Bad news for fans of the hit game Breeding Season: It looks like it has closed its doors forever. For those of you haven’t heard of it, Breeding Season was a sex game that let users breed Hentai sex monsters and then, well, get them to have sex and make more hentai sex monsters. The game was massively popular, pulling in as much as $43.2k a month on Patreon — but despite that success, it’s gone now. And the story of why it’s gone isn’t, surprisingly, because of any sex negative moves by a mainstream company. (Which is how these stories usually go.) Instead, it’s a great object lesson to anyone out there starting a business with friends.
According to a blog post published on the developer’s blog, the root of the disappearance of Breeding Season can be traced back to the origin of the company. (And please keep in mind that this is a post written by an angry former co-worker and business partner and therefore needs to be taken with at least one grain of salt, if not a whole pound.)
“HartistaPipeBomb” wrote on July 13 on the company blog that “S-Purple,” i.e. Vladimir Sandler, the art director, was the first hire for the game, even before they set up their Patreon. He describes an “incredibly generous contract” that gave S half of all revenue after business expenses were covered as well as rights to his artwork, with the assumption that if either he or S left, they’d sell the rights back to the other person.
And this is where the mistake was made. Contracts are written for the good times, not the bad, but they’re usually drawn up in the best time — the beginning. Just like in a romantic relationship, everyone is excited and into it and they “know” that they’d never do each other wrong. But just like how romantic relationships all too often go sideways, so too can business relationships. Contracts are like prenups and HartistaPipeBomb made the assumption that he and S would have an amicable divorce, if it came to that. Unfortunately, it appears that’s not the Breeding Season of his assets, essentially taking the game to ground.
According to HBomb, S was always difficult to work with but became even more difficult in recent months, missing meetings and not showing up in work streams. HBomb claims he tried to figure out what was going on but S wouldn’t answer or would answer noncommittally. And just like romantic relationships that fall apart when the two people stop talking, the business relationship behind Breeding Season got worse and worse until it exploded.
So what’s the lesson here? If a game as successful as Breeding Season (remember, this game was pulling in tens of thousands of dollars per month) can just disappear from the internet so suddenly, what does that mean for people who are starting out in the game world?
Simple: Make good contracts. Bring in a lawyer. Prepare for the worst case scenario and don’t take it personally if your partner lays some hard lines down. It might feel a little icky when you’re doing it but just think of Breeding Season and remind yourself: It’s worth it.
Image: Screen grab, Breeding Season