Saturday, May 29, 2004
A positive development: Those interested in politics can just skip this item. Warner Bros. announced this week that it would be penalizing video game publishers who put out bad games based on their licenses by demanding higher royalty payments.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last week, WBIE senior vice president Jason Hall revealed that his company is now using review-aggregation sites such as GameRankings.com to determine royalty rates from publishers licensing properties based on Warner Bros. movie, television, or other media. If the game does not achieve an average 70-percent rating, the publisher will have to pay a penalty in the form of higher royalties.
"An escalating royalty rate kicks in to help compensate us for the brand damage that's taking place," Hall told the Reporter. "The further away from 70 percent it gets, the more expensive the royalty rate becomes. So, frankly, if the publisher delivers on what they promised--to produce a great game--it's not even an issue."
If such a system had been in place for the past decade or so among all game publishers, a lot of bad "Star Trek" games would have never seen the light of day -- and that's a good thing.
Of course, the flip side would be a good idea too. Then we wouldn't have had "Wing Commander," or "Tomb Raider."
Though, done right, "Full Throttle" would make a great movie.