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Non-competes in the game industry.

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For those of you who work in the game industry, did you have to sign a non-compete contract? If so, what was the scope of it? Did it have any time or geographical limits? I had to sign one of these bad boys recently. I'm curious about how common they are in the game industry. Edit: as far as scope, mine forbids me from working at any other game developer in my state for at least 1 year following the termination of my employment, whether I quit or get fired or whatever.

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These are fairly common in my country: you agree not to work for a competitor for a year anywhere in the country, and in return the company pays you a fraction of your previous salary for that same duration.

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I thought that existed for all companies? I've signed ones from a software company to a supermarket warehouse job (in fact one guy got fired because he was pulling extra shifts at a competitors warehouse). I always thought it was a standard clause in every contract.

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Wow, a supermarket warehouse? Weird. This is the first one I've had to sign. Then again, this is the first actual employment contract I've signed. With other jobs it's usually just "read the employee handbook, blah blah blah."

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I didn't have to sign anything saying that I couldn't work for a competitor for any length of time if I decide to leave.

I DID have to sign a contract saying that I wouldn't attempt to recruit employees of my current company for a year after leaving.

Not being able to work for another company if you quit? That sounds pretty terrible.

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I don't work in the game industry, but I do software development. I didn't sign a non-compete contract when I was hired because it was a startup company and hadn't thought of those things yet. Now that the company is growing and the bureaucracy is kicking in, we were all asked to sign a non-compete contract but my manager vetoed it because it was way too restrictive. I think the way it was worded, it would have meant that I couldn't work anywhere in the software industry for years after quitting.

As far as I know, non-compete clauses in your contract are fairly common, but range greatly in how restrictive they are. Always read your employment contract before signing it :)

[Edited by - DigitalShadow on July 27, 2008 2:54:44 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by dashurc
Not being able to work for another company if you quit? That sounds pretty terrible.


Depends on the exact terms.

One of my contracts specified that I would be paid half of my former salary monthly for another year, and that I would still be paid that even if I worked for another company (as long as that company wasn't a competitor of my former employer). The employer is free to decide whether the clause is enforced, when the contract is broken: either I'm paid for a full year and can't compete, or I'm not paid and I can compete.

Another of my contracts specified that I would be paid my full salary, and still work for a non-competing company, but the employer could stop the procedure every three months if he decided I could work for a competitor or he couldn't afford preventing me from it.

In the end, unless you have acquired skills that are very useful to a competitor, the employer will not bother paying and thus the non-compete agreement would just dissolve. This, of course, is all under french law.

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I've only seen contracts in Australia with clauses that said I couldn't compete at the same time as my employment with the company (i.e. I couldn't moonlight in the same field in direct competition). I've never seen any contracts with a clause restricting my employment after I leave the company.

I certainly wouldn't sign a contract with any conditions that stipulate that I can't work in the same field for any time after my employment has ended. I'm not even sure if that's legal in Australia.

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Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
I've only seen contracts in Australia with clauses that said I couldn't compete at the same time as my employment with the company (i.e. I couldn't moonlight in the same field in direct competition). I've never seen any contracts with a clause restricting my employment after I leave the company.

I certainly wouldn't sign a contract with any conditions that stipulate that I can't work in the same field for any time after my employment has ended. I'm not even sure if that's legal in Australia.


Ditto. It seems a rather alien concept in Melbourne where people keep switching from company to company (seeing as how we're all located within 15 minutes of each other, yes 90% of the Melbourne-based industry, I am not making this up). Our boss continually rings up people at another company who used to work for us to ask questions about hardware, etc, in their field of expertise, and other companies ask favours of us here. It seems rather communal than competitive.

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Mine is slightly different, it states I can't work for a company we have direct contact with (publisher etc) for a year after leaving, presumably to prevent poaching.

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