Oh Dear! Team 17 Nearly Lost Worms IP to Publisher in the 90’s

Ah the 90’s, the years of the Fresh Prince, Spice Girls, and Crash Bandicoot, but little did my pre-teen self know that one of my favourite gaming franchises, Worms, could have been no more due to the developers, Team 17, almost losing the IP to an unnamed publisher way back when.

According to Team 17 MD, Debbie Beswtick, speaking to Develop, the company has almost lost the Worms IP, twice, with the 1990’s being the closest. But why? Did a big bad publisher step on some toes? Nope, the developers signed a clause which, if sales targets set by the publisher weren’t met, would mean the Worms IP would be relinquished by the publisher. Silly Team 17.

Luckily, and coincidentally, the developer exceeded sales targets by 1.7 per cent.

“The business had to recoup on a loan with an unnamed publisher,” said Bestwick. “For a number of reasons, we were behind schedule by around four to five months on a big game. Extra funding was needed in order to make it through to release. Sales targets were set by the publisher, together with a clause that the Worms IP would be relinquished should those figures not be met.

“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).

“At the time, the extra funding was necessary but agreeing to clauses that include IP seizure is beyond stupid.”

The full column which likely explains things in more detail will be published by Develop later today, so head to the source link below to read more.

Join the Conversation

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of