My images scanned for video game-what to charge?

 
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Koa
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Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 3:30 am    Post subject: My images scanned for video game-what to charge? Reply with quote

I have a small game company which wants to use my images for their new video game (due out summer 2010). I am to make images of my models in standard game scanning positions as well as provide images of models posing other non-standard positions. They also want me to provide images of indian artifacts, caves, foliage etc so they can scan them in and use them as background and as textures.

Anyone know what to charge for that? This is a first for this genre and the game developer said he would give me 4% of the profits of the game. No one has invested in the game so it is being produced on a shoe string budget.

The models body and faces will be recognizable in the game. I submitted one model as a test and they sent me back a first pass scan and the model, once placed on the animated digital skeleton is very much recognizable.

Thus far, I am the only person capable of providing these types of images. Some are in studio and others are outside. We are talking money and contracts but I don't know what to charge for this. I have a program by Cradoc (FotoQuote) that gives a price range for photography but I do not see anything for video games.

Since the developer is cash poor, he has no money to pay me up front so I opted for a percentage of the profits (if any)and I still retain the rights of the images used (he wanted full copyright transfer and I refused... it was a take it or leave it but the copyright stays with me). This way, if the game makes a profit, I continue getting revenue. If he stops payments, then the license is canceled and then he cannot legally distribute the game since it contains derivative works of my images.

The sticking point is what percentage to charge. Can anyone help with this? -Koa-
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Gordon Moat
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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Location: San Diego & Houston

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That 4% of profits is not a bad thing, though it would depend upon their expenses. The downside is that if their profits are low, then 4% would be quite low. A safer bet would be 5% of production expenses, which also means you get paid prior to launch. Obviously, you would bill expenses above that.

I did music CD packages that way in the past, though I was getting 3% of sales, not 3% of profits. Two downsides to this are the deferred payment and a slight lack of transparency. It is tough to verify actual sales, even if I was able to find out actual production. These deals were one of the things that got me away from this model of pricing structure.
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Koa
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Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 22
Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Gordon! Nice to see you here. Thanks for the reply. I kinda thought that was in the price range but was not sure.

My suggestion to the developer was 2% of profits and then 5% once the game hit 500 copies sold. I did think about the fact that I could not verify number of copies sold.

He also wants to use my images for advertising and merchandise such as T-shirts, coffee mugs as well. I told them those are separate agreements and that I would expect to get paid a flat fee for each item sold, such as $2 per T-shirt. What he makes above me and the actual cost of the t-shirt is his. So if the total to manufacture the shirt is $6 (including my cut) and he sells the shirt for $16, then he makes $10. But if he sells the shirt for $7 then he makes $1. Makes no difference to me as long as i get my flat rate cut of the merchandise.

So, I am assuming by what you said that the percentage would cover all images scanned into the game. I'm agreeable to that.

If this game does decently, there may be a Part II so this pricing structure can be modified later depending how this situation pans out.

-Koa-
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