Skip to Content

How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

I have developed four board games with one (Brain Drain) almost market ready. However I need financial assistance to be able to produce and market my game. I am unsure about the best way to do this. Does anyone have suggestions. I would appreciate any ideas on how I could obtain funding/a partner/ or some other option. Just for your info I am located in Canada.

Thanks and look forward to receiving some replies.

Murphy

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

If you have friends and family that you're willing to alienate for life then I have a suggestion.

Otherwise you're asking one of the toughest questions anyone with a good idea has to ask. The ratio of people with good ideas to those with money to invest and a willingness to take a risk on good ideas is, roughly, 10,000,000 to 1. If any of us here knew a good source for such partnership and funding we'd be using it rather than passing it along, you can be sure.

Sorry I don't have anything better than your friends and family, but that's about all there is if you don't have the money to self-publish. Otherwise you're more likely realistically looking for publishers to submit to, someone who will buy (or rent) your idea rather than partner and invest.

Sorry for the bad news.

EDiTED TO ADD: One clarification: a small business loan is definitely an option if you can fully collaterallize it. That is if you have something that's worth roughly 150% or more of the amount of money you need and that isn't likely to be utterly destroyed in no time (a house is a good example of such valid collateral) then with decent credit you should be able to get a small business loan.

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

I am not able to offer you much assistance, but I have a different idea that I'd also be interested in feedback on, if anyone has any.

I had an idea a while back to propose a partnership with a hypothetical small game company. In that parternship, I would design the game, and pay for all of the production. The company would handle distribution, marketing, etc, and possibly some logistics in terms of getting the game components "up to their standards" and making contacts with printers, etc.

The benefit to me, the designer, would be that I would only have to handle "game design" aspects, and could leave the "business" aspects to someone else. Moreover, I could take advantage of the umbrella of the already successful company, and their distribution channels, marketing, participation at conventions, etc.

The benefit to the publisher would be to get a game to add to their line (and obviously, it would only work if it was a game that they wanted to be part of their line...), which wouldn't cost them any financial risk (at least not in publishing; certainly warehousing and fulfillment and such cost money, but not nearly as much as production).

Now, I couldn't see that a big company would be interested in doing this, but for a small but growing company, it seems like it could be a great option; a quick way to expand your number of products, and still at the standards you ordinarily operate at, but without as much financial risk. For the designer, it's not a great way to make money, and you'd be better off licensing the game outright, I suppose, but if you can't find a publisher, and don't care about making a big profit, but just want to get your game "in print" and in the hands of the masses, it would meet that goal, and would require much less work than becoming a game company unto yourself. (or, at least, wouldn't require you to become a salesman, something I have zero interest in)

I'm fairly sure no one has ever done anything like this. What are your thoughts on this idea? I'm especially interested in the publishers/industry folks who are on this board? Would this concept be something you'd consider? (hypothetically, of course -- I'm not actually proposing an arrangement at this time!) Why or why not?

Thanks for any input you might have...

-Jeff

Anonymous
Small Game Partnership...

Jeff...

Funny you should bring that up about partnering with a small game company to get your game channelled... My company partner and I had a meeting last night about how to proceed with this new game of mine, and one of the things I mentioned was your "Exact" idea.

Locally, a new (but still small) game company has just started producing a game. They have only "1" product to offer. They have gone to the trouble of researching the aspects of marketing and distributing their game. This is now information they have that someone such as myself does not - so why not utilize that information through a cooperative with other independent game designers???

It seems to me that the benefits for both parties would be substantial. For the established small company, they would have the potential of adding additional products to their line - for a reasonable % of sales (and as long as these products meet their standards of course) and for the independent game developer, they would have access to marketing and distribution already researched by the other company. ... To me, this translates to a "win-win" for both parties.

Guy

Ps. I have not researched this yet... But to further the idea above... How about an Independent Game Developer Cooperative??? Do any already exist? Is the idea of a "Consortium" of Independent Game Developers viable or not? ... Definately worth some thought!!!

Anonymous
How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

Dragfly...

As far as "OPM" (other people's money) goes... That is a tough one.

I have investors lined up for a new game. My initial attack amount was in the sum of $50k. No problem right?

Well, one investor has decided to step out of the picture. He thought that I was under-capitalizing and should be going for 500k and self-produce 100% (my original business plan was to self-produce for a limited time and then license). The other investors are still on board, but working everything out isn't easy! You have to tie down the details to the N'th degree, and they want a larger piece of the pie (understandably), and they want reassurances, and they want this and that, and it never ends. But they are still on board.

How did I come up with these investors??? Sheer luck really! One of them I happen to work with (day-job). As we were taking a break one day, I mentioned I had devleoped a game. He became interested because he is a gamer himself, so (after a signing a non-disclosure) I told him about it. He loved the idea!!! He is also highly connected with other "Venture Capitalists". So now, because he thinks the game is a winner, he is tracking down these other potential investors for me.

My suggestion for finding "OPM" is... First ask yourself - Do you really want "OPM"? If the answer is yes, then don't be afraid to talk about your game(s) to anyone. You never know who will like it and who has the money they don't mind investing in it. Make sure you have a GOOD and FINISHED product to show them. Investors want to SEE, TOUCH, FEEL and EXPERIENCE the product. Make sure you have beta-tested the FINISHED product with non-biased third-party testers (NO FRIENDS OR FAMILY) - because investors want to KNOW that other non-biased people find the product interesting and viable.

Lastly, be sure to use a good attorney for your OPM contracts!

Guy

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

I think a "Consortium" model would be a good approach in the event that the other model, namely, "I design and pay for it, an established company sells it", doesn't work in reality.

The only thing about a Consortium model is that *someone* still has to do the legwork of getting distribution channels, marketing, etc, off the ground, and while I'd be interested in participating in a consortium, I still wouldn't want that person to be me! So, someone would have to take the lead. The other benefit of the model I proposed is that the company already has an established "brand name". It's not like you're selling through Hasbro, or even Alea, but someone like "Plenary Games" still has more brand recognition among gamers than "Jefflabs Games", and that's a win. Also, the QC is easier if it's in the company's hands; ie, they will only publish games that they want. Who does the QC in the Consortium? Do we all have to vote games "up" or "down"? If so, how many games will we have to reject before people see us as a bunch of elitist jerks? (I think QC would be important, because even if it's an "Independent Designer's Consortium", you still only want your game associated with other "good" games; you don't want it being sold alongside games you don't like. There are some companies I wouldn't publish my games with, even if they were the only ones who would publish my games. Well, that may not be entirely true...)

I think that something similar to this consortium has been discussed not too long ago on the group, although it was more of a "web marketplace" business model than an actual company.

Also, I should point out that I asked the question entirely hypothetically; I'm probably a good year or two away from having a game and the resources to get the idea off the ground from my end; I just wondered whether anyone else had come up with the same idea. Sounds like they have! Good to know!

-Jeff

Anonymous
How to find partner to develop/produce board games?

Good point on the "Consortium".

I threw it out there because at one time I was a member of a consortium of Independent Software Consultants. It worked pretty good for them, but I can see where it probably would not work for other industries.

I still like your idea of new developers tieing in with a small game company - giving the developer marketing and distribution channels and the game company another product to promote.

Guy

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut