Advice for building a game based on an IP

So I have had a dream since 1987 of living in a certain universe based on an IP. With the advent of decent VR, I now have the tools to acquire my dream. However, I would also like for others to experience this, well, experience :stuck_out_tongue:

Now, considering it may end up costing me a lot of $$$ to create it (hiring people), I would think about going the kickstarter route. However, due to copyright issues, well… yea. So, what is the recommended route on getting permission from the IP holders so that I can create, and distribute this? I have a nagging feeling that if I just emailed a request to the holder, it would go ignored.

Any advice?

Depending on the IP, it will likely be ignored. This goes double if it’s a profitable IP.

I can’t really recommend building a game based on someone else’s IP. Even as a fan of something, as it traditionally ends with you doing a ton of work that you can’t make money on, only to get hit with a C&D and now you can’t show the work to anyone, either. While you gain some knowledge while you’re building, it’s time ultimately wasted.

Best advice would be to simply build what it is you wanted to build, but reskin it to an original IP. At least then you can attempt to profit from it.

If you’re still 100% dead set on building a game based on an IP you do not own, the best advice I can give you is to NEVER EVER CHARGE ANYONE FOR ANYTHING RELATING TO THE PROJECT. That means make no sales, take no donations, don’t even serve ads on the associated websites. That fact might help save you from a lawsuit when they choose to C&D you instead of straight up suing you. As for developing the game… start it now, stay silent, and hold on to it until a point where the IP’s community would probably really want to see it completed. If it’s good enough, release it to the wilds of the internet, and maybe you’ll get a large enough calling from the IP’s audience that the owners would have little choice but to recognize your game. That could lead to them giving you the greenlight to use their IP, or maybe it means they take you on as an employee and help finish your game design. Most likely, they C&D you and you’re back at square one.

Grace Hopper once said it’s easier to ask forgiveness than get permission. I’m pretty sure that applies here, too.