Jaffe: Devs are worth what they can negotiate

Jaffe: Devs are worth what they can negotiate
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

April 16th 2013 at 11:06AM

If you don't like a publisher's treatment, don't sign, says Twisted Metal co-creator

Developers are worth what they can negotiate in game designer David Jaffe's eyes.

The Twisted Metal creator responded to a Kotaku post, allegedly written by someone calling themselves ‘Anonymous Game Developer’, which claimed that game developers – and games themselves – suffer because of the current power of publishers.

While he argued with its notions about games chasing the film business, Jaffe rejected the idea what he referred to as the “tired accusation that it's the publisher keeping game developers down”.

“You are worth what you can negotiate,” he wrote on his personal blog.

“Don’t like the way a publisher treats you? Don’t sign a contract with that particular publisher. Or if you do, make sure you have what you will and won't tolerate written into the contract.

“And if your studio is not good enough to demand better deals and is not clever enough to secure alternate forms of financing (thus allowing you to bypass the publishers all together) then you deserve what you get.”

Jaffe went on to say that he’s sympathetic to the article’s ideal, as it hurts to feel your failures stems from forces beyond your control. But said the writer was failing to accept that “for the time being anyway, you are not as good as you think you are”.

He mentioned that “at least 50 per cent of the time” developers alone aren’t good enough to make the great game they thin they’re capable of making, arguing against the idea that publishers are unnecessary.

If developers want to be treated better, he added, “then improve your team until you can demand in the real world what you think you are really worth in your mind”.