, I'm out."
 

Cousin_IT

New member
Feb 6, 2008
1,822
0
0
sir.rutthed said:
Cousin_IT said:
The problem with the "don't do business with corps that have questionable background" is that the (Western) gaming industry is dominated by a few publishing megahouses that all have dodgy pasts to some degree. Consequently, by your reasoning, surely developers are left with a Hobson's choice [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson%27s_choice] since all publishers with the big bucks to spend on game development have got skeletons in the closet?,*

*in before someone starts worshiping Valve as the saviors of gaming
Well, there's companies that make mistakes, and there's companies that habitually make mistakes. When you have a long string of lawsuits against a potential business partner that's a strong sign that you shouldn't do business with them. You may have other options for doing business, and those other options may have done their fair share of dirty dealings, but that doesn't mean you can't work with anyone. You just have to find other people who are respectful enough to honor their agreements and hope that your summation of their character is at least mostly correct.
tbh it's more a case of "there are companies that make mistakes, & there are companies that are currently the media bogyman so their mistakes get all the press attention."

Westwood Studios. Never forget!
 

Xocrates

New member
May 4, 2008
160
0
0
sir.rutthed said:
You may have other options for doing business,
The key word there being "may". If you don't, your options are dealing with the shady folk and hoping for the best, or risking going bankrupt.

Sad as it is, dealing with the shady folk can be the only "reasonable" option.
 

sir.rutthed

Stormfather take you!
Nov 10, 2009
979
0
0
Cousin_IT said:
sir.rutthed said:
Cousin_IT said:
The problem with the "don't do business with corps that have questionable background" is that the (Western) gaming industry is dominated by a few publishing megahouses that all have dodgy pasts to some degree. Consequently, by your reasoning, surely developers are left with a Hobson's choice [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobson%27s_choice] since all publishers with the big bucks to spend on game development have got skeletons in the closet?,*

*in before someone starts worshiping Valve as the saviors of gaming
Well, there's companies that make mistakes, and there's companies that habitually make mistakes. When you have a long string of lawsuits against a potential business partner that's a strong sign that you shouldn't do business with them. You may have other options for doing business, and those other options may have done their fair share of dirty dealings, but that doesn't mean you can't work with anyone. You just have to find other people who are respectful enough to honor their agreements and hope that your summation of their character is at least mostly correct.
tbh it's more a case of "there are companies that make mistakes, & there are companies that are currently the media bogyman so their mistakes get all the press attention."

Westwood Studios. Never forget!
That's exactly my point. We shouldn't forget how these poor bastards got screwed over, and we learn from their mistakes. No more business with companies that pull evil tricks like that, and no more accepting it as the business norm. Sure, it's not a perfect world, but that doesn't mean we should encourage the people that are actively making it worse.
 

Dev Null

New member
Jul 29, 2008
50
0
0
"Don't go into business with people who have dealt poorly with their other business partners."

Or the corollary: Sure, sell out to Activision: but then immeditately liquidate all your company stock, quit, and move to Bermuda.
 

Vestsao

New member
Aug 24, 2009
60
0
0
Well the "Don't do business with publishers who have bad PR," Is probably the basic guideline all aspiring developers should follow. But there's a difference between informing the developers "Look, if you sign deal with so and so, you're going to be fucked," And the developers actually applying that to all their business deals.

Think of all the leaders and people who have fallen for the "It won't happen to me," notion. Following the exact same steps as predecessors but foolishly thinking that because they're aware of the previous mistake it won't happen to them.
 
Apr 28, 2008
14,634
0
0
Hopefully Bungie knows what they?re doing. They?ve managed to be part of Microsoft for almost 10 years and managed to make it through alright, where others(Rare) weren?t so lucky.

I really don't want to see them go the route of IW...
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
Legacy
Apr 1, 2009
14,366
3,352
118
Gender
Whatever, just wash your hands.
Irridium said:
Hopefully Bungie knows what they?re doing. They?ve managed to be part of Microsoft for almost 10 years and managed to make it through alright, where others(Rare) weren?t so lucky.

I really don't want to see them go the route of IW...
well considering how they say they were treated by ms I imagine that activison couldnt be that worse for them but then again it is activision and they tend to be horrible to those that make them money
 

Starke

New member
Mar 6, 2008
3,877
0
0
Shamus Young said:
And "massive fines" is a tricky notion. What's massive for a ten person company is peanuts for a hundred person company. And a massive fine for a hundred person company would be a rounding error for a thousand person company. And how do you calculate how "big" a company is, anyway? Some companies employ a ton of people. Some are just a few people who employ a lot of contractors.
This is kind of at the core of what's gone screwy with the oil industry over the years. Ships like the Exxon Valdez didn't/don't comply to safety regulations because the sale of oil from the tanker vastly exceeds the cost of fines if they get caught. The moral of the story is, there's no real way to implement "massive fines" except possibly simply rummaging through a company's and assessing a percentage of their operating capital as a fine, which is impractical for other reasons.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

New member
Sep 6, 2009
6,019
0
0
Shamus Young said:
Character matters. Don't do business with people you can't trust. This advice will never change, no matter what business you're in.
Truer words have never been spoken.

It's unfortunate that there are now so few large companies out there for smaller developers to work with who wont screw them over one way or another. Perhaps if all the little guys formed their own coalition where all would come to the aid of another when one of the Big Boys decides to give the little guy a financial swirlie.

The sum is greater than the whole after all.
 

CitySquirrel

New member
Jun 1, 2010
539
0
0
Of course, this advice doesn't help the first in a businesses habitual screw list. But, that is the risk of business I guess.
 

Albino Boo

New member
Jun 14, 2010
4,667
0
0
I'm sorry I don't seem to understand why you think a games company would somehow behave more ethically than any other large company thats under pressure to increase its low profits. Why would EA or Activision be more moral than Wallmart or Goldman Sacks. Even the creative industry Hollywood is nest of vipers and law suits. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
 

squid5580

Elite Member
Feb 20, 2008
5,106
0
41
Starke said:
Shamus Young said:
And "massive fines" is a tricky notion. What's massive for a ten person company is peanuts for a hundred person company. And a massive fine for a hundred person company would be a rounding error for a thousand person company. And how do you calculate how "big" a company is, anyway? Some companies employ a ton of people. Some are just a few people who employ a lot of contractors.
This is kind of at the core of what's gone screwy with the oil industry over the years. Ships like the Exxon Valdez didn't/don't comply to safety regulations because the sale of oil from the tanker vastly exceeds the cost of fines if they get caught. The moral of the story is, there's no real way to implement "massive fines" except possibly simply rummaging through a company's and assessing a percentage of their operating capital as a fine, which is impractical for other reasons.
Why is it impractical? Why can't they treat a fine the same way they treat something like income tax. Oh we see by your books you pulled in a cool million. Well we are fining you 10% of that mil. Oh you only made a fiver? Well we'll take 10% of that then. That way everyone is being punished the same even though the millionaire will be paying more.
 

anyGould

New member
Sep 17, 2007
42
0
0
It would be very hard (and more importantly, expensive) to prove those lawyers were or were not working on any particular case and not just playing FarmVille.
And while it would be amusing to listen to executives claim that their lawyers spent 80% of their time on Farmville, I don't for an instant doubt that they would.

The "don't do business with people you trust" axiom is definitely the smart one. And if you can't avoid it, make sure you have backup plans.