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Page Staff: zanderlex, Fyredove,
08-17-19 10:03 PM

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Gaming Company's vs Creators
when creators leave gaming companies should they get to keep the rights to what they created?
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Divine Aurora
07-17-16 07:36 PM
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07-18-16 08:00 PM

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Gaming Company's vs Creators

 

07-17-16 07:36 PM
Divine Aurora is Offline
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After getting some great playstation 4 game recommendations from Eirinn:
  he said something that got me thinking about the role of creators with the games they make and the companies that hold the rights to those games even after the creators have moved on ("letting Inafune-san have MegaMan rights, and I've said so as well in an article, but I now wonder. Would that be right? Isn't it like saying if Miyamoto left Nintendo he should keep Mario? Or that Naughty Dog shouldn't have Uncharted rights?") with said and in mind..

I think creators should have the right to take the creative properties they made with them when they leave gaming companies, but now I'm asking others..

When creators leave gaming companies should the creators also get to keep the rights to the games they make?
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(edited by Divine Aurora on 07-17-16 07:38 PM)    

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07-17-16 08:04 PM
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Hm. I feel like the creators should get to keep the rights, but in reality the companies are the ones that license and actually sell the game, so honestly the companies have to keep the rights to keep any kind of stability going. Otherwise, the creators can leave and take all the profits and funding that the companies need to stay afloat.

So, now that I've actually given some thought to this, while it would be nice if the game creators could keep the rights to the games that they made and everything, I think that the companies need to keep aforementioned rights, if only to keep economic stability within the gaming industry. Plus, it's not like creators make the games by themselves, because the companies have to do stuff like graphics, sounds, and game play in general as far as I know, and have to supply employees to do so.

But hey, what do I know, I just play the games lol.
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07-17-16 08:31 PM
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Here's the way I see it: Creators should have the rights to the characters they created.They did create them after all.But, they were still hired by the company to make said characters for their products, in this case, a video game.So, since the company paid the creators to make a character for their game, the creator can only have claim to the character he/she made.Not the game they made it for.

At least, that's how I see it.
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07-17-16 09:34 PM
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Sounds like a smart dude. I should talk to him sometime...

Eh, this is a bit of difficult matter. Legally of course when you create a game while working for a company, the IP rights are theirs. You agree to this in making the game with them instead of publishing it as an independent project. But the question here is a moral one, not a legal one. This is where it gets tricky...

On one hand you can say the "creator" of the IP should get to keep the rights, and this makes sense as the game wouldn't exist without them. Also it's essentially their thoughts being manifest in a digital format. To say anyone shouldn't have full rights to their own thoughts is borderline lunacy, unless of course we look at the full view of things here...

First of all, the idea for a game does not make a game anymore than the idea for a mansion actually gives me one set atop a hill. Lol The game is comprised of many small intricate pieces, all placed together in a way that makes them work as a single, functioning piece of interactive art. The "creator" of the game when viewed in this light actually becomes more the "imaginer" or the "director". You see, Inafune-san did not in all actuality create mega man, nor did any other single person. Inafune-san thought up some mega man game ideas and directed their development, but the Capcom team created it, or in other words, he thought it up and his team made his thoughts a reality. So then technically the concept was his, but all character sprites, music, scripts, and literally every other asset associated with the game both in-game and otherwise was made by other people and therefore the "creator gets the rights" idea would go in favor of the team he worked with him to make the idea he had a reality.

But then with the name and concept, Inafune-san could make new mega man games, but by the aforementioned argument he would have only the aspects he imagined as his own, and so he would have to redesign mega man in appearance and everything. Only gameplay and name would remain the same.


But in the end I think I have to say that Capcom deserves the rights even on a moral level as Inafune-san made those games for them and was paid in return. Anytime someone is given money and they do something in return, you are buying what they do and they are consenting to that. It's like the architect that designed your house can't claim rights to it and kick you out. You paid for it, so it's yours.


I will however say this: if Capcom doesn't plan to use mega man, why hold onto the rights and kill it? Give them (or sell them) to someone who will use them, like Inafune-san. There's no sense in clinging to a dead IP that you won't revive while refusing to let others do so.



Discussion point aside, fun fact: Keiji Inafune didn't create mega man, Akira Kitamura did. Or at least the character. No idea who came up with the concept.
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07-17-16 09:56 PM
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Legally speaking, most of the time it's no longer yours if you work for a company. Here's a scenario, Nintendo makes Mario games, the guy leaves and he takes Mario and lets another company make the games. That would be very bad for Nintendo in many ways, whether its financial ways, reputation, or others. Most of the time, a company wont even sign someone unless they give that company exclusive rights to their product, and it should stay that way in my opinion.

If creators were able to make something and keep it, and then bounce around companies to find what they like the most, then each company will change the game however they want, or the price and what we get will always be inconsistent. Just look at Call of Duty. Activision own the rights to Call of Duty, and they delegate those rights to different developers but the quality drastically changes between each game.

If someone wants to keep their rights, they should not get involved in a company in the first place, or start their own and stick with it.

Whether it's a royalty or a salary, or just a commission, that transaction gives the rights, look at Ghostwriters. A Ghostwriter writes a book, but they sell the book to someone else and get paid, and nobody ever knows who they were.
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07-17-16 09:58 PM
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Okay here is my take on the topic. I think companies should keep the assets. They own the assets. If you make a pizza at a pizza place, you cant just take it when you leave, unless payed for. I mean they did create the game, but using the hardware/software, studio, etc that the company bought. That's my opinion. And I don't like most of my opinions so loll. 
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07-18-16 02:14 AM
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Well, I honestly believe that the companies not only deserve the rights (whether they use them for the best or not is up for debate on an individual basis lol), but they also should be able to keep them. Like most everyone else has said, the creators were paid for their ideas and work, and therefore the rights to said work should remain within the company as a whole.

Now, if a creator had published their own game, on their own or with their own company, and then their game company was bought out after a few titles were released, then it becomes a little more tricky. You would still have to lean towards the company who bought them to keep the rights, but at the same time, the creator had the title and concept completely published and out there before ever being bought. It would really just come to down to what kind of legal documents were signed in determining who would be able to keep the rights if the creator ended up leaving the new company. Though in my personal opinion, I would think the creator should be able to keep the rights in this scenario (assuming he joined the new company in the first place, and then left), unless during the buying process, part of the compensation was specified for the rights of every title the bought company had. If nothing else, I would like the creator to at least keep the rights for the titles published before the buy out.

As much as I'd like to see someone who created something keep the rights to their ideas, it generally doesn't work that way. Companies have to look out for themselves, and in reality this means they make sure one way or another to keep the rights within the company, regardless of who may leave or brought said rights to the company to begin with. They get paid to bring the work to the company, so you can't just take everything you were paid for with you when you go. I think enough users made good analogies about this already lol
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07-18-16 08:00 PM
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Calvin and Hobbes is an interesting example. Bill Watterson refused to license his characters, essentially allowing others to use them on t-shirts, etc. without paying the company he worked for some fee. I remember seeing such t-shirts being sold on the streets of Washington, D.C. when I was young. I even got one that said "I'm not smiling, I'm passing gas" with Calvin in the pose of passing gas.
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