Search Unity

  1. Welcome to the Unity Forums! Please take the time to read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with the forum rules and how to post constructively.
  2. Join us on Dec 8, 2022, between 7 am & 7 pm EST, in the DOTS Dev Blitz Day 2022 - Q&A forum, Discord, and Unity3D Subreddit to learn more about DOTS directly from the Unity Developers.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have a look at our Games Focus blog post series which will show what Unity is doing for all game developers – now, next year, and in the future.
    Dismiss Notice

How do I learn more about IP licensing?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JustColorado, Sep 2, 2022.

  1. JustColorado

    JustColorado

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Posts:
    89
    We will be finishing a project next spring, and we are starting to think seriously about what our next game will be. I would like to talk to some IP holders about licensing their content for our next project. I am mostly interested in Anime / Manga IP holders that have a great story and a following.

    I guess what I want most is a anime/manga partner that: has a following already, and can deliver a script for a game based on their IP that is perfectly entertaining to read with no art, games or graphics. That would an ideal starting point for a new project.

    I have no idea how to structure a deal. I don't know if I should offer money, or ask them to put up money, or there is a third party involved that brokers this, what do the royalties look like. I just have no clue at all how this works. How do I learn more about setting up these deals so that I am prepared to discuss them?
     
  2. CodeSmile

    CodeSmile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Posts:
    1,594
    That's a tough one. I think the most important bit here is to consider what THEY would get out of the deal. Put yourself in the shoes of a license holder, and consider how they approach their business, what they're used to dealing with (ie distribution of magazines), how the company is structured, finding the right person to approach, what their competition is doing in the digital space, and so on.

    They'd probably also want to see your track record, ideally published games of high quality that fall in line with their art style. At the minimum you'd have to have a demo that you can show them, this is called a vertical slice and the reason why many deals don't take off because it's a lot of work (money) that goes into such a vertical slice with all the risk on your side.

    Then the networking part really matters. If you have any chance of visiting a fair where the prospective clients take part in and you can get to talk to them - an appointment would greatly increase your chances - then that could be your foot in the door.

    I think the bottom line is: if you don't understand the business they're in, you will find it difficult to convince them to make a deal with you. If you do understand what they consider good business opportunities, how they view the changes in their market (ie decline in physical sales, rise in digital sales - hopefully) etc etc and then you can make your offer match all the pros and little of their cons. I think then you could have a chance.

    Well, research their business and you'll certainly get some good ideas. Then run them by some of the less interesting prospects and check their responses, refine your pitch and the more you understand the more confident you feel approaching the more interesting prospects.
     
    Socrates likes this.
  3. JustColorado

    JustColorado

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Posts:
    89
    @CodeSmile Thanks, that is very solid advice. I think we are in a good place as far as a demo of a story driven action anime game. And also market evidence that we are a reliable game studio with a good track record.

    I don't understand the business of making anime series or Manga at all. Or how licensing this stuff is structured. But I know that these types of deals happen often.

    Does anyone know where I can read up and learn more about deal structure so I at least have an idea of what is happening with other game studios licensing IP and give me some idea of what to propose.
     
  4. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Posts:
    3,625
    You are much more likely to get a license for a popular IP if you have a publisher already that you regularly work with who will handle this for you, otherwise unless you are an established studio with some measurable succcess your chances are slim to none.

    If thats the case, I would recommend reaching out to some smaller manga/anime creators directly, who may be willing to license directly to you
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2022
  5. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,723
    You don't do the deal structuring. Your legal representation does. You tell them what you need, what you want, and they go and thrash out a possible deal.

    If you can't afford that then you are barking up the wrong tree to begin with.
     
    Ryiah and MadeFromPolygons like this.