The Darker Side of MochiAds

November 11, 2008

I have recently been toying around with Flash, and looking at the ways Flash games make money. The biggest player in the monetization of Flash games is MochiAds. Anyone who has ever played a Flash game has probably seen the ads that popup before the game loads. This is a pretty simple to integrate, and generally easy way to make money. Or so I thought until I read the terms of service…One part in particular bothers me.

By submitting User Submissions to Mochi Media, or displaying, publishing, or otherwise posting any content on or through the Service, you hereby do and shall grant Mochi Media an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise fully exploit the User Submissions in connection with the Service and Mochi Media’s (and its successors and assigns) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

In non-legal terms, that means that MochiAds can do pretty much whatever they want to do with your game. Say some big company buys MochiAds…that would mean that the big company in question would have free license to use your game however they see fit.

This means that I could make a Flash game, and have it be a huge hit. I could make some decent money off the Flash version of the game, but MochiAds, or whoever buys them out, could go to Nintendo and make ten times the amount of money I made on a Wii port. That is a purely hypothetical situation, but it is not impossible, and due to the terms most developers agree to, entirely feasible.

Would I like to make a living making games that I want to make, yes. Do I want to put my hard work at risk of being stolen from me, no.

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Making Orwell Proud

October 31, 2008

This is my Halloween costume, which will be accompanied by a spiffy business suit. I am considering going by “Napoleon” for the night.

I broke down and bought Fallout 3 today. I am reading the instruction manual waiting for it to install, and apparently you can be a cannibal in the game. I may not do it my first game, but I definitely want to play as a horribly cannibalistic character…I think that would add some more depth to the game. I tend to play ruthlessly evil characters in Fallout. It just makes post-apocalyptic life so much easier when you throw out morals and human rights. Hell, in the original Fallout, I once spent 12 hours killing every living thing in the game, minus random encounters.

Also, for those of you who have been keeping up on your politics, Obama is having an election night party in Chicago’s Grant Park. Tickets for the event went fast, but not the mayor of Chicago is encouraging everyone to just show up anyways, and has promised that there will be plenty of room. It seems that maybe Dick Daley has decided not to take the route of blatant oppression that his father did.

Alright, Fallout 3 is done installing, and I’ve got some post-apocalyptic settlements to ravage.