Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wants to License Video Game Merchandise in India

Dear Rich: Over time India has been growing as a vital part of gaming industry. Kids, teens and adults as well are strongly connected to games now whether it is PS, PSP, Xbox or PC. Gaming has become an integral part of our daily schedule. As a passionate gamer, I always want to show my dedication towards a particular game by buying the special gaming merchandise even if it be a 'bandana.' But for us Indian gamers it is really not possible to buy any gaming merchandise as such. Well I just wanted to know if, is there any license or other way where I could make custom gaming merchandise and sell it to the huge potential target market here? The merchandise which we would produce will be of highest quality as we mean to stay in this gig for a really long time. If not profit sharing, we can obviously think of any other workaround to accomplish this. Any help will be highly appreciated. It's been our experience that unless you represent an existing merchandise company -- that is, a successful maker of t-shirts, hats, or similar "merch," video game companies (the "licensors") usually don't want to hear from you. They're generally not willing to take a chance and put their brand in the hands of a novice. If merchandising is your goal, you can acquire credibility by (1) affiliating with an existing Indian merchandise company, (2) starting your own company and building a track record (we know, we know ... that's easier said than done), or (3) finding fledgling video game start ups in India and entering into agreements before they become big.
How it's done ... Acquiring permission to sell merchandise that incorporates video game trademarks or copyrighted material requires that you locate the owner of rights, negotiate an agreement, and execute the agreement in writing. However, the agreement used in merchandise licensing is usually more complex than a typical permission agreement and contains additional responsibilities and boilerplate -- for example, each party may seek warranties and indemnity.
Payment. You probably won't have much choice how payments are structured as the licensors usually dictate the terms. Typically, the licensor is paid an advance plus a royalty based on a percentage of income from sales. The company selling the merchandise (you, the licensee) must meet certain obligations including payments, quality control, and enforcement of rights. If you fail to do so, the license can be terminated.
For more information. This licensing article explains some of the legal basics, and this article explains some of the business basics. And this is what could happen if you sell merch without authorization.

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