Reply To: Cartridge Based (KQ5)

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(re: Catridge Based) I seem to recall KQ5 (maybe KQ6) on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Did this pan out well for Sierra? Does Nintendo get a percentage of the game sale? What kind of “licensing fees” does a company like Sierra run into when producing a game for a console? I appreciate anything that you can remember about this. I personally never seen KQ5 on the Nintendo but I have a friend that swears he seen it. Thank Ken!

I’ve long forgotten the details of this deal…
My recollection is that we received an advance against royalties, and that it was around $1 to $2 hundred thousand dollars. My recollection is that the cart bombed. As Josh mentioned, the graphics were so reduced in quality the game was almost unplayable.
I think it was Activision that did the cartridge – I don’t believe it was Nintendo.
Companies who want to do games for video game systems have to buy their “finished goods” (meaning the boxed CD or cartridge) directly from Nintendo, Sega, Sony or Microsoft (the xbox). Or, at least that’s how it worked in my day. The CDs would have cost Sierra somewhere around $7 each — which gives quite a profit to the videogame hardware company, whose costs would only be around $2. In the old cartridge days, it wasn’t unusual to pay around $15-20 for a cartridge (if Sierra had bought carts from Nintendo). It’s a give away the razor, sell the blades strategy. It costs the video game companies more to produce the machines than they are selling them for – but, they know you will buy carts.
-Ken W