"The extra funding was necessary but agreeing to clauses that include IP seizure is beyond stupid."
- Team17 MD Debbie Bestwick admits that her company nearly lost the Worms
Back in the late 1990s, Team17 needed additional funding to get one of the Worms
games finished. The contract the studio ended up signing with an unnamed publisher had an eye-opening clause in it.
"Sales targets were set by the publisher, together with a clause that the Worms
IP would be relinquished should those figures not be met," Bestwick told Develop
. "A close working relationship with the publisher’s team allowed Team17 to monitor orders on a day-to-day basis, knowing every single unit sold and where it had shipped over the previous 12 months (the target had to be hit within 12 months)."
Fortunately for the team, the sales target was beaten -- but barely. Sales of the game hit just 1.7 percent above the target -- any less, and Team17 would have lost the Worms