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Stolen game idea, sued the company, now owns an office in Thailand.

This is a hypothetical situation involving a person whose game idea was stolen by a company, and he sued them and started his own game company in Thailand. Then the story poses a problem, you are that person with an office and a budget of 5 million.

Andrew Esswein, Blogger

June 28, 2013

5 Min Read

What would a successful Game Designer do to build his own studio? This is a story where I take a piece of fantasy, a hypothetical situation where a big game  company steals an idea and gets sued. This story represents the ideal business situation where one guy is holding onto the best game ideas on the market. His past game idea was so good that a hacker broke into his computer and stole his game design document, as a result he lost his game and his job.  He's had big game ideas, and found out that you can get clamped down on by the big indy game people. 

The document was finally finished. His computer had been disconnected and cut off from the internet for a week, he spent several days straight writing out a game document. He had printed and copywrited the game design document that same day, this should have protected his idea but it didn't. A hidden spyware program in his computer that he picked up from using an office usb drive in his companie's office, sent his newly created document to a hacker and eventually to the desk of his company and another smaller gaming company. 

He had a presentation written for his game, revealing just enough information to get the company he was working for interested in his IP. The company manager liked the idea, so he setup a meeting with his supervisor. The supervisor declined to have the meeting, and he was fired before he could even give the presentation. The company itself had just finished a project, and they were just adding the finishing touches to a new IP. The HR manager had opened up a new position for creative director and the supervisor gave everyone a speech about needing fresh ideas. Instead of spilling out the idea's during the think tank section, he put together a GDD on his spare time. How could the supervisor fire him before he even introduces the GDD for the IP. 

The GDD sat on the directors desk, and the desk of a small gaming company. The small gaming company was given a grant to produce the fast and cheap version of the game. 
The game launched 3 days later, and was being advertised on facebook. He found the game and cursed out loud. They had completely taken his idea and spewed it out like clown puke. The names of all the creatures he had, even some of the storyline quest was in it. He filed a lawsuit.  The lawsuit was against the small company which was run by a single person who singlehandedly put together the facebook app. He morgaged his house and hired a lawyer and private investigator. He had found the spyware on his USB, and how it copied all his typed documents into a single file and sent it through a backdoor to an IP address. The lawyer said that after investigating he found that the person who built it has less than 50k in revenue. In a recorded phone interview this person admitted that the file had been sent to him with a package that contained stock assets and a working engine. He worked a total of 50 hours piecing it together, pulling an all nighter. 
The lawyer said that with his statements we may have a good case against your ex employers.  The lawsuit against the small game company was dropped, a new lawsuit was filed against the big indy company that he had worked for. 

The evidence was stacked in favor of the prosecutor, and the court awarded him 14 million. The lawyer, and the witness from the small game company took a big cut of the money. The private investigator who found most of the evidence that built up the case took a cut as well. There was a little over 5 million leftover after everything was taken. 


He took that 5 million and ran to Thailand. He built a budget, and found a great office location close to the beach. He even found cheap 5 bedroom apartments, and hotels that could house a whole game design crew. Advertising the job in such a desirable location brought in 1000s of resumes. Now, put yourself in this position. What would you do with the 5 million. You've got an office that costs you only $300,000 to lease for a year. With that you have space to hold over 100 people.

Are you business minded? 
Take this situation and answer the questions with your own solution. 

The budget is 5.2 million

What would be your ideal human resource list using this budget. 

You can hire 40 people at $2000 a month + offer room and board. 

Your private investigator followed you and is charging you $500 a day for your own protection. 

When assessing the thai market you find that your game can earn 21 million a year. An investor offers you an additional 14 million for ownership of the thailand territory. 

You get additional offers from several Asian territories and companies all at once. 

You have a leak, a rival asian company is setting up a game with the same engine and system that you have. When your game and system is completely different from every game one the market. What do you do to solve this problem? 
It's estimated that worldwide your game can earn 100 million a year. 

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