Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tokopop's Pilot program

thanks to Halfling passing links to me:

I have a piece of mind about Tokopop's Pilot program after reading those posts. I want to write and share it somewhere....

Artists need to recognize that publishing is a business involving art, .... but its not art.

One thing that annoys me is that people mix up a company that do bad contracts with moral, and refer to them as evil before understanding what's involved in running a business like national wide and international wide publishing. That just sounds kind of naive to me.

One will recognize it after they do some publishing themselves. It's not easy, and some contracts are made the way it's done because that's the safest for the company to survive some confusing laws that can screw them over in court.
Though it doesn't mean it's fair, but games are played a certain way because it just work better that way under the rules we have. It doesn't mean artists should get ripped off.... we are the source of production, so we deserve our share of reward.

The reason why the artists have problem with contracts like the Pilot program is because it involves personal work they treasure so much and felt the publishers can just steal it away after they sign the contract. Pretty similar to the kind of reaction we have over Orphan act. It's that protective sense of nature.

Its only natural artists feel this way, but artists need to step away from their feelings and see how this whole business fields work.

Don't assume the company is going to make a big buck out of you, chances are, usually they don't unless you become incredibly successful. And a lot of people needs to be involved before you can become successful. A success story is never an one man story even if they only promote one person.

And very few gets that privilege with the right market, right timing, and right condition of the artist and the support company. How many can hit the top 10 spots in sales? Only 10. What happens to the other 10'000+ titles? Someone still paid for those to be made and could have lost money.

Companies need to make a certain amount to stay alive, they appear big doesn't mean they are making big bucks. The profit is often divided up to pay for the cost, including to the projects that don't make money, to pay the share folder, to help expand the company and keep it running.

Tokyopop's pilot program is only a reflection of more than enough artists to hire, but not enough hit titles. That means they are not making a steady amount of income out of original titles, but they are still doing it, even with limited resources in this economy down time. For that I applause their willingness to try.

They even try to write the contract in normal english, so normal artists can understand it. Another bold move I was thinking to do, and seeing what problems came out of it, it was a good learning experience for me.

It doesn't mean I like their contract, it's not the best contract. But from what I have read, I suppose there's worse. This deal is better than contest deals, which you just throw in your work and never get any return for 99% of the time.

If it's only 6-24 pages they took away.... so what? Don't all amatures throw away the same amount of pages for a contest and did not win? What's wrong with giving a little more for the chance to be in the game?

6-24 pages...What can they do with it but to advertise with it? If they realize this project makes money, and you will still become the next available artist for them to hire, because I know most publishers would like the team to stay consistent, unless you get busy with some other stuff or you are crappy to work with, they might hire others to do the job. They are a company, and you are working on their projects as a worker for hire, of course they can do that.

And why should the company call the artists to tell them their work is rejected and play the bad guy, and go through 1-2 hours on phone trying to tell the artist WHY the work is rejected? Some artists can get pretty emotional and crappy to deal with over the phone on a "rejection" issue.

If they are kind enough they may E-mail you or send you a letter... but even that means $ to spend! They will need someone to do that job for the amount of entries and titles they are getting.

That kind of workload will overwhelm any company, it's unneeded spending where money can be spent on better places. It's a good thing they tell you how long you should expect a rejection and didn't make you wait 1-2 years with uncertainty.

Never rely on that one company to feed your mouth, throw your stuff out there to them if you want to, but don't count on them.

Artists should realize they never should give their important brain child away to companies like this, but you can always separate working professionally, or privately for the enjoyment of art.

Artists need to understand business is business, passion is warm, but money is cold, and money do the talking in business.

If you make them money you are the golden hen, they will give you the best food, if you don't make them money you are just a somebody else in the sea of thousands.

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