It doesn't surprise me that a discount publisher can do so well. Expert was in a position to do even better a few years ago, but they decided that they wanted to be a top-shelf publisher and got caught up with giant money-losers like the McDonald's brand games.
Frankly, I knew Expert was in serious trouble when one of their project managers, apparently moved by conscience, started referring developers to me, knowing that I'd talk 'em out of signing with Expert.
Well, I'm now two weeks overdue for my royalty check from Activision/Expert, and I can't seem to get 'em to mail it. I'm amazed how such a big company, reportedly replete with cash, can be so cavalier about breaking their contract dates. Needless to say, Activision's not gonna be high on my list for my next game project, as they don't seem to put a lot of emphasis on honoring their contracts.
I guess it was pretty silly of me to think that my checks would start arriving on time after the unprofitable company was bought out by the profitable company. I guess Activision makes their money the old fashioned way --they don't pay their bills!