Last night I get an email from the company that they want to pay me about $300 for the rights to publish as many copies of the game as they want in Israel (but will only pay me if they publish it at all), and that I can keep the international rights.
This isn't a bad offer for my first game. They ignored all of the rest of the issues I brought up in previous emails. I also have no idea how they came up with that figure. I told them to give me until Sunday to think about it.
They said they would give me until Saturday night, since they have to go to the company who may want to buy it on Sunday morning. I said fine.
I woke up this morning ready to say "yes" to find an email in my box saying that they have decided not to use my game period. Why? Apparently they sent this offer to some other designers they were considering and someone else said "yes", first. This despite me having gone to Tel Aviv twice, and them having made a number of nice mock-ups of the game.
And the strangest thing is, is that the game is still saleable to any number of other companies; it is not specific for one company. Just slap on a similar theme, and sell it to them. Why decide not to use the game altogether?
I think that some combination of them, or their lawyer, none of whom has any experience in the game world, decided that they have to get tough and move quickly, and that they don't have time to deal with someone who doesn't just take whatever is offered and leaves.
They were under no obligation to publish my game. But they told me so often how much they like it that I feel used now that this is not going forward.
On the darker side, despite how nice they seem, I am also aware of the fact that they now have a well-balanced and playable set of game rules, which they assure me that they won't use, and I have nothing. There is the possibility of shady dealings here. I kind of knew this was a possibility when I started off, and I hope it doesn't come to anything worse.
Oh, well. Now I get to send my ideas off to other companies. Still, I was pretty close, and then ... crash!
Just got off the phone with Chris Brooks; looking forward to seeing him tomorrow. The rest of you are also welcome to visit. Just drop me a line.