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Local Game Brokers - Southern California

5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 12/06/2018

Have a finished prototype Legend of Zelda Risk that i would like to sell. I have already found that USAopoly holds the game rights for Nintendo and Hasbro has the design rights to Risk. Hasbro had sent me a list of game brokers to contact since both companies don't accept unsolicited games. I have tried getting a hold of any of the brokers but to no success.

Does anyone have information on local Southern California/Los Angeles/San Diego game brokers that would be beneficial to bring my vision to publication?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Maybe it's your approach that need refining(?!)

How exactly are you "pitching" these Brokers??? If it's like this thread saying that you have designing a game that is a cross between Zelda and Risk I seriously doubt anyone is going to take you seriously.

Firstly I'm glad you enjoy this hobby enough that you took the time to complete a full working prototype. But there is a problem. First you should be made aware that profits from games are "nominal" at best. Many of our designers can state that they've run SUCCESSFUL KSs and yet the barely manage to cover the cost of art and expenses "outside" the KS. Most are left with "overstock" and hope that it sells in order to make a small profit...

Now this is WITHOUT ANY licensing of IP. IF you manage to KS maybe 300 to 500 copies of a game, like I said you'll probably break even and be left with stock to TRY to sell (via Amazon, web store, Publisher's site, etc.)

In your case, you are TRYING to get IP rights from 2 companies... It will never happen. For 2 very distinct reasons.

1. The Broker wants to make money on the deal. If he needs to deal with the licensing of additional IP, it will never happen. Because the Broker knows he going to suck you dry out of any money you are going to make IF the game becomes popular. He can't do that to another possible Broker... because that will never happen. It's like suing a lawyer... They know the process and can drag something out for years... funneling all your money while you have to pay for legal representation.

2. The margins in board game design are so very LOW, it's LUCKY if you get 5,000 units made and sold. I know I'm in the process of trying to find additional leads for my own game "TradeWorlds". We have no licensing and we'll be hard pressed if we can sell 2,000 units (if WE are lucky).

Now to help you out... When you approach a Broker, try to SHARE the LEAST amount of information as possible. Your goal is to GET A MEETING! How you pitch via e-mail has to be VERY succinct and have a way of HOOKING the Broker into seeing you. This is a LONG shot that it will work (the whole dual IP business) but getting a meeting should be possible IF you play your cards right...

In an e-mail be short and TO THE POINT. Don't needlessly drag too much information, be very general and get to the IMPORTANT part: the very LAST line of your e-mail. This should be something like:

"I thank you for the time you have taken to read this e-mail and would like to meet with you to discuss the details."

PERIOD. IF he/she bites ... it because of what you WROTE BEFORE this. And like I said, these people are PROFESSIONALS and usually SHARKS. If you want to be a BIG BOY... You need to speak THEIR language.

So before, start with something DRY but FACTUAL like:

"I am looking to discuss my game's design for the possibility of licensing IP from 'Hasbro'. I was given a short list of Brokers from 'Hasbro' in regards to my game's prototype."

AGAIN this is NOT bullshit. BUT you're PLAYING IT UP. You're HINTING that 'Hasbro' may ALREADY be INTERESTED in YOUR IDEA.

Next PLAY THE FIELD... to have a sense of URGENCY to the deal like:

"I am contacting a few of the Brokers... Because I am unsure who would be best to help me with regards to the licensing the IP required by my game."

This shows all potential Brokers that there might be competition from other Brokers. Best to return the e-mail first and get a JUMP on the opportunity.

And that should be it. 2 to 3 sentences and your sign-off. You can't include images, pictures, documents, etc... Because you will be JUDGED by all of that. And as soon as a Broker sees SOMETHING he/she DOESN'T LIKE, you are FUCKED. They'll delete your e-mail.

I hope you understand the process of dealing with Brokers. It's like talking to lawyers. You need them to feel something is in it for THEM (not you), and then you need them to REACT FAST (send you a reply or call you) and lastly you thank them for their time (because you are in effect setting up what COULD be a meeting with them)...

That's about it. TRY it with one broker and let me know how it goes...


Note#1: Don't include any contact information except your e-mail address. Get an e-mail RESPONSE FIRST and try to set up the meeting in a follow-up to that message. Again you'll want to avoid any and all land mines to ensure that the Broker agrees to meet with you.

The 2nd e-mail will be MORE difficult... Because you are going to NEED to share some information with the Broker. Why don't we wait for someone to ACKNOWLEDGE you and reply to your FIRST e-mail. One step at a time...

Note#2: The basic idea behind the initial e-mail is to make contact and offer the OPPORTUNITY to license something GREAT. However you don't want anyone passing judgement on your ideas unless they agree to a meeting. Most probably a Broker will respond asking you to share more information. If that happens great, you have a limited window of opportunity.

But don't be stupid and shoot yourself when you're not even out of the gate yet...

Note#3: If you sent something like this thread in an e-mail... Forget it, nobody will take your call or return your e-mail. To be real honest it sound "stupid" (a cross between Zelda and Risk - Go figure!) But I am NOT passing judgement... Let the Brokers who you MEET decide if they want to invest their time.

And remember these are PROFESSIONALS. The amount of decorum you assign to them makes a big difference. But at the same time, you want to AVOID any and all JUDGEMENT of your idea/game PREMATURELY.

When you sit down to a meeting (another event with all kinds of land mines) ... That's when the reality of dealing with two people happens. And usually people are more open in person-to-person discussions even if there is a clock and time, however usually they are more open... I say "usually" because you might get a jerk of a Broker.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Only need one IP

freak4goofy wrote:
Have a finished prototype Legend of Zelda Risk that i would like to sell. I have already found that USAopoly holds the game rights for Nintendo and Hasbro has the design rights to Risk...

I have another idea for you. Games usually borrow mechanics and game play ideas... Knowing this, IP licensing is about "theme". So in reality, you are looking to license ONE IP: Zelda.

Characters, items, etc. All have to do with IP and the theme of your game. Since Hasbro provided a list of Brokers, work with that list and try to focus on the Link/Zelda IP property... Owned by Nintendo USA.

If your game is not an EXACT copy of Risk, you can re-use mechanics and game ideas without worrying about ownership rights. It is 100% acceptable that you design a game similar to Risk if it is NOT a copy.

So focus on Zelda, contact the brokers as I have suggested and good luck! Cheers.

Jay103's picture
Joined: 01/23/2018
Without any knowledge of your

Without any knowledge of your game or your situation.. I can't see a likelihood that Nintendo would license Zelda out for very many things.

Joined: 04/02/2018
yeah i was just going to add

yeah i was just going to add that nintendo is notorious for keeping their IPs locked tight -- even the smallest indie games / fan mods get shut down very quickly.

good luck, though!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Except Merchandising...

Angrycyborggames wrote:
Yeah i was just going to add that nintendo is notorious for keeping their IPs locked tight...

Well I for one have seen Zelda backpacks and Lunchboxes (at some point in time...) But it's a "timely" item... Only during the LAUNCH of a DS or 3DS Zelda game do those "other" merchandises appear on store shelves!

So I think for ELECTRONIC purposes Nintendo is very "guarded" (like Mods or other Video Game ideas) but for MERCHANDISING ... and let's not kid ourselves it's a "Board Game"... That's not competition to any of the Video Games out there... It actually could create a Zelda "Revival" (not that they need one ... but still!)

Therefore once he sits down with his Broker and talk about the Zelda IP, he may have an opportunity to get LICENSING provided the game is FUN!

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