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Offering devs capped revenue share is 'exploitation', says Zee-3's John Pickford

Workers end up saddling all the risk
Offering devs capped revenue share is 'exploitation', says Zee-3's John Pickford

Zee-3 co-founder John Pickford has hit out at the "exploitation" of indie developers, arguing the practice of capped revenue share is simply not fair.

Speaking on the Pickford Bros blog, John said offering developers capped revenue share paying an agreed development fee from sales revenue generated from the game, with no money paid upfront or once the agree fee has been paid off is damaging the industry.

Capped potential

"Capped revenue share isn't revenue share, it's exploitation," he said in the blog entry.

"The individual developer takes all the risk and the very best they can hope for is to be paid, eventually, if the game does well, but with every chance they won't get paid at all. There's no upside."

The argument against capped revenue share also centres around the idea that those hired to work on the game in question are locked away from any extra revenue it might make if it's more successful than expected.

"Working for no money up front is a risk, of course, but with a fair, uncapped revenue share deal, the chance of not being paid at all is balanced against the possibility of earning big should the game go on to be a financial success," he concluded.

"There are no end of young developers who are keen to get into the industry and it seems many would likely sign up to capped revenue shares just for the experience, perhaps not even spotting the unfairness of the deal."

[source: Pickford Bros.]