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TylerDoak

Revenue Sharing

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TylerDoak    100
Hey all!
Sorry if this is the wrong thread.

I've been working on a game for a few years and am about to put it to market.
I have one other team member who did all the music for the game.
I know it's best to make a contract as soon as possible, but unfortunately we haven't yet.

It's a game with many art assets and programming from the game to the map and animation editor. I did all that and the sound and mechanics design. (youtube aces wild xna to check it out)
He has created 6 fantastic tracks so far and will probably end up making 10 total to fit out needs. They range from about 50 secs to a minute and a half in length.

I really don't want to screw him over but I don't want to screw myself over either. I also want to be able to work with this musician on future projects so I want him to feel appreciated and valuable. We also want him to retain the rights to his music.

We agreed to simply do profit sharing, but neither of us really know how to split it.

Any information or advice would be great!

Thanks!

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Tom Sloper    16040
[quote name='Kicks42' timestamp='1306138894' post='4814505']
We agreed to simply do profit sharing, but neither of us really know how to split it.
Any information or advice would be great!
[/quote]
Get a time machine and go back in time to when you all said you would share profits, and write a collaboration agreement. Then come back to the present and the problem won't exist.

If for some reason you can't get a time machine, then here's another magical-sounding suggestion: talk to your collaborators, discuss among you how to share profits. When you reach agreement, put it on paper. Better late than never, if any profits ever come in.

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TylerDoak    100
Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

So is hours put in generally a good place to start?
It just seems a bit unfair for the musician. I've been working on it for about 2 and a half years and put in about 8 hours or more each day.
I would estimate around 13 to 48 hours are put in by the musician for each track.

Before calculating all this and posting here I estimated 1% to 5% would go to the musician. It seemed sorta fair and congruent with others (non musicians) I had spoken with. But I also wanted to do a bit better than 'fair' for him.

He's currently attending a college for music that has a wonderful integration of game music and industry production in their curriculum. I've asked him to discuss it with his teachers but he hasn't gotten back to me yet in that regard.

Any other input would be hugely appreciated!

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Tom Sloper    16040
[quote name='Kicks42' timestamp='1306180878' post='4814724']
Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

So is hours put in generally a good place to start?
[/quote]
We are the wrong people to ask. Your teammates are the ones you need to ask.

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frob    44908
[quote name='Kicks42' timestamp='1306180878' post='4814724']
Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

So is hours put in generally a good place to start?
It just seems a bit unfair for the musician. I've been working on it for about 2 and a half years and put in about 8 hours or more each day.
I would estimate around 13 to 48 hours are put in by the musician for each track.
...
[color=#1C2837][size=2]Any information or advice would be great![/size][/color]
[/quote]

Probably not unless you are paying directly as a work for hire.

Going by hours creates the task of tracking and verifying how many hours were spent for various tasks. And you have a natural issue that additional work causes devaluation of all other work. Then you get to factor in hours spent on stuff that wasn't included for whatever reason.

As a general recommendation any distribution of profits should be entirely discretionary. That means you aren't bound to give any amount of money. If you are unable or unwilling to do that, make sure that whatever you implement can be easily verified and computed by any outside observer; there is the possibility of an audit by anyone who contributed to the project to make sure they are getting their fair share.


I also STRONGLY recommend that you get a competent business lawyer involved before you start committing to this. Beyond just spreading out money, you will also need to make sure you properly handle various rights assignments and taxes and licensing and other basic aspects of running a business.

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Obscure    175
While this answer wont please the musician the fact is that the music is only a small part of the project and, unless you want to be over generous, the revenue share should reflect that. Hours worked isn't an unreasonable measure. You are both doing challenging creative work so it isn't as if their work is intrinsically more valuable than yours.

As a very rough guide I worked on a project with a 250k budget and the music/sound cost around 10k and another where the budget was 500k and the music/sound 12k.

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Tom Sloper    16040
[quote name='frob' timestamp='1306186373' post='4814763']
I also STRONGLY recommend that you get a competent business lawyer involved before you start committing to this. [/quote]
Seconded.

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