Earlier today, Kotaku ran a guest editorial from an anonymous game developer calling for better game publishers. The editorial decries executives at large publishers who make the decisions, but won't even play the games under their control. It talks of publishers making requests of studios that are wildly expensive to implement. In the end, the editorial describes publishers as chains holding developers back from doing their best.
And that's where outspoken game designer David Jaffe disagrees. In a reaction post on his personal website, Jaffe attacked that line of thought as a "tired accusation."
"You are worth what you can negotiate. Period," stated Jaffe. "Don't like the way a publisher treats you? 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."
Jaffe feels a great team can find ways to get the contract they want, while other developers are thinking too highly of themselves.
"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," he 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. Because at the moment the real world is making something very clear to you. And that is this: you are not as good as you think you are."
"The people who fight against this and complain that the world is not fair are spinning their wheels and wasting their time," he added.