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Interactive INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY


Partnering with IP: turn a gamble into gaming’s safe bet


Megan Goodwin, joint MD at digtial innovation agency, IRM, explores the viability of Intellectual Property licences for gambling products - examining the pitfalls and the opportunties


Books, films, TV series, board games, computer games, even famous people – all of them have proved to be great sources for online gaming titles. Just look at the licensed properties you can play on the major online gambling sites…


Megan Goodwin, Joint MD at digital innovation agency IRM


Megan Goodwin is joint Managing Director of IRM. An accomplished business developer and marketing expert with over 15 years’ experience in television, publishing and digital media, her specialties include content innovation and distribution, cross platform development and marketing partnerships. A proven innovator focused on monetising brands, Megan specialises in the creation of great digital products and pioneering new business models. Megan has not only established IRM but has also been digital strategy advisor to some of the most notable international media companies including Endemol, BBC Worldwide and Fox Television advising on some of the world’s best known TV series.


But it’s important for developers of digital gaming titles to be sure that the IP they are being offered or are looking to work with will resonate with their core target market.


Meanwhile, Intellectual Property assets must be managed properly if they are to have any kind of longevity. Tat means taking care that any partnerships, licensing deals or joint ventures do not damage the long-term health of their brand. Tey shouldn’t just jump at every passing opportunity offered to them. For example, while you can make an actual working slot machine out of LEGO and it could be fun, it’s unlikely given that it just doesn’t fit in with the toy brand’s values; Imagination, Creativity, Fun, Learning, Caring and Quality.


Disney is another well-known family brand that seeks to distance itself from any kind of gambling games. Indeed, Disney’s purchase of first Marvel in 2009 and then LucasFilms in 2012 means that Star Wars and Marvel licensed gaming titles will gradually fade away over the next few years, as existing licensing deals run out.


But many IP owners do not have a problem with their property being used by gaming companies, assuming the titles they create and/or operate are well-made, support core brand values and are run responsibly and professionally.


Tere are two key first steps that gaming P134 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA


operators and developers should take into account before embarking on a project like this.


One is to establish what the property being offered as a potential license is, what its core strengths are, what audiences it appeals to, what its key brand values are and how wide an appeal it has in geographic terms.


Tis last point is particularly important – game development is now very costly, so it is crucial to be able to spread the costs across as many markets as possible. A global IP franchise is always going to be better than a property which appeals to only one or two countries.


Te other key consideration at the outset of any licensing project like this is a brand audit, deciphering all of the licensing deals which an IP owner may have signed in the past. Are they still running? What territories do they cover? Are they platform-specific? What does the exact wording say? And perhaps most important of all,


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