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Licensing rights out of big company.

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RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969

I'm in need of help here. I made a design for a children game during the week end. Very simple. 4 years and older.

I want to slap a theme of Dora the Explorer on it. Dora rights belongs to Nickolodeon which belongs to Viacom International.

What door should I try to knock?
What's the best way to contact them to have a valid response (yes/no)?
Does licensing such a popular character will cost me an arm a leg and every vital parts of my body ?

I know some of you already have experience in this domain. I really like to hear from you.

Thanks

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Licensing rights out of big company.

Based on the experience of another designer I have spoken with you actually don’t want to go to the license holder first. They only want to deal with the company that is going to produce the product. Find a game company like briar patch that does licensed children’s games and pitch it to them, if they like it they may try to gain access to the license or they may take it in another direction all together.

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Licensing rights out of big company.

Thanks. I'm currently trying to reach some children toying/gaming company and pitch the idea to them,

But I also could go the self production way. The game is quite easy, small in size and material. The risk is there but would be minimal. That's way I try to look at all opportunities and try to assess my chance of success.

Thanks.

Anonymous
Re: Licensing rights out of big company.

RookieDesign wrote:
I'm in need of help here. I made a design for a children game during the week end. Very simple. 4 years and older.

I want to slap a theme of Dora the Explorer on it. Dora rights belongs to Nickolodeon which belongs to Viacom International.

What door should I try to knock?
What's the best way to contact them to have a valid response (yes/no)?
Does licensing such a popular character will cost me an arm a leg and every vital parts of my body ?

I know some of you already have experience in this domain. I really like to hear from you.

Thanks

Licensing a popular TV series would definitely be costly. As an example when I was creative director for a small game company we were looking at licensing Stargate SG-1. They asked for a 10% royalty + a $10k advance on royalties. So you can expect to pay at least that for a property like Dora.

I wouldn't recommend licensing as a viable option if you are self-publishing. I would recommend getting a few games into the market under your fledgling company first. Once you're in distribution and you see what kind of sales you are getting then you'll be able to weigh whether or not licensing is a viable option. It's really tough to make money from a licensed property unless you have an established company with excellent distribution channels.

Best of luck to you,

Rob Stone

HRPuffenstuf
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Joined: 12/31/1969
dora

Does the game require the Dora characters? After all, if you approach any game company and they could apply it to any of their licenses, you might have a broader market instead of just Dora.

HR Puff

Anonymous
Licensing rights out of big company.

I am not certain if the name Dora trademarked to Viacom, that they would have rights to "DORA THE EXPLORER" as the name Dora has been in the public domain for many years. Their rights may be a combination of image and text and unless they have specifically cited Dora the explorer it may be that it is not their property.

However, why go out looking for a fight unless you can use the publicity in some way to your benefit. Why not just move on to another name which you can defend from a stronger position.

If you want to contact Viacom and ask them if their rights extend to "Dora the Explorer" that might be the best way to answer your question. Just send them an email from their site and it will find it's way.

I would not consider licensing their Trademark "Dora" because they will not let you have it. Your use of the name would weaken their trademark and they would not want the conflict of someone using their identifyable marks in a uncongruous way. If they were willing to license the marks to you and they wont, the price would be so high as to be pointless to ask.

Anonymous
Licensing rights out of big company.

I remember a member here a little while ago that got a license for a Scooby Doo game. A search would turn up who the member was, they could provide you with some valuable information!

I would agree with the feedback here that it is unlikely that you will be able to license the property for self-publication. That's not to say that you shouldn't try if that's the only path left open to you, but it is unlikely that they will see you as a good fit for their property. Consider thatt ehy have already licensed their property to a variety of game and toy publishers and it is unlikely that you could offer then something that Hasbro or Mattell (sp?) can offer (just in terms of distribution channels alone).

That isn't to say that you can't use the name an images to create a prototype to use to pitch to game publishers. You just can't use their image or preoperty in a game that you intend to distribute (even for free) to anyone (even family or friends).

Best of luck!!

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