Need advice and have questions about revenue sharing

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  • Hello all! I just had a quick question. I'm not looking for a job or offering a job or anything. I'm working on a game with someone (unrelated to the project I'm creating with C2) and we talked about payment and revenue sharing. I'm new to all of this so I had some dumb and basic questions about revenue sharing.

    I'm not sure what is a fair/reasonable percentage of profit from an indie video game. It's a team of 3 making a 2D side scrolling platformer. Designer/artist/writer/coder, artist and writer. This is the designers idea and dream game. I'm the talented artist on the team and we're just starting to ramp up development now.

    So the designer is offering me 2.5% share of the profit and .5% added to that every month until we ship. That seems quite low to me unless we take a very long time to ship. The designer is definitely doing the majority of the work and deserves the largest piece of the profit. I'll be creating large percentage of the artwork now though and I can create some artwork at a professional (or near professional) level. His artwork is very rudimentary so my art skills will help the game stand out (or at least help the game looks visually pleasing).

    Anyway, just trying to get a sense of the numbers and what's reasonable when it comes to revenue sharing. Thanks for reading my everyone! I'd appreciate any input. I'm American if that helps.

    edit: a little more info. I'll be doing pixel art stuff mainly. I'll be doing sprite sheets, animations, characters, buttons, menu windows, enivornment tilemaps, effects and more. In programs like photoshop, graphicsgale, spriter, pyxledit and more. I'm painting box art for the game in photoshop. I'm also doing lots of character and object designs on pen and paper.

  • I am speaking purely on opinion and supposition, so take this with a grain- no a sea of salt.

    How much revenue share you should be looking at depends upon a few things:

    • How much work you do compared to others (how important your work is to the project) and the quality of your work
    • How much others are getting
    • Costs involved; legal and development costs - if the designer needs to do PR, pay for legal, pay for distribution and everything else, they're going to need a lot more revenue share for that (or whatever other system you choose, like everyone pays equally and so on)
    • How many people there are in the team

    If the game concept is someone's IP, it is expected that they would receive higher revenue share.

    If I were setting up a team, the two main components - coder and artist - would get the highest share. In a two-person team, I would expect 30-30 for share, 20% for costs and PR, 20% for future development (after costs). If you're the main or only artist, you should be looking at at least 20% from profits. Again, only my opinion, but you have ownership of your art, and if the lead artist leaves with all their work, development is screwed, at least until they find a new artist and completely reinvent the game. Less so if the designer can also create art, but still something they should consider.

    If they are talking about revenue, it really depends on how much of that is going to be costs.

    If you have any doubts, or even if you don't, I would suggest you see a solicitor.

    I would ask for a full list of where each percent of revenue share goes, and then see a solicitor.

    Edit: Reading over your post again, I think you should find out a date for when it will ship, and how high that percentage will go. Also, why would they be offering revenue share which increases when the game isn't even shipped? Is it early access/beta?

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  • Hey Sumyjkl! Thanks for taking the time to answer my question! You ask very good questions. I'll have to find out things like the other peoples share of the revenue. It's 3 people and two of us (me and the designer/IP owner) are located in the same town so we can work on the game fairly consistently. I'll mainly work on all the art stuff though he'll make some art stuff. I'd like for the game to consist entirely of my art since I can create a better quality of work but that all depends on time and stuff.

    [quote:3cn2hxa1]...and how high that percentage will go.

    Do you mean our projected profits?

    I'm trying to find out more definite things like release date, production goals, early access info and more. I'm not sure if it's going to be available on beta or early access. Legal costs seems like the complicated stuff though I think we can get some help on it. I was thinking 25-30 % share would be fairest, with the third team member making the least share of the profit. The rest would be profit, legal costs and marketing costs for the designer/IP owner. The ip owner talked about restricting release only one exclusive platform which seems like a waste. It's be restricting all the people that can play your game. I can see the appeal though.

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