Starting with the Super TES and with every new platform released afterwards… offer the player the option into an exclusivity contract for that system. If the player accepts, they may ONLY create games for that system as long as the contract is in place.
Accepting would provide the player with several benefits:
- The license would be given to the player for free to develop on that system.
- A one time cash bonus would be given to the player (tied to the year, larger bonuses for later years)
- Free advertising on each game made for the platform
- ALL publisher deals offered would only be from the primary company (Vony, Ninvento etc) and would only be on the system you have your contract for. (The royalty %, desired game score, target audience, topics and genres would still be random as normal)
Players may also make self published games, but must make them on the platform on which they have a contract.
There are three ways to end an exclusivity contract.
The player may terminate it early, but must pay a HEAVY penalty to do so. The penalty would be tied to the year and would always take a massive chunk out of a player’s finances.
The player may remain on it until the console is taken off the market naturally. This will free them from the contract without any penalty at all.
If the same company comes out with a newer platform they will offer the player a chance to upgrade. If they accept, they get another bonus and their old contract is cancelled and replaced with a new contract for the new platform. So if I had a contract with Vega for the Master V and the Oasis comes out, I could get my contract swapped over to the Oasis and start developing games on that.
The main benefits to exclusivity deals are the bonus payments (good to save yourself from bankruptcy) and the free hype. It also makes publisher contracts more predictable, as you know what system you’ll be developing them for.
The downsides are that it can lock you into a system after that system has lost significant market share but still sticks around for awhile before being taken off the market.