I’m reading Gamers at Work by Morgan Ramsay and in it is an interview with Wild Bill Stealey. He’s talking about how Sid Meier was making a computer game based on the Civilization board game, and the board game designer got wind of it and Wild Bill met with him to negotiate a deal:
So, I had lunch with Eric. I bought him lunch because I was buttering him up. I said, “Eric, I apologize. I didn’t know Sid was doing this, but I think it is going to be a good game. I think we won’t sell near as many as you sell as boxed games.” You know, this is one of those games you buy in a box and play on a table–tabletop games. “What if I put a card in every one of the games that says ‘get $5 off Civilization from Avalon Hill,’ and you do the same for me?” After two or three glasses of wine, he agreed–one of his bigger mistakes. He would have made a lot more money if he had said, “Ok, give me %10 of it.” All he got was a card in the game box. If he had 10% of Civilization, Avalon Hill would still be around today, right?