James Liu, a software engineer at Google, has shared a piece of Amazon’s employment contract. The post went viral due to some rules the company allegedly has regarding creating your personal games as a hobby. Here is what other developers and users think of it.

According to the terms shared by James Liu, an employee not only can create personal games only outside of regular working hours (which is pretty normal) but also has to use Amazon’s products and services in the development.

Another paragraph reads that you should make your personal game available on all platforms owned by Amazon. For example, if it’s a mobile project it should be submitted to Amazon Appstore. An employee also will have to provide feedback on these platforms to help the company improve its products.

In order to avoid competition, you can work on your personal project only with other Amazon employees. On top of that, developers will have to grant the company a royalty-free, fully paid-up license to all of their intellectual property rights to their personal game.

Liu called these rules “draconian” and claimed that they were the reason he turned down a job offer from Amazon.

The post eventually went viral, with other developers sharing their thoughts or own experience. Fighting Chance game producer Ian shared a term from the 2K’s contract that forbids employees to publicly “disparage” the company’s products and services.

Grimlore Games head of production Sascha Wagentrotz called Amazon’s contract “by far the worst” clause he has ever read in his career. “Companies should cherish and be happy about their employees doing personal stuff that also lets them grow in their professional role,” he wrote.

Some developers, however, called these terms a common practice among game and tech companies.

“I don’t believe I ever saw these while I was at AGS, although I did hear of a gamedev agreement for non-game Amazon employees,” Jon Wills wrote.

One user also said that the first four points were quite good and “way better than standard software engineer contracts in many places.” “And then I saw the rest and got pretty bad whiplash,” Anna wrote.

James Liu also claimed that while Amazon can’t claim ownership of your game, it can sell or clone it without paying you royalties.

You can read other opinions in the replies under Liu’s original thread here.

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