Hi Charles,
Yes, things can get very messy in that situation. For that precise reason that's why most mainstream game companies refuse end user suggestions, story ideas, game ideas, etc. They know they have to sign a contract with them, and that could become a legal nightmare. Especially, if the game happens to be come very popular.

Let's assume Joe Smith were to sign a contract with Sony Entertainment allowing them to use his ideas for Star Warrior for the grand sum of 10% of the total income. Well, it turns out Star Warrior is very popular and grosses 50 million dollars. Here is the guy with all the ideas and he gets only a meager 5 million for his idea when Sony walks away with the other 45 million. Suddenly he thinks he got shafted, got the short end of the stick, so now he sues Sony and wants a bigger chunk of the money. Say at least 20 million for his idea. Sony is going to tell him to jump in a lake because he got paid according to the contract, but he claims that the terms of the contract were unfair, that he was forced into accepting a lower percentage of the income, and so on. Now, he wants to renegotiate more favorable terms in the original contract. You can see how that could turn into a legal nightmare. The only people who get ritch in a case like that is the lawyers who will want their big chunk of the pie too.

Charles Rivard wrote:
I thought it was an interesting question, and from your first response, it sounds like things could get messy when it comes to having someone else do your programming.

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