According to Twisted Metal and God of War developer David Jaffe, the idea that publishers are hurting videogame development—or stifling it—is completely untrue.
Responding to an anonymously authored article that appeared on Kotaku about the stranglehold publishers have over developers and how much their supposed inept management hurts games, David Jaffe launched into his own rant on his personal blog.
In the post, Jaffe suggests that developers drop the ball by not being smarter and savvier when signing contracts and negotiating business deals with publishers.
“Don’t like the way a publisher treats you?” wrote Jaffe. “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.”
The Twisted Metal/God of War developer says that while he agrees with many of the anonymous Kotaku author’s points, he “rejects the tired accusation that it’s the publisher keeping game developers down.” Jaffe suggests that people trying to fight against the traditional publisher-developer relationship are “wasting their time.” He reiterates, quite frequently, that the onus is all on developers.
“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 also wrote. “You want to be treated better? Sign a contract demanding it. You are not able to get such a contract? Then improve your team until you can demand in the real world what you think you are really worth in your mind.”
Before agreeing—or disagreeing—with Jaffe’s sentiments, read the full article by the Anonymous Game Developer on Kotaku.