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Four Examples > Mature Game into Film - Pg. 226

Licensing Expected Features 226 Have your team work out its feature requirements and be sure the licensor can guarantee that those features will be in the product (and in the license agreement). For example, what does your particular game need in terms of polygons per frame, sound, streaming, VU0/VU1 acceleration, and other technical enhancement? Ask the art department if they have any theme-specific needs, such as realistic image distortion for an underwater level. Mature Game into Film Cast of Characters · Licensor. In this instance, Developer and Publisher jointly. · Producer/production company. The company that makes (or sublicenses the making of) the film. · Financier(s). Any third parties contributing to the production budget. · Distributor. The party who gets the film from the can to the screen (or VHS, if it's a direct to video). Usually, this is one of the big studios. Mis en Scène Developer is working on a game, to be released by Publisher, based on its Developer's original IP. Developer held onto the ability to pursue entertainment licensing opportunities, on the condition that Publisher approve any deals and share half of all revenue for three years following the release of the last game put out by Publisher. Developer thinks that the property, which is very character-driven, would translate well to film and puts together a modified bible to pitch the project. They think about hiring an agent, who would have better film industry contacts. Furthermore, they worry that the time and effort required to shop the project around would take focus away from getting the game done. To try to save the 10 percent agent's commission (which could apply to all revenue stemming from the film, including sequels and film-related merchandise), Developer decides to spend one month trying to sell the project without an agent. Two parties express interest in optioning the property: Producer A is a small independent production company willing to pay $5K for a one-year feature film option with the direct to video and television film (not series) rights, with a $50K purchase price plus 3 percent of the production budget if they exercise the option. Producer B is a production company tied in to a large entertainment conglom- erate. This company is willing to pay $5K for a one-year option, with a $50K purchase price and one percent of the production budget on exercise; however, it wants not only all film rights but the mer- chandise rights associated with the film and an exclusive option to make other entertainment. Developer consults with Publisher on the two offers. They agree that Producer A is more likely to make the property a priority, and the deal would allow them to hold onto what could become valuable entertainment and merchandise rights. However, even though Producer B wants to tie up more rights for less money, Developer and Publisher agree that their best chance of getting those rights turned into entertainment lies with the power of a conglomerate to finance and coordinate a licensing program across its divisions. Developer consults with its attorney, who counsels that Producer B sounds like a fine choice pro- vided that any rights not exploited within a certain time frame revert. Producer B and Developer (with Publisher's approval) negotiate a contract with the following highlights. Contract Highlights Highlights of licensing a property for film production may include: