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Microsoft and a view on charity

I'll preface this post by saying that I'm genuinely sure Microsoft does a lot of good work for charity - after all, it's success led effectively to the formation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is responsible, basically, for untold wealth and helps multiple good causes.

So I was particularly surprised - and a little disappointed - when I learned last week that the company had levied as normal the standard 30 per cent fee to One Big Game for putting Chime on XBLA.

Basically the idea is that a developer - in this case Zoe Mode - makes a game which (again, in this case) sees all development costs waived and 100 per cent of revenues in the first four months going to OBG. It then puts that money to good use in a variety of children's charities.

Except... after the slice that Microsoft took, that was only 70 per cent of all revenues.

Now - Martin de Ronde, OBG director, was very careful not to criticise the publisher saying that they'd only asked unofficial questions and that it was difficult for a big corporation to change its rules.

Personally, however, I'm a little sceptical as to just how hard it would be to make an exception. After all, some of the biggest names in the industry are giving freely of their time and creative inspiration, including David Perry, Charles Cecil and of course Masaya Matsuura.

I don't think it would have been too much to ask of Microsoft that they enter into the spirit of the charity and agree to waive the 30 per cent cut - just for that initial four-month period.

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