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.

Via Joystiq

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6 Comments on Obsidian Missed Getting New Vegas Royalties By One Metacritic Point


On March 16, 2012 at 4:03 am

that pisses me off!!! skyrim is an overrated game, and its metacritic score is FORGED. fact is, skyrim is a GAME for ASSWIPES. those bethesda s, try to screw over a small and original company by 1 percent. point is, the only score bethesda games deserve is ‘BROWN ZERO’


On March 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

New Vegas wasnt bad but f3 was better. And how is Skyrim overrated? Only thing I was disappointed about with it was that it was obviously made for consoles but with the modding community that is now pointless to argue. Or are you one of the people that had issues with it playing? Only issue i have is when i open a damn door sometimes all the in the room goes flying around.

Want an overrated game….play WoW or MW3.

WoW is even more overrated than MW3 since you need to pay monthly to freaking play the damn thing, which is the same thing over and over again after about lvl 20.


On March 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

But yea, I would be upset if I was an Obsidian dev. 1 point…..damn.


On March 16, 2012 at 10:44 am

It’s very curious that years later Obsidian comes out says they missed a bonus by 1 metacritic point. More so since they are now in financial trouble. I don’t sounds like he’s saying this to drum up some publicity for his company and call out Bethesda. Which is perfectly fine as long as they don’t take it too far.

Shiggz RocketSurgeon

On March 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

Stupids, should have split that $$$ pot up a few different ways.

Obsidian did a great job with New Vegas! I don’t care if obsidian loses a bonus of 300 mil but I do care if they don’t make enough money for their effort and then wont/cant help Bethesda with games in the future.

Bethesda and Bioware are the about the only big games I still anxiously await and buy. I am not buying any more MMO’s.

Shiggz RocketSurgeon

On March 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

So, that simple “face gen bug” ended up costing them that point+ and thus 300million.

That’s got to go down in coder boner history!

I still clearly recall one day shortly after release, I reposted that simple old direct3d file (thats been popular for so many gamers) on new vegas nexus to bypass that problem and a storm esploded!