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ooak

evaluate a game`s copyrights cost

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dear gamedev community, today I come for an advice and some insight.

when I was a teenager I started playing carom3d a billiard game, the game was good and I was addicted to it.

after some time I quit playing it, only to return now to find out the game had shutdown by the dev company because the server`s cost where too high.

A thought crossed my mind to purchase the rights for the game and re-launch it, so I reached out to who I know has the rights and they said that it is possible to negotiate for the copyrights of the game but I should of course give them a formal proposal.

 

So now I stand here in front of you guys to help me find out what would be a good estimste value of the copyrights, and what do you think will be the costs of re-launching the game.

 

p.s. : yes I have no experiance in the game industry so go ahead crush my dream and advice me.

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Think about what you can afford, and think about how much money the game might bring in over 2 or 3 years - then don't tell the other party your number but ask the other party for his number. Then see if the two numbers are within negotiating distance, or if they're so far apart that no agreement is feasible.
But really, if you have no experience in the game industry, it's an unwise idea to enter into the swamp without a map and with no knowledge of the habits of alligators.

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Usually this is effectively buying a business.

Just getting the software, code, assets, and build chain is not enough. You will need a person or two who can help you set it all up, configure machines, and bootstrap everything. Then you will likely need occasional help when things break down.

This type of transaction is often valued in the millions of dollars initially, with contracts for support at an hourly rate as needed.

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Usually this is effectively buying a business.
Just getting the software, code, assets, and build chain is not enough. You will need a person or two who can help you set it all up, configure machines, and bootstrap everything. Then you will likely need occasional help when things break down.
This type of transaction is often valued in the millions of dollars initially, with contracts for support at an hourly rate as needed.

You also have to be able to continue to support what you've invested in. If you just let it stagnate you are effectively flushing big money down the toilet.

In my day job we use a piece of software that used to be written by and supported by one knowledgeable guy who was always good to talk to.

Unfortunately he passed away and it was bought by a company with no clue who put up the license costs and made them yearly, and can't really enhance or update the software never mind support it well.

Needless to say I will be advising we find alternatives.

The same goes for the game industry so be careful where you tread in the swamp tom sloper mentioned!

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Tom: that is what I`m currently doing gauging the price range with unofficial talks.

thought there maybe some way to estimate the true value just like a business before diving in, but obviously that can be done in the due diligence proccess.

 

frob&brain: yes I completly understand the need for a team to be able to re-launch the game and obviously support it.

what is the estimate of a small team 2-4, and what skills they need to posses?

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what is the estimate of a small team 2-4, and what skills they need to posses?

In the US, the rough guide is that an employer pays $10,000 per month per employee.  That includes the direct cost of salary, but also many indirect costs like taxes, employment insurance, tools to work with, supporting the person, and so on.

 

So 2-4 people is $20,000 to $40,000 per month, approximately.

 

As for their skills, depends on the project.  Get the skills you need for your project.  Don't get C++ programmers to support a project written in Java, don't get Java programmers to support a project written in Ruby, don't get Ruby programmers to support a project written in C++, etc.

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What you are trying to do is basically a business valuation.  There are a variety of ways of approaching this, but for something like you describe then a cash-flow model is likely the most ideal.

 

To do this you need to estimate the costs associated with operating this game, as well as the estimated inflows (i.e. revenues).  Typically such estimates are projected on an annual basis for a number of years, then discounted based on time value of money.  If your net discounted cash flow is positive then that's a good thing; if it's negative, then it's usually not something you'd want to invest in unless you are willing to take a loss.

 

The other thing to do is a risk analysis, to determine what types of risks you can be exposed to and their effects on the business.  Risks could be related to anything include customer base, financial, talent/employees, etc.  Ideally you want to go in with an idea of what the risks are and a mitigation strategy.  For example, a specific risk could include not attracting the right talent to support the game; you'd then want a strategy to address that in the case it occurs.

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