United States: Have An Idea For A Great Video Game? Here's How To Get Started

Last Updated: April 6 2016
Article by Sean F. Kane

Originally published by Athletes Quarterly.

The Kim Kardashian: Hollywood mobile game has reportedly generated over $200 million since its release in 2014. If you think you should be the star of a celebrity-themed game or have an even better idea for a game, what do you do? The great thing about mobile games is that almost anyone can create one. However, you should understand that mobile games have greatly increased in number, content and complexity. Statistics from 2015 estimate that more than 500 iOS and 250 Android mobile games are being released each day. These games range from small independent games made for a few thousand dollars to immersive games costing more than $10 million which that rival some major console titles. So while making a game can be fun, it is still a serious business, but your personal brand gives you a leg up on the rest of the pack.

Design Dictates Device

The type of game you are envisioning will determine the platform and overall cost of development. Is the concept a match-three puzzle game, a real-time strategy, a multiplayer online battle arena, a sports or celebrity lifestyle simulation, or something completely different? A simplistic puzzle game may be quite playable on a small mobile phone screen, while something visually immersive or which requires complex strategy or content may be better suited to a larger tablet screen.

Monetization and Platform Distribution

Probably the most important determination is how to make money with the game. Some mobile games charge a fee to download, which is usually not more than a few dollars. Another model allows for free download, but includes advertising or paid microtransaction features in the game. For popular games like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush, etc., the advertising or microtransaction model can generate significantly more revenue in the long run.

Once your game concept and features have been decided, you still need to determine how to get it to your customers. The most popular platforms for mobile game distribution are the Apple App Store, Google Play store and Amazon Appstore. Since each one of these app stores can accept or decline to publish your mobile game, it is important to review their rules and requirements during the planning stage to ensure your mobile game concept is in compliance with their rules. Additionally, if you do not have any personal contacts at the individual app stores, you may want to consider working with a company like Mobile Game Partners that can facilitate the acceptance and possibly the featuring of your game. Platforms generally require a share of about 30% of all game revenue. This will obviously affect the bottom line for the financial success of the game.

Develop, Subcontract or License

Who will actually make the game? If you want to develop a game, you need to decide whether you want to build a team or subcontract the development to a third party. Mobile game development is difficult and complex. It can be like trying to catch lightning in a bottle, as there are many elements that must be combined to make that one great game. For a first-time game maker there can be many pitfalls, since you may not even realize what you don't know. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with the right team of people. You want to partner with others who have created games before. But it is important to make sure that their experience is with games of similar styles and playability elements and for the same platforms you are targeting. Just because someone was on the team that created Grand Theft Auto V or Call of Duty for the PS4, does not mean they have the skills to create an iOS or Android basketball game. To build a team, you will need people with various skills, including artists, writers, programmers, data analysts, support specialists, and a video game lawyer, as well as experts in finance, business development and quality assurance. If you do not have much prior experience in the mobile game space it may be difficult to identify and acquire the right people. One suggestion is to make your first hire an experienced game producer with industry contacts who can assist with building the rest of the team.

An easier way to develop a mobile game is to hire a third-party developer. There are many developers who already have the expertise in place to make a game and will do so for a fee and/or a cut of the profits. If you are going to take this route and subcontract development, make certain that you at least hire a producer who will report directly to you about the status of development. Having someone embedded in the development team will greatly reduce the chance of miscommunications or that the game will be delayed or go over budget. However, if you choose to work with a third party subcontractor you need to protect your rights. You should always have a non-disclosure agreement executed by any parties you meet with to discuss development and enter into a written work for hire and assignment agreement with whatever developer you ultimately work with.

The easiest way to develop a game is to just license your image, brand or game concept to a company that will take care of development, marketing and platform release. This is a relatively simple process of negotiating a license with the publisher. You can expect to receive payment in the form of a share of the revenue or profits of the game, and you may also be able to negotiate an up-front payment and/or a minimum guarantee. You should also ask for approval rights at various stages of development, so you are certain that your game concept is being properly brought to life. There are various video game placement agents that can assist you in locating the right development partners.

Final Takeaway

Make certain that you choose the right business, legal, and management partners and properly protect your game at the idea stage, during development and following release. As with any other aspect of your competitive life, success in business requires you to develop a game plan and execute decisively.

www.fkks.com

This alert provides general coverage of its subject area. We provide it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz is not engaged herein in rendering legal advice, and shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any error, inaccuracy, or omission. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions in which they are properly authorized to do so. We do not seek to represent clients in other jurisdictions.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Sean F. Kane
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.