Am I required to pay a freelancer if the quality of work isn't acceptable?

This may sound like a dumb question, but continuing on…

A few months ago I hired a level designer to work on a game. I was not please with the overall quality of the work and neither were my other developers as it was rushed and it looks like the source code was reused from another project.

We didn’t sign a contract, but I don’t think it’s fair to me to pay for work that looks unacceptable in terms of quality.


Maybe post here. Send them the link and give them the chance to counter…
Otherwise, its kinda hard to say. Expectations may have been too different. :wink:

Since you did not sign any contract then you are for the most part not obligated to pay him and he is not obligated to deliver any work. You also not have any signed paper defining what the acceptable quality is.

It’s mostly your fault, as you should have been checking on him, asking to see some progress, and discuss the quality issues as soon as they arose. Right now, while you may refuse to pay him, it may be harmful for your reputation, as he may spread the word you agreed with him on a project and refused to pay him. It essentially ends up your word against his.

Bottom line is, any proper work relationship should be covered by a proper contract, and this experience should serve as a lesson for you :slight_smile:


Depends on how much that amount is VS the quality of the work presented.

You should definitely pay something since you just admitted to having received his work on a public forum. Else you could potentially open yourself up to lawsuits.
I’m some states a verbal contract is binding.
In others it’s only binding in some circumstances (like age)

Regardless, you’d be an ■■■ to commission work, receive it at whatever quality and not remit at least some payment.

Maybe make it as an incentive.
Pay 25% so he can walk away if he wants to.
Define better parameters he needs to reach to get 50%, and what quality you expect for 100%.

OBVIOUSLY if your full amount was less than $2k usd just pay the poor soul.
And expect to pay a lot more for quality

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