Obsidian Missed Getting New Vegas Royalties By One Metacritic Point
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment before, you know that it’s a ruthless place. Certainly this means there are plenty of people with too much free time and a knife waiting to plunge into your back, assuming it would benefit them, but I’m taking about ruthlessness of the efficiency variety. They keep track of everything, from the length of your last break to the number of times you visited the bathroom. The whole point is to cover their bases in case they need to do something unpleasant. Like fire you for not being very fun to be around, but the excuse is that you took 15 sick minutes too many.
It isn’t evil, it’s just cold. When it works in your favor though, it’s awesome. Like bonus agreements. Get them in writing. Because you’ll be celebrating later. Unless you’re Obsidian. It seems Obsidian’s agreement to build Fallout: New Vegas came with the extra incentive of potential royalties. That’s awesome, as the game has generated revenues of over $300 million. Alas, the royalty deal wasn’t tied to revenues. It was tied to a Metacritic rating. And Obsidian missed the mark, literally, by one point. That sad news was confirmed on twitter by Chris Avellone earlier this week. “[Fallout: New Vegas] was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn’t”.
Ouch. It sucks there wasn’t an ‘almost but not quite’ backup deal. What’s interesting though? The tweet in which Avellone admitted this has been deleted, suggesting that he just revealed confidential company information. Hopefully that doesn’t get him in trouble. Whether or not it does, out hearts are with him. Getting screwed out of significant money over a very tiny number smarts.