Anthony Flack Made Platypus

By: Derek Yu

On: December 6th, 2006


Behind Platypus, the fun and charming little claymation shooter, is a tale of woe, one which every indie developer should be aware of. Seriously, this story should be passed around in hushed whispers around campfires. It should be the proverbial boogieman under the bed.

The basic gist of the story: Anthony Flack develops Platypus for a games developer (Idigicon) for around $2000 US, the game becomes a big hit on the internet, Anthony never sees a cent more than his initial flat fee. Now the game is hitting the PSP, minus the original developer’s name in the credits. (Did I mention that his house burned down during the development?)

The worst part is that there’s nothing Anthony can do about it, since he signed away his rights to the game the moment he agreed to work on it.

Read this Indie Gamer thread that Anthony started about it. It’s like watching that movie Scared Straight!, only with game developers instead of juvenile delinquents (although the two groups often overlap).

Here is hoping (with fingers and shoelaces crossed) that Anthony’s next title, Cletus Clay, becomes a huge success for him. It looks great.

(Source: GameSetWatch)

  • Twisted Rabbit

    Ouch, that really sucks to see…

  • trav

    He wasn’t involved in the port/remake, he didn’t approve of a fair few of the decisions they’d taken.
    If his name was on the credits then he’d be pissy that they were besmirching him.

    The cash moneys deal is exactly what you’d expect, a fixed price project is a fixed price project.
    The reward for making a hit game is that he now has a reputation for making a hit game.

  • BMcC

    Reading this article made me sad, but reading the Indiegamer thread makes me angry, angry, ANGRY.

  • BMcC

    Then again, he sold his rights away and that’s that. Though, I wonder… why not at least acknowledge him?

    The whole situation stinks (except for the publisher, huzzah).

  • Albert Lai

    Just by reading the summary, this sounds like it could become the Superman of indie games, though I may be a-leaping to conclusions.

  • BeamSplashX

    Maybe the SuperMOBO. I have no idea what that means, but somewhere over the rainbow, someone does.

  • Dan MacDonald

    Anthony’s a bad @$$ he just didn’t make good business decisions and he’ll be the first to admit it too. At the time he had no idea how much money a game could make and no real concept of what platypus could be worth.

  • Fost

    Everyone who counts knows that Anthony made Platypus. I really admire how Anthony just takes this stuff on the chin and never complains about anyone.

    Can’t wait for Cletus Clay.

  • Xander

    This is actually the first time I’ve heard about this, although a crazy amount of nostalgia for me anyway. He made ‘Bert the Barbarian’ which won a PCZone contest back in 2000. I actually remember playing it when it was on one of the cover-discs, it was sweet!

    It’s a terrible story though, I mean he was only paid £1,000 for all the effort he went into actually putting it together. He could’ve just made something passable, but no, he actually went to great lengths in making it as good as he possibly could, and now the publishers can do whatever the hell they want with it… I’m glad at least nowadays it seems that there are a lot safer opportunities for indie-developers. If there’s nothing we can do to change things, then the least we can do is ensure things like this don’t happen to more people.

    And buy Cletus Clay when it comes out, of course!

  • Matt

    I believe Mike Boeh was one of the main reasons Platypus was amazingly successful. Idigicon didnt do shit but just throw the game into the bargain bin. When Mike got his hands on the game, everything changed for the good!

    Atleast this is what I know of the story…