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Question about licensing content

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/25/2013

Hey, I'm relatively new to these forums, so hopefully I'm posting this in the right spot (forgive me if I didn't!). I am creating a board game version of the Dino Park Tycoon video game from the early 90s and it's looking really good so far. The board game version is different enough from the video game that most people probably wouldn't make the connection unless you brought it up, but I've been thinking lately about acquiring a license to use the actual Dino Park Tycoon name and maybe some updated graphics. Yes, yes, I know there's not a huge need to do this, so I guess consider this a thought experiment. I know who currently owns the IP for Dino Park Tycoon (Ubisoft), and I want to contact them to see how much licensing would cost. I'd like to know beforehand how licensing works, though, and how much it might cost for something so obscure and out of date. Does anyone have experience with anything like this?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Other options...

The other thing you can do is focus on the game itself, make it fun and interesting and then approach the IP owner saying you have a cool game (board game) and you would like to use the IP...

Maybe they may consider it...

I have tried to speak with Ubisoft also regarding a video game entitled "Star Wars - Galactic Frontier". It was a 20 page analysis document for the 1st half of the game. I sent them a copy and never heard a peep from them.

Another option is sending the request to use the IP... And if you get no response, categorize that as "I can make this game..." Then if they sue you for IP infringement, you can claim that Ubisoft didn't take the time to respond to your request to partner with them on the venture. Moreover you could not speak directly with them concerning using the IP of the game...

I'm not a lawyer... So take this with a grain of salt.

Note: I think that's a GOOD idea: Speak with a lawyer and ask him to draft a letter concerning your interest in using their IP. Make sure you cover your bases before getting in too deep... (IMHO)

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
A good start on the topic

BGG had a thread discussing the idea:

I don't recall the game, myself. I wonder how valuable it actually would be. In essence you are giving up a percent of revenue (10% is a number I've seen floated about) in the hopes of a win-win outcome. You sell enough extra copies to make it worth giving out that cut. They make free money after the costs for lawyers to review the contract, accounting stuff, review of the product before it releases, etc.

MoldtDK's picture
Joined: 06/19/2013
Licence laws are different in

Licence laws are different in each country but generally speaking, I don't believe that you would have a good case on your hands if you were to go for the: 'they never replied to my requested partnership' idea... That is just like asking someone if you can 'borrow' their car and if they don't answer just assume that they are alright with it...

I think that where I live the licence of a name or creative product lasts for 90 years after the death of the creator unless the family or heirs wish to uphold it longer.

But does your game really NEED the exact name Dino Park Tycoon? I mean you could probably make small changes so the meaning is the same but in a way that the name is your own.

Dino Theme Park
Dino Park Magnate
Jurrasic Tycoon

or whatever else might seem similar

KrisW's picture
Joined: 01/15/2013

Corsaire wrote:
BGG had a thread discussing the idea:
They make free money after the costs for lawyers to review the contract, accounting stuff, review of the product before it releases, etc.

Quite often the amount of money made from board game licensing does not cover the cost of the lawyers, and so the licensee is better off refusing to entertain offers.

Potentially you could start by researching the actual creator of the game and sending a personal letter acknowledging that their game inspired you and asking how they would prefer to interact with you. Some creators will actively assist in 'filing off the serial numbers' in order to help you without incurring legal costs neither of you can afford.

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