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Existing Intellectual Property

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ErnstFourie's picture
Joined: 06/18/2014


I was thinking about this a bit today, and I'm not sure how this would work.

I'm not thinking of building a game around an existing IP, but was wondering about the process for someone who is planning to?

How does it work, who do you even talk to?

Thanks for wome insight into this mystery.


The Professor
The Professor's picture
Joined: 10/25/2014
Just start...


There's no one to specifically talk to, as it sounds as though you're in the initial phase...very initial phase.

Figure for every successful game, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of games which remain in their embryonic state. At this point, get your ideas in order, start writing, planning, and play-testing as much as possible. In several months, your idea, now formulated into a passibly, playable game, will be ready for more serious play-testing, feedback, and scrutiny.


Joined: 07/03/2013
Listen to The Professor

As he's told you already, don't worry too much about the IP for right now. What you need to worry about more than anything is making a game prototype and playtesting it to see how it shapes up. It's easy to overlook how important this step is, but I have purchased cool-looking games that turned out to be an absolute drag to play, and I don't want that same fat to befall your creation.

Besides, if you design something awesome, but the IP doesn't work out, it usually isn't that hard to give the theme an overhaul. If I remember right, the game "Dominion" went through several thematic overhauls until they came to the idea of a medieval setting for the game, which finally gave the game the flavor that it needed. However, since they had a pretty solid idea of how they wanted the game to play out, they were able to swap out themes quite easily.

northgun's picture
Joined: 05/21/2014
I know it would seem like the

I know it would seem like the first step in working on a board game when dealing with IP would be to see if you could use said IP, but in most cases the owners of the IP are going to want a lot of information in order to consider whether or not to let you use their IP.

Its a lot bigger decision for the owner of the IP than meets the eye. The owner has to consider whether the board game can hurt their image/brand. For example the owners of Spyro the dragon would most likely not license their IP for a board game targeted at adults since their brand/image is targeted at children.

The owners of the license also want to know your business plan: How do you attend to launch? How will the manufacturing costs be covered? Who is manufacturing it? When will you pay the license fees? Who is your target market? How successful is the game expected to be? There are just some examples. (keep in mind some owners of IP may want quite a bit of control, not just financial gain)

So as the above posters have said, you will have to have quite a bit figured out before you go about trying to get a license to use IP. Design the game around the theme you hope to use, but keep in your mind you may have to change the theme if you get told no by the owners of the IP. If your entire game depends on the IP, then maybe its time to return to the drawing board.

As far as who to contact? That varies from company to company (or individual). Sometimes companies list an actually contact for licensing on their website, other times you have to ask for the contact information. Once your board game is closer to being finished, I'm sure we can help you more in this area.

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