The recent announcement of the one million dollar Project Joystick competition, organised by Telstra BigPond and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), was quickly followed by some negative reactions as readers noticed the terms and conditions of entry which relinquished finalists of intellectual property rights or discovered that the competition did not offer any real further participation in the game development process. To add to the confusion, popular gaming blog Kotaku had mistakenly reported that the one million dollars was a cash prize for the winner to develop the game.
Few have been as vocal about Project Joystick than AJ from AustralianGamer.com, and AJ pressed a few upfront questions to Craig Middleton (Corporate Affairs Manager of Bigpond) to find out what exactly the competition will entail for those entering it...
Q) If someone were to develop a game idea for this competition, and it were to place in the top 10, does that person still own the Intellectual Property associated with any characters, names, places, artwork or design concepts contained in the entry?
A) The Terms and Conditions make it clear that the 10 finalists assign their IP to BigPond. Entry is entirely voluntary. The investment and risk in this project is all BigPond's. If someone thinks they have a better shot of making the game independently then good luck to them.
Click the following link for the entire interview at AustralianGamer.com