Mr. Strange wrote:Svitska Donkun wrote:I mean, shit the fact that we NEED the fans to raise money for the game, rather than getting a legit development company to produce it, should say something about how executives view the property's marketability.
Actually, there is a really interesting reason that larger companies, as a rule, do not make Godzilla games.
The problem is that Toho is a Japanese company, and so respects Japanese copyright law. Japanese copyright law (J-law) is very different from American copyright law. In America, I can sell my copyright, or a limited use version of it, to anyone. I can write a contract saying that I grant permission to use my IP, in exchange for X. That's legally binding, and so people are willing to pay for X.
In Japan, you CANNOT sell your copyright. Further, copyright is held by the individual, not by a company. This means that Toho doesn't own the rights to most Godzilla monsters!
So here is how the Atari games happened:
Atari approaches Toho, and wants to buy the rights to make Godzilla games. They have to spell out exactly which monsters (because Toho has to send folks out to get agreements from each individual who owns the copyright for that monster) and a length of time. They set a price for this, and sign a contract. But since J-law says that an individual CANNOT sell their copyright, Atari has actually bought nothing. They have bought a handshake deal. Toho, (or any of the individuals they are now representing) can, at any time, decide to revoke their permission for copyright. That would make it illegal for Atari to publish the game. The game takes 2 years or so to produce, so suddenly losing one or more monsters would be a huge problem. And that potential problem can't ever go away - since it is an artifact of J-law.
The result is that American companies pretty much never consider it an acceptable risk to make games (or anything else) based on Japanese properties - because they cannot actually buy the rights to use those properties. As a result, the only people you get making Godzilla games are companies who are in financial trouble, and are willing to take the risks.
Honestly, I think the ONLY way to ever get a really good Godzilla game made would be to have it done in a not-for-profit manner, like we are working on here. If we are not trying to make a profit then Toho can feel comfortable that we are working with their best interests at heart.
Please tell me that someone in Japan has tried to get those kinds of laws changed. That just seems crappy. It makes those who want to work for the copyright holders feel as if they are on a bed of needles below some thin ice while the copyright holders can possibly look like... well, pains.