Sony slammed for â??exorbitant royalty demandsâ?

Sony slammed for â??exorbitant royalty demandsâ?

By Rob Crossley

April 17th 2009 at 6:06PM

Syberia 3 console development in doubt as publisher attacks Sony for revenue shortfall

The president of French publishing outfit Microids has slammed Sony for what he refers to as “exorbitant royalty demands”.

Emmanuel Olivier says that Sony’s refusal to sell a number of Microids games in the US is a key reason why the group has delayed production of a third Syberia game.

He also accused Sony of mean royalty demands, and even appealed to fans to support his campaign to pressure Sony into a rethink.

A press release sent out by Microids states that the April 1 announcement of a new Syberia game was not an April fool’s joke. However one crucial fact in the press release seems to have been thrown into doubt.

“It will be released on PC for sure,” said Olivier, “however, on PS3, this could actually turn into an April Fool’s joke because Sony is the only decision-maker on this point, as strange as it may seem to some people.”

Olivier then attempted to explain that the development of Syberia 3 is in doubt because of the “exorbitant royalties demanded by Sony to manufacture the games on its consoles” which “seriously hampers the financing ability of independent producers.”

He claims that, for the project to be economically feasible, the game would need to be released on consoles as well as the PC.

Olivier also speaks about a revenue shortfall which has apparently given Microïds no intention to reinvest in a sequel to the Syberia series. This shortfall comes from PS2 games that were apparently not sold in North America, as well as “excessive  royalties  paid to Sony for the European territories.”

“Microïds has paid more than 15 million Euros of royalties to Sony for its entire catalogue, which represents 55% of the Microïds turnover for this platform,” he said.

Olivier now wants people to rally behind him and put pressure on Sony to restructure its royalty policies. He has offered an email address for those who are inclined to do so:

supporToSyberia3PS3@microids.com


Sony had recently started a scheme – called the Pub Fund – which will see it match the development budget of self-published games in return for PlayStation exclusivity.

The platform holder was unavailable at the time of going to press.