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THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership

THQ engaged in "very serious discussions" with Jason West and Vince Zampella after the pair parted ways with Activision and Infinity Ward, reports IndustryGamers in an excerpt from their interview with THQ Core Games VP Danny Bilson. West and Zampella's new studio Respawn Entertainment ultimately signed with EA, so it should be no surprise that they were courted by other major publishers. Bilson expresses belief they would have been the best destination because of how developer-friendly they are, and coyly says they will be announcing prominent developer signings over the next six months. Interestingly, the apparent sticking point that prevented them signing Respawn is THQ's insistence on owning all intellectual property. "The only thing we have to have and insist on is ownership of the intellectual property. That’s sort of the deal breaker for me. So, we have to own the IP, but I believe in the Hollywood model, which is that, the bigger the artist, the more important, the more successful they are, the bigger share they get. Just like in Hollywood. But you know, most of the biggest talents in Hollywood don’t own their IPs. It doesn’t work that way. My job coming to this company was to build an IP library, which builds value in THQ. So that means having a developer own the IP becomes a deal-breaker," he tells them. ""That is fantastic for them if they can get away with it. They can’t come here with that. And I don’t need them if that’s the deal, and they’re not a business I want to be in."

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14. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jul 1, 2010, 12:36 Kxmode
 
Teen Drama Aqua Force!  
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13. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jul 1, 2010, 05:45 spindoctor
 
Ruffiana wrote on Jun 30, 2010, 22:07:
The THQ guy is stuck in the old way of thinking that publishers should have as much control as possible...

This is not an old way of thinking, just a different way of thinking.

Agreed.
 
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12. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 23:10 StingingVelvet
 
GAMES ARE NOT HOLLYWOOD FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.

The sooner that becomes more apparent the better.
 
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11. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 22:20 zirik
 
Ruffiana wrote on Jun 30, 2010, 22:07:
In fact, Respawn will ultimately end up with a smaller share of the profits from their deal with EA specifically because EA doesn't get ownership of the IP.

yes smaller share of game sales but respawn will probably earn a lot more from licensing like what activision is doing with the COD series. theyre milking that baby like cattle on a ranch.
 
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10. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 22:09 Hump
 
Yes, because having a proven developer who will make you scads of cash isn't enough.....you have to own their souls as well.  
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9. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 22:07 Ruffiana
 
The THQ guy is stuck in the old way of thinking that publishers should have as much control as possible...

This is not an old way of thinking, just a different way of thinking. Ownership of the IP is important for THQ. That doesn't necessarily mean they're getting a larger share of the profits. In fact, Respawn will ultimately end up with a smaller share of the profits from their deal with EA specifically because EA doesn't get ownership of the IP.
 
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8. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 21:08 Fang
 
This is why THQ fails at developing original IP. They just don't get it. Looking at their catalog, they just have a bunch of Hollywood licenses. I'm sure they can and have built a successful business churning out titles on Hollywood IP. The nice thing is you don't have to worry about quality.

Yeah, Respawn made a good decision passing on them.
 
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7. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:38 zirik
 
THQ thinks that the hollywood model applies to gaming? that is never going to work with developers who created a successful franchise. because unlike the talents from hollywood who will get royalties from previous work no matter what studio they work with, as soon as a developer parts ways with the publisher the royalties from the IP stops. at least that is what i understood about the IW lawsuit against activision.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2010, 19:48.
 
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6. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:38 spindoctor
 
Beamer wrote on Jun 30, 2010, 19:26:
Odd that THQ, which could certainly use this kind of brand boost, argued against that.

It's just different business philosophies at work here.

I don't think this is really some newsworthy revelation. The conflict to retain as much control as possible over the final product is a struggle that 'The Money' and 'The Talent' have had since forever.
 
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5. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:26 Beamer
 
Publishers should have control... against untested studios. It's part of the reason they're willing to take the financial risk.

Respawn isn't untested, though, and could basically write their own check. Odd that THQ, which could certainly use this kind of brand boost, argued against that.
 
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4. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:25 starmonkey
 
Paketep wrote on Jun 30, 2010, 19:17:
And they were right... up until MW2. Then they just fucked up, enormously.

That was the point spindoctor was making...
 
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3. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:17 Paketep
 
spindoctor wrote on Jun 30, 2010, 19:09:
Makes perfect sense. I believe the whole reason behind the Infinity Ward drama was that the founders felt that the IPs they created (Call of Duty and subsequently, Modern Warfare) were being diluted by Activision.

And they were right... up until MW2. Then they just fucked up, enormously.
 
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2. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 19:09 spindoctor
 
Makes perfect sense. I believe the whole reason behind the Infinity Ward drama was that the founders felt that the IPs they created (Call of Duty and subsequently, Modern Warfare) were being diluted by Activision. This time around, they want to keep control of it, which I assume EA allowed them to do. These guys created one of the largest gaming brands in the world, I think they have at least this much leverage. The THQ guy is stuck in the old way of thinking that publishers should have as much control as possible...  
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1. Re: THQ Courted Respawn, Needs IP Ownership Jun 30, 2010, 18:48 Cutter
 
So, they rather have 100% of nothing than a percantage of an IP that would be worth a billion or so? Uh ok. Sounds like a solid business plan to me. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Edit: For clarification sake, I was speaking in regards of THQ. Hell, even a deal where you're guarenteed production costs plus 10 or 20 percent of the sales is still easy money and a lot of it for very little risk. Greed or stupidity, or both on THQ's part? It boggles my mind at any rate.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2010, 21:09.
 
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