Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Why does Nintendo let developers co-own their IP?

AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP is right when he says that Astral Chain is at least a partially owned Nintendo IP. 

I think most ppl agree the IP ownership is theirs. OP is saying that Nintendo lets devs co-own the IP, which is not only not established yet, but neither is it something only they do.



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TheMisterManGuy said:
Cerebralbore101 said:

Platinum Games owns the Astral Chain IP. Nintendo just publishes it. So it is not a co-owned IP. The copyright goes to both of them because Nintendo is the publisher. It is not the same as Nintendo owning the IP. 

If Nintendo's name is in the copyright notice alongside Platinum's, then Nintendo owns half the IP. Meaning they have a say on what they can do with it. Astral Chain is owned by both Platinum and Nintendo.

Actually I don't see how it is any different to any other publisher. If a game is developed by X, you have to credit X, even if it is published by Y and Y owns the IP.

So SEGA and Platinum for Bayonetta for instance. I actually think in this case Platinum even co-owns the IP.

I doubt Bandai Namco can release a Souls game without From Software. There seems to be a co-ownership in place too.

When Bungie split with MS they made a deal about Halo-ownership, which indicates beforehand Bungie had some rights on the IP. Later on they published Destiny through Activision, but had a time-limited deal with Activision after which they regained full control over the IP.

I actually cannot think of an example of an IP developed not in-house by a publisher and the publisher takes full control of said IP. It might happen, but it seems Nintendos stance on this isn't so extraordinary in the industry.



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AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP is right when he says that Astral Chain is at least a partially owned Nintendo IP. Nintendo released a schedule of first party releases that included Astral Chain. And since first party titles are really decided by IP ownership and not the development studio (hence Yoshi's Crafted World, Mario Tennis Aces and the like being first party), it makes sense to believe Nintendo do at least own some of the Astral Chain IP. This is similar to The Wonderful 101 being Nintendo owned. 

I am sure that is the case, still it is nothing related to Nintendo. Look, NamcoBandai publishes the Souls-series, but they don't have full control without From Software (and Sony in case of Demon's Soul).



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019

Predictions: Switch / Switch vs. XB1 in the US / Three Houses first quarter

I'll add that Activision just published about 15 pieces of content for IP they didn't own - Destiny.



Sony published Spiderman, developed by Insomniac.
Marvel owns the IP to Spiderman. (Sony have rights for that specific Spiderman game only.)



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Mnementh said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

If Nintendo's name is in the copyright notice alongside Platinum's, then Nintendo owns half the IP. Meaning they have a say on what they can do with it. Astral Chain is owned by both Platinum and Nintendo.

Actually I don't see how it is any different to any other publisher. If a game is developed by X, you have to credit X, even if it is published by Y and Y owns the IP.

So SEGA and Platinum for Bayonetta for instance. I actually think in this case Platinum even co-owns the IP.

I doubt Bandai Namco can release a Souls game without From Software. There seems to be a co-ownership in place too.

When Bungie split with MS they made a deal about Halo-ownership, which indicates beforehand Bungie had some rights on the IP. Later on they published Destiny through Activision, but had a time-limited deal with Activision after which they regained full control over the IP.

I actually cannot think of an example of an IP developed not in-house by a publisher and the publisher takes full control of said IP. It might happen, but it seems Nintendos stance on this isn't so extraordinary in the industry.

What makes you think Platinum has any say on Bayonetta? Or FS on a Souls game? Destiny is an outlier atm if you ask me. 

I'm pretty sure Insomniac has zero say on either Ratchet or Resistance. ClapHanz has none on Everybody's Golf. SuperMassive most likely doesn't own any of the dozen IP's they made for Sony. Unless I am reading your last line wrong, I don't think co-ownership is as common as you may think. I could be wrong though.



twintail said:
Mnementh said:

Actually I don't see how it is any different to any other publisher. If a game is developed by X, you have to credit X, even if it is published by Y and Y owns the IP.

So SEGA and Platinum for Bayonetta for instance. I actually think in this case Platinum even co-owns the IP.

I doubt Bandai Namco can release a Souls game without From Software. There seems to be a co-ownership in place too.

When Bungie split with MS they made a deal about Halo-ownership, which indicates beforehand Bungie had some rights on the IP. Later on they published Destiny through Activision, but had a time-limited deal with Activision after which they regained full control over the IP.

I actually cannot think of an example of an IP developed not in-house by a publisher and the publisher takes full control of said IP. It might happen, but it seems Nintendos stance on this isn't so extraordinary in the industry.

What makes you think Platinum has any say on Bayonetta? Or FS on a Souls game? Destiny is an outlier atm if you ask me. 

I'm pretty sure Insomniac has zero say on either Ratchet or Resistance. ClapHanz has none on Everybody's Golf. SuperMassive most likely doesn't own any of the dozen IP's they made for Sony. Unless I am reading your last line wrong, I don't think co-ownership is as common as you may think. I could be wrong though.

Well, maybe, we usually don't know about the contracts and can only imply. But the indication of the OP was the credit given - and that is demanded by most copyright laws. Even if you own the rights to the IP all creators have to be properly credited. So for us is no visible difference between Fire Emblem and Kirby on one hand and Souls and Bayonetta on the other. Credit has to be given to the developer, so they are credited in each case.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019

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Cerebralbore101 said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

IS is technically independent from Nintendo actually. They aren't listed as a subsidiary on the company's press sites. If you want a more recent example, Astral Chain. The copyright notice is "©2019 Nintendo/Platinum Games, Inc."

Platinum Games owns the Astral Chain IP. Nintendo just publishes it. So it is not a co-owned IP. The copyright goes to both of them because Nintendo is the publisher. It is not the same as Nintendo owning the IP. 

mjk45 said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

If Nintendo's name is in the copyright notice alongside Platinum's, then Nintendo owns half the IP. Meaning they have a say on what they can do with it. Astral Chain is owned by both Platinum and Nintendo.

It doesn't mean that Platinum can't put Astral Chain 2 or something similar on another console,quite often they are game specific and used to safeguard the publishers investment in an IP they don't own.

SpokenTruth said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

If Nintendo's name is in the copyright notice alongside Platinum's, then Nintendo owns half the IP. Meaning they have a say on what they can do with it. Astral Chain is owned by both Platinum and Nintendo.

You are not wholly incorrect in your assumption as that is more often than not the actual case.  But IP ownership isn't as simple as a copyright. It can be timed, it can be name only, it can be for marketing/production/distribution purposes, etc...

We would have to ask either party how ownership is set up. The specifics would be in the contracts.

Bofferbrauer2 said:
TheMisterManGuy said:

If Nintendo's name is in the copyright notice alongside Platinum's, then Nintendo owns half the IP. Meaning they have a say on what they can do with it. Astral Chain is owned by both Platinum and Nintendo.

Yeah, it means Nintendo has the publishing rights. As in, they can decide where the game comes out, where and when it gets released. But that doesn't mean they own the IP.

twintail said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP is right when he says that Astral Chain is at least a partially owned Nintendo IP. 

I think most ppl agree the IP ownership is theirs. OP is saying that Nintendo lets devs co-own the IP, which is not only not established yet, but neither is it something only they do.

Mnementh said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP is right when he says that Astral Chain is at least a partially owned Nintendo IP. Nintendo released a schedule of first party releases that included Astral Chain. And since first party titles are really decided by IP ownership and not the development studio (hence Yoshi's Crafted World, Mario Tennis Aces and the like being first party), it makes sense to believe Nintendo do at least own some of the Astral Chain IP. This is similar to The Wonderful 101 being Nintendo owned. 

I am sure that is the case, still it is nothing related to Nintendo. Look, NamcoBandai publishes the Souls-series, but they don't have full control without From Software (and Sony in case of Demon's Soul).

@twintail @Mnementh 

I'm not saying that the original statement of the thread was correct, hence why I didn't mention that. I'm also not saying that partially owning an IP is something only Nintendo does. I was just clarifying that Nintendo do at least partially own the IP, because as you can see from above your posts, there was a lot of confusion around that topic. 



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Jumpin said:
AngryLittleAlchemist said:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the OP is right when he says that Astral Chain is at least a partially owned Nintendo IP. Nintendo released a schedule of first party releases that included Astral Chain. And since first party titles are really decided by IP ownership and not the development studio (hence Yoshi's Crafted World, Mario Tennis Aces and the like being first party), it makes sense to believe Nintendo do at least own some of the Astral Chain IP. This is similar to The Wonderful 101 being Nintendo owned. 

Notice how Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 isn't included, even though it is a published exclusive.

Technically those would be second party games. Games developed by Nintendo owned studios are first party since the are directly from the platform seller. Second party are where Nintendo is the purchaser of the services of a third party in order to develop a game, and this applies to exclusive dev houses partially owned or contractually bound to Nintendo despite not being owned directly by Nintendo. While third party games are supplied by an independent studio without the first party purchaser/contracting relationship.

Pokémon and the DKC trilogy are perfect examples of second party games. Super Mario Galaxy or Breath of the Wild as first part games. Final Fantasy 7 Remaster as a third party game.

I mean, I guess? But that correction is sort of pointless. I'm not saying there isn't any difference whatsoever, but for the most part it's a distinction without a difference. Nintendo didn't list it as second party in their financial reports, and iirc there has even been developers coming out and stating that second party isn't really a thing within the industry. 

I think second party is something that makes the most sense as a term when applied to a studio. Companies that are only partially owned can often branch out and do different things, like GameFreak. When applied to a specific game title it becomes a little too broad, because it can refer to just about anything. It can refer to a game developed by a 1st party studio, but a 3rd party IP. It can refer to a third party IP coupled with a third party studio, but with the rights to the game exclusively belonging to the platform holder. It can refer to a third party studio with a first party IP. Etc etc. And of course again, the problem is that first party IPs always guarantee that a game is "first party" in the minds of the parent company. When applied to an IP, it becomes again a meaningless distinction. 

But sure, if you want to say it's second party go ahead. It really doesn't make a difference. 



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