For many independent board game designers, licensing their game to a publisher is the best way to see their creation getting out there into the wild. But most aspiring designers and aspiring publishers alike do not have a lot of experience with licensing contracts. The terms can be confusing and many designers are afraid of being taken advantage of.
As most of you know, I am currently working on a game with the working title “Duelist”. And Christian, my CO-Designer, and I have different interests. While he wants to focus on game design, I’m also very interested in the publishing aspect of games. That’s why we decided that I alone would be the publisher bringing the game to Kickstarter. And in order to do so, we of course also need a Licensing Agreement between Christian as Co-Designer and me.
And since this is also my first publisher contract I’m signing, I’ve spent some time on the subject and wanted to share my findings with you today.
But I will keep this rather general and not go into the details of our contract. My goal is rather to show which topics should be regulated and which different options exist.
If you have questions like this, the episode is for you:
Questions covered in this Podcast Episode:
- What’s expected of the designer and what can the designer expect of the publisher vice versa?
- What do fair conditions look like?
- What are your rights but also your responsibilities as a designer?
- What do I earn as a designer? What is the industry standard of royalty percentages?
- Do I have any say about the theme or the name of the game?
- What are pitfalls in game design publishing contracts?
Helpful links for Publishing Contracts:
- Jamey Stegmaier on Publishing Contracts at Stonemaier Games
- Cardboard Edison Study and Infographic about Board Game Licensing Contracts
- League of Gamemakers – Board Game Design Pitfalls
- Flatlinedgames – contract example
- Another Board Game Contract Example