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Abdulaziz Alhouqal

Transferring project from one team to another

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Hello,

 

I am currently in the middle of a game project for iOS. The problem is that my choice was not the best when choosing a game development company (bad animation, bad programming... etc). I really want to change the company but I do not know how hard it is to transfer a project which is under development from one company to another. I need the forums advice on this issue. Also, I would love a recommendation from the forum on some decent game development companies out there.

 

Thanks,

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So to be clear:

 

You have made a contract with a game studio to make a game for you. You want to terminate the contract with the current company, and you want to establish a new contract with a new company?

 

If that's the case, then those are the steps. Your contract -- assuming it was written by a competent lawyer -- should specify the ways to terminate the agreement. Your lawyer can help you in terminating the agreement. Getting a contract with a new studio is a matter of shopping around.

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I need the forums advice on this issue.
Actually it sounds like you need a lawyer's advice on that issue.

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What Frob said. See the termination clause in the contract, and have your lawyer write the necessary letter. As for how to find a developer: do research on games similar to yours, and/or on the same platform. Collect developer names and start making some calls. Have an NDA handy, and have a requirements doc ready. I'm thinking this is mostly a Business/Law question rather than a Production/Mgt. question, and I might move this to the other forum.

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but I do not know how hard it is to transfer a project which is under development from one company to another.

 

From a  production standpoint, it depends how far along you are.

That being said, if you already know there is a problem with art and animation, I would imagine you're pretty far along (nearing some form of Alpha perhaps?)

Financially, you could end up losing a lot of money, so it depends whether you intend on maintaining the project after launch, and when you plan to launch.

 

For companies, shop around. Or you can always ask yours truly. Contact me through PM if you're serious.

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If you look at past projects where details got out about such changes (I know mostly about AAA ones though), most of the time such a change of studio / dev team meant quite a setback for the project initially... if that is the question ("...how hard...").

 

The new studio will at least have to get up to speed with your requirements, develop the necessary tools and skillsets to get efficient (IDK if the tools written by the old team would be transferable to the new team... are they included in your contract, or are thy still owned by the dev team?)...

They might (hopefully will) bring in new ideas about how to tackle the project, which means some backtracking and redoing.

 

Then you already say you are not happy with the results of the old studio, meaning that you plan to throw away or eventually replace most of these assets... so the new team will start maybe not from square one, but close...

 

 

If that wasn't the question, of course, the other guys in the thread answered all the legal stuff much better than I ever could.

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Thank you all for your support on the subject, and apologies for taking time to answer. We have actually finished the contract and the developer was paid fully, so I do not think there is any legal issues (my mistake for not pointing that out). From the developers point of view, the game is ready for launch but we see a lot of flaws in the animations, art and sounds. We have already contacted an amazing animator and he is working with us right now. The development company didn't like that we are outsourcing the animator, so they are making it hard for us to continue with a new contract and fix the problems. That is why we want to transfer the project to another team. Our question is do we only need the source files? will that be enough for the new company to start on fixing the project? or is it easier and more efficient to start from scratch?

 

Thanks again,

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Thank you all for your support on the subject, and apologies for taking time to answer. We have actually finished the contract and the developer was paid fully, so I do not think there is any legal issues (my mistake for not pointing that out). From the developers point of view, the game is ready for launch but we see a lot of flaws in the animations, art and sounds. We have already contacted an amazing animator and he is working with us right now. The development company didn't like that we are outsourcing the animator, so they are making it hard for us to continue with a new contract and fix the problems. That is why we want to transfer the project to another team. Our question is do we only need the source files? will that be enough for the new company to start on fixing the project? or is it easier and more efficient to start from scratch?

 

Thanks again,

 

What kind of tools where they using to create the assets? What kind of engine, if any? Are you sure your contract will give you rights on everything used (Assets, tools, engine), or was the original developer using off the self products for tools and engine (3DS Max, Blender, Unity, Unreal, ...)?

 

If they were using proprietary tools and engines that they kept the rights to, you might have a difficult time getting access to that part of the work. Probably you will need to pay them something to license it, or start from scratch (though depending on how the compiled game is set up and what you need to change to fix it, you might get away without access to some tools or the engine source... it would be similar to how some mods work that just replace asset files in the unpacked game structure).

 

Don't know, you will need to check what you got handed over at the end of the last contract, or what your contract says you should get.

 

 

And I guess at some point, a lawyer should be involved when it comes to contracts.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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