Activision has clarified the terms of its indie game development contest, saying that entrants will keep ownership of their IP unless they decide to enter into a "completely separate" deal to have the company publish their game.
Announced in June, the Activision Independent Games Competition is meant to "underscore our commitment to supporting the creative spirit and innovation of developers," according to Executive Vice President of Studios Dave Stohl. But not everyone sees it in such a generous light, in large part because of reports that finalists would be forced to surrender the rights to their IP if they wanted to continue to compete.
Activision, however, says that story is completely untrue. "There was some confusion to the way the rules were written," an Activision rep told Develop. "It was thought that if you enter the contest you automatically give up your IP rights to Activision. That's not true at all. What the wording in our rules meant was that if you enter the contest with your own game idea you have to prove that your idea belongs to you. That's all it meant."
Which isn't to say that Activision won't pursue the rights to a particularly impressive entry, but not until the contest is over and prizes have been awarded, including $175,000 to the winner and $75,000 to the runner-up. "If you win the contest, and we want to publish your game, we then enter into a completely separate discussion about who owns the IP," the rep added. "But by default the game designer keeps it."
The indie game development contest runs until August 31, with five finalists set to be picked by October, while a second contest is scheduled to run from October to March, with a small break between the two that will allow the rules to be "tweaked" if necessary. Interested in taking your shot? Grab an entry form and a full set of contest rules from activision.com. (PDF format)