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Approached by broker

Last week I was approached by Games Play UK. They asked if I would be interested in having them represent my game Cannon in an attempt to get it into a big publishing house like Hasbro, Mattel, or Spin Master. They required that I send the rules, pictures of the game and a play overview which I did and they said they would review the game and make a decision in a few weeks.

I have never done business GPUK but I have heard that they ask for a rather large cut of the pie. The brokers that Hasbro’s lists on its website get 30-40% which seems like quite a bit. Someone posted in the forums that GPUK take 60% so even if accepted I may turn them down if that is the case or they want to charge me an upfront fee.

One other thing that gives me pause is that I have never heard of a broker that approaches game designers looking to represent them. Are they having problems getting people to sign up? In other words not enough work to go around.

We shall see…

Comments

SAZ Comment to big company contracts

Hi,
the german Spieleautorenzunft (Game designers guild) http://www.spieleautorenzunft.de/ has published an article, that the big companies have changed their contracts with the designers.
First of all you as a designer have to take the full responsibility that your game is unique. If a copyright lawsuit is lost you have to pay the company their expenses for everything.
Second they will charge you extra percenteges if they make TV Ads. You will loose significant percentage for their marketing.

Can you take the risk of bankrupcy for some 1000 $ you even splitted with a broker ? I would read the contract twice !

martin

I do read my contracts but I

I do read my contracts but I also have a professional look them over too. I have not heard of this kind of contact but again I don’t personaly know of any people with contracts with the large companies.

TV ADS

"they will charge you extra percenteges if they make TV Ads. You will loose significant percentage for their marketing."

This is madness! (cit.)

Even if I think that a publisher should verify the uniqueness of a game he's going to publish, I can understand the first point. But the second one? It makes no sense. I will not pay for marketing strategies of my publisher, as I'm also in the lap of the gods with their selling\distribution policy. I can't do anything if they sell the game to distributors at a really low price, and I have to lose money if they make TV Ads?!?

Dralius wrote:One other thing

Dralius wrote:
One other thing that gives me pause is that I have never heard of a broker that approaches game designers looking to represent them. Are they having problems getting people to sign up? In other words not enough work to go around.

I think this is a correct assessment. It sounds like GPUK is casting the widest net possible to drive their business.

That GPUK can work with Hasbro is an interesting possibility as Hasbro owns so many other game companies. For example, your game may not fit the TSR, Inc or Parker Brothers game format, but it may fit well with WOTC game formats.

I think the arrival of euro games in stores like Target and WalMart indicates that demand for these games has grown significantly and I expect that Hasbro will seek to get a foothold in the euro game publishing market by purchasing a well known publisher of euro games as a means of quick entry to the market space.

Keep us posted...I would love to hear how this turns out!

A previous forum poster had a

A previous forum poster had a game taken on by Game Play UK and the experience wasn't positive.

http://www.bgdf.com/node/6733

and if you care to look on their web site (prior warning, its awful) you will find their inventor license success list

http://www.gamesplayuk.com/page11.html

which doesnt feature any licenses by Hasbro. Mattel or Spin Master

To my knowledge, the only agents with a direct line are -

MARRA DESIGN ASSOCIATES, INC. – www.marradesign.com
ROYALTY PROS – www.royaltypros.com
DELANEY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – Hanover Park, IL
NEWFUNTIERS – www.newfuntiers.com
ANJAR COMPANY – www.anjar.com
EXCEL DEVELOPMENT GROUP – www.exceld.com
REHTMEYER, INC. – www.toysngames.com
CACTUS MARKETING SERVICES – www.cactusmarketing.com

If you're looking for a UK contact I would probably try Cactus Marketing - simply because they are affiliated with the British Toy and Hobby association and they appear on their broker list.

http://www.btha.co.uk/work/template.php?id=241

Another UK agent/broker that might be worth considering is Seven Towns Limited - who have successfully licensed products to hasbro in the past.

http://www.seventowns.com/

However, ideas can be submitted by designers themselves at the Toy and Game Inventor Conference in November in Chicago.

http://www.tandgcon.com/_tagieconf/home.htm

I'm guessing that Game UK are collecting games to present via the normal channels available to everyone and then taking a slice of the pie.

Now if it was me, instead of standing outside the front door I might be inclined to look for a service entrance (back door). A past employee who is still connected with Hasbro or the game industry in some way?

Failing that a round trip to chicago would be a lot cheaper than the ridiculous % fees the brokers charge for doing little more than entering into a quick round of pass the parcel - especially if the quality of your games is good and you have more than one to offer.

Oops, sorry for the double

Oops, sorry for the double post - the site is timing out for me for some reason (looks at all his open windows, maybe thats the cause).

Here is a link to another Hasbro Agent list

http://globalquestgame.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/toy-brokers.html

What double post :) Thanks

What double post :)

Thanks for the input.

A friend of mine that has been in the business 30 years tells me if I can get in with a big publisher and my game does well I won’t need a go between anymore.

For example Richard Borg can call up Hasbro and make an appointment with Michael Gray and I can’t even though we have a mutual friend.

If all else fails it could be worth the money to get my foot in the door.

Turned down

They have gotten back with me and interestingly their team feels that Cannon is not strong enough to work in the current market.

I say interestingly because I have wondered if they were in the business of spinning a sunny scenario to get armature game designers to pay them to present their games rather that a % if successful placed with a publisher. So although it seems from the antidotes of other designers that they do take a Hefty cut they at least seem on the up and up.

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