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Agents charge?

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rpcarnell
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I am looking for an agent to publish a game.

The ones on the web charge. I know that literary writers who charge are just trying to scam you.

Does this apply for board game agents as well?

gamemaker-KD
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

The agent will not publish your game rather review it for a fee and if they like it enuff to show it to a game company and the game company wants to publish it, then the agent gets around 40% of your take from the game company. Good luck and happy gaming.

rpcarnell
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

Well, that's great.

Literary agents don't charge. If they do, it is probably a scam.

I thought the same thing applied to board games. I guess I was wrong.

So if my board game is not marketable, the worst that can happen is that I lose at least $300. Not good

braincog
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

If you're hoping to get your game into the market without spending any money at all, you can always try submitting it directly to a few companies. There are several that accept submissions from inventors. Of course, there are also many that do not. There are some threads on this site that list companies that accept submissions.

But, if you've done your due dilligence by thoroughly playtesting your game with non-friends and non-family and have gotten it to the point where you feel that it is in a state appropriate for submission to a big company, is $50 to $300 really that much? At the least, what you should demand from any potential agent is that they provide you with some written feedback - even if they don't choose to represent your product. That bit of feedback may help you improve your game, which, given the experience you would expect in a reputable agent or firm, should be worth what you spent for their time.

The alternative is to spend countless hours of your time sending submissions to game companies only to have them rejected several months later due to some factor you may have been able to avoid.

Bill

gamemaker-KD
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

Yeah, if you never submitted a game before it might not be a bad to send your first to a agent, if not for anything else get some feedback. Plus they may like your game, and really that's the only way to the Hasbro's of the world. one side note(hasbro has loosen up a bit and are at least talking to inventor's at conventions) here's hoping they start taking submittions one day without agents. Money can be tight but hopfully you can due the fee thing. Good luck, here's a couple; ANJAR COMPANY(212)255-4720
CACTUS GAME DESIGN9800 365-1711

Lor
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

[The agent will not publish your game rather review it for a fee and if they like it enuff to show it to a game company and the game company wants to publish it, then the agent gets around 40% of your take from the game company. Good luck and happy gaming.]

They're not getting my business! 1) they should get *nothing* for reviewing the work-- that's the risk they take-- a half hour of time. 2) 40% is plain usury, unless they're willing to make me a two million dollar deal.

Hollywood literary agents levy between 10-15% to move a screenplay they believe in. If they actually package a story and attach director and stars, they earn more. That's acceptable in my view. But 40% to place a game with a publisher is just goofy, IMHO. Game agents work no harder than any literary agent. They know the channels, they know the crowd, the market and the competition just like any Hollywood script agent knows his or her domain. It's no different. Get that fee down to 20%- 25%! That's where it belongs.

And *never* pay an agent to have your game "reviewed." That's pure cheeseburger-stained lead sheet hustle. The serious ones are in business to find and move new product. They might get a free lunch from you, but no money should change hands until they get a bite from a publisher and that money should come from the publisher, in the form of an option to license or an outright license offer. A *real* agent takes his or her cut from the proceeds of an option or license-- and then he or she buys YOU lunch.

If you want to have your game assessed for quality, go to a game/invention consultant, they charge anywhere between 50- 100/hour. I've done that. You find those through local referrals, invention clubs, etc. A lot of a consultant's functions are now available right here and other websites like it.

phpbbadmin
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Joined: 04/23/2013
...

Lor,

No dig against your knowledge, because honestly I've never looked into an agent, but perhaps game agents are just different than literary agents. Have you considered that possibility? The board game industry is not anywhere near as massive as the film or book industry. Also, there are a very limited number of game titles published in any given year. Given these two facts, a game agent may HAVE to charge for their time and they may have to require a bigger cut to make it worth the while. If the frequency of their placement of games is low, then logic would dictate they need a larger portion of the pie to make money. Now your choice to not use such an agent is entirely up to you, but I don't think the comparison to literary agents is quite fair. It's simply not Apples to Apples comparison. But again, I'm not speaking from real world experience, only common sense analysis.

-Darke

SteelShark
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

Every book I have read on game publishing said that the reputable agents won't charge an up front fee. And even if a reputable agent does, there are enough of them out there that don't, so you should still avoid them. There are many horror stories in the books about the fleecing that goes on.

Also, FYI, they say agents mainly focus on mass-market games, such as those aimed at Hasbro. For the specialty market, it is best to self publish, or find a specialty game distributor.

Lor
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Agents charge?

SteelShark writes-
[For the specialty market, it is best to self publish, or find a specialty game distributor.]

Yup, that's where my head is at, although the advice can apply to mass market design as well. My game consultant was the guy who invented "Facts in Five." Great guy, mostly retired, working with me because I've known him for years and he liked my work.

FIF started as a self-publish in the late 60's, and he did the legwork, to prove the market for the game. I own a signed original.

FIF has been relicensed to four different publishers since then!

Axe
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Agents charge?

In product development related to Health care/SunScreen you pay a premium as well (40% for the "best") but these guys know the buyers to major retail (play golf with Walmarts purchaser, get invited to weddings, birthday parties etc.). So, sure you get screwed, (normally all the agent does is set up the meeting, you still sell the thing in person). But, if you get a Walmart or Target or Cisco to carry something you make, its well worth it.

Also, most inventors don't have the drive to follow through with getting the product purchased. That requires a different personality (someone who can "sell", or promote). Most inventors I know are too into lab work or tinkering to even own a suite.

Of course, each industry is different. The gaming industry is flooded with ideas, the games have to be played (and can't be explained in seconds as can most inventions through a drawing or what have you) and it takes someone who knows the MARKET to know if it will sell. Who cares if the game you come up with has the world's greatest artwork, best rules, and is incredibly fun. If know one wants to buy it for what ever reason its not worth the retailers time.

Lor
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Agents charge?

Quote:
Also, most inventors don't have the drive to follow through with getting the product purchased. That requires a different personality (someone who can "sell", or promote). Most inventors I know are too into lab work or tinkering to even own a suite.

All true except the "tinkering" part-- true inventors don't tinker, which is defined as "meaningless activity." They do T/E research-- trial-and-error.

Because of the ideas flooding the game market, the very best way to prove your product is to get it out there under your own steam; start small, be cautious, grow carefully. Then when agents or reps come calling you have some ammuniition to shoot down exhorbitant agent percentages until you know what you're getting for it. Simply because they go to publisher's Bar-Mitzvahs doesm't mean a tinker's damn to me, and neither does the promise of Wal-Mart. If they throw in as a capital partner, they earn their percentage. Otherwise, the up fornt to me will have to be extremely big to let them get away with half the take.

That's just common sense.

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