If you look at a publishing contract, there are pages and pages of legalese bullshit. 99% of it is the same crap you get in all of them, which 99% of the time is totally irrelevant in practice. it has to be there, so both sides are happy but it’s not a practical problem.
This is stuff such as “you didn’t rip this game off anyone else” and “we have right to use name of the game to market the game” etc. Unless you are dealing with satan, a lot of games publishing contracts for on-line are very similar.
And then there is the vital stuff such as:
What royalty you get per copy sold
What the deductions can be
When you get paid.
Those 3 lines pretty much sum up the haggling of games contracts. It matters a BIG DEAL how much royalty you get. Some websites reckon they are doing you a favour to offer you 40% (yeah right, fuck off, I don’t need you, but you need games). Some pay a lot more, some pay a huge amount. Some have a nebulous definition of deductions. And many of them assume you will take whatever is offered (think again).
I’m about to contact a few on-line portals to sell Kudos 2 through, alongside my own site. Of course, I REALLY want people to buy the game direct, because I make the biggest cut that way, but some people are so used to buying from certain other sites it’s tough to tempt them away. Generally, I make about 50/50 from my site and from everyone else. If it started skewing too far towards other people, I’d panic. I want to earn money to pay MY rent, not everyone else’s.
Here’s a last reminder for anyone who hasn’t heard it before:
“IF YOU DO NOT SELL YOUR GAME AT LEAST PARTIALLY DIRECT FROM YOUR WEBSITE YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUST THROW A PILE OF MONEY IN THE FIRE”