Licensed games

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by Phil Steinmeyer, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Phil Steinmeyer

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    The first wave of licensed casual games is hitting... (Maybe the second if you count Spongebob Collapse). By license here, I mean licensed from other media - TV, movies, etc.

    Law and Order came out a couple weeks ago (though I believe it was just a repackage of a non-casual PC adventure game).

    The Apprentice casual game is now on Yahoo.

    I've been approached twice in the last couple months about working on licensed casual games for well-known properties. I said no but I'm sure someone else will say yes and they will see the light of day in a few months.

    Will these games fare like Bewitched (2 weeks or so on the chart, then a quick goodbye), or will we see a gradual rise of the licensed movie/TV/etc property, much as the 'core' gaming market has seen in the last 5 years?
     
  2. Alex Hanson-White

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    Sure,
    It can happen.. If the customers can connect with the product, its a bonus when they are deciding whether to buy it.
    Personally, I would find it a bit depressing if licensed titles flood the place.
     
  3. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    I'm a big, big fan of the apprentice show... so of course I downloaded the game. It's awful. Overcomplicated and the fact that they expect you to play for 4 hours just to finish 1 challenge is ridiculous.

    As far as licensed games doing well. Some will, some won't. I'm sure having a recognized brand attached helps though... but then again, depending on how high the license is, it will dent your bottom line.
     
  4. electronicStar

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    There's a free web-game of Monk that is rather enjoyable.
    Nevertheless I am not attracted to licensed games simply because I hate the cinema/TV culture of stupidity and the glorification of violence, spectacular and illiteracy against intelligence.
    For this reason I would be repelled by licenses such as apprentice,CSI,bewitched,etc,etc...
    I'm not saying I represent everybody, but a part of the audience might be turned off by licenses.
    I prefer to see an original background.
     
  5. Phil Steinmeyer

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    The Apprentice brand encouraged me to download that game, but I agree, it was really bad. We'll see how the sales are...
     
  6. jonathan GT

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    A fellow from GM called me not too long ago about licensing opportunities to use GM cars in an upcoming car racing game we have.

    My first question to him was "Why would we pay you to give you brand exposure to a highly desired target market (male 18-25) - you should be paying us!"

    Now I know brands like Bewitched and Poker Superstars bring some heavy clout that can increase the number of downloads a game receives - but imagine how much brand exposure Poker Superstars received - a fully engaged consumer for 20 minutes or more that far trumps a 30-sec commercial in the TiVo age - and how many people scrolling through channels will give a Poker Superstars show (Travel Channel I believe) a shot because of the online/download game...

    I may be a little biased in my view of this, but I know I won't be paying any licensing fees - it should be treated as a partnership IMO, with a revenue share at most.

    A lack of accurate reporting is one thing that would concern me from the licensing side - but as this improves I believe casual and online games will be treated more and more as a commercial partnership medium. Companies like Skyworks with their Casual Games Network are pushing this forward...
     
  7. berserker

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    Yes, I too think license would help to get more downloads, but I doubt it will affect sales much. After all it's all down to gameplay when it comes to buying as customers have free demo to try. Unlike retail it's not cat in the bag sort of deal.
    ________
    HERBAL VAPORIZERS
     
    #7 berserker, Feb 28, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  8. Mike Boeh

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    I have been involved in 2 licensed games so far:
    SpongeBob Squarepants Obstacle Odyssey
    And Lego Builder Bots

    Both were done in conjunction with Snap2Play here in Chicago. SpongeBob was a reskin of our game, Best Friends, while Builder Bots is an original game. I think a license can affect both downloads and conversion- but it's still a downloadable game, so it has to be fun to convert. There are certainly pros and cons to working with a licensed property like this.

    One thing to consider is that licenses like Lego and Nick tend to have a totally different audience than, say, Luxor. So different games appeal to them. Kids seem to love the SpongeBob game, while adults tend to not go for games where mastering controls is part of the challenge.
     
  9. arcadetown

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    From what I've seen a licensed name brand definitely seems to help on both eyeballs and sales. They typically seem to be lackluster games but still sell well enough. One day someone will combine it with a good solid game and have a mega hit. Look for more upcoming.
     
  10. Tom Gilleland

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    Certainly licensed brands can help downloads and sales of products. The big factor is the cost of of license. I had heard that Activision had just recently paid around one million for a licensed brand, they will have to sell a lot of product across all platforms to cover that licensing fee. Though I did see some brands get auctioned off on a bankruptcy sale in the three to ten thousand dollar range. These could probably be cost effective.

    Business Tip #122: Your costs must be much lower than your sales, or you won't be around for long.

    Can anyone share a ballpark cost of licensing something like the Spongebob brand? The show "Lost" would make a nice match-3 game theme.

    Tom
     
  11. StGabriel

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    In part the download-and-try-first model should help to derail branding-mania. Brands are of a lot more use to $40+ products which are purchased off the shelf. Brands should help get more downloads of course and so will be partially effective.

    I hope they don't become prevalent but it wouldn't surprise me to see more of them.
     

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