What is a fair revenue split for a boardgame brought onto the iPad


I would like to bring an existing boardgame onto the iPad. The owner of the boardgame and the idea behind the game is positive for negotiations and asked me to find out what a fair market / revenue share would be.

So I am asking this forum. If the owner invented the game (some 20 years ago), published it as a boardgame and "lends" me his idea. I will pay for the development, all changes that might need to be done due to the constraints on such a device and all enhancements are done by myself.

What would be a fair share for the copyright owner? 10%? 15%? More?

The development costs will probably be around $15-$20k, the game is not published by a large company and the owner of the copyright is a private person. My marketing efforts will probably be around $2k, also paid by me.
So far I consider a lifelong revenue split and no sole right for me to distribute the principle on the iPad. I haven't thought about re-negotiations to be honest but it sounds like a fair thing in combination with negotiations about the future of the game.


asked Jul 4 '11 at 01:22
Marcus K
48 points
  • It really comes down to what you two agree to - i am sure that examples are all over the map. If there is large name recognition for the existing work the scale is canted towards the boardgame owner - if there is very little then it might be in your favor. What do you think would be the cost of development and initial marketing? Do you have exclusive rights? Would there be a renegotiation after some period? – Tim J 13 years ago

1 Answer


You would probably look at structuring the agreement as a royalty payment for use of the inventors IP. There is no "fair price" save for what you agree between you.

In order to work through the options between you could consider the following variables.

  • Your input and risk. You have noted what your inputs are, you have an ongoing input amount (and I think $2K marketing is optimistic but its your risk)
  • Your ongoing effort and risk. You are going to be putting in more than the upfront you have mentioned, there will be fixes and upgrades and marketing effort ongoing for the next few years.
  • IP for the existing game. This is the time the inventor spent building it all and working through the issues years ago. This should be noted and I would give between 5% and 8% as a royalty payment for the exclusive use of the IP on your nominated platforms (iPad).
  • Value of the existing market. Given it is a well known board game there is an existing market that he brings with the same and brand name. This is already established and worth something. Again this comes down to have valuable this actually is. If there are 100,000 people who love this game and will buy and iPad version tomorrow for $5 each then it might be worth 20-25%. If on the other hand there are 20 people and none own an iPad then it isn't worth all that much.
  • Value of the existing brand name. This is kind of related to the above version with some slight differences. If you have the exact same game with 2 different names, how much more would you sell given you use his existing name VS a new cool one you invent today. Again if its lots then you would look to include them more. The difference here is that if its a well known name then you are more likely to get more press about it and more people talking about it to share it "eg. Monopoly for iPad just released" is a headline a lot of gaming magazines would be willing to run with.

Another consideration for your discussion. Ongoing contribution. Successful iPad / iPhone games have new versions written ... is there value in including the original inventor of the game in these ... IE is their continued participation likely to be required? If so then working out with them either a larger percentage on the agreement they will help build more ... OR an agreement that you will engage them on the next versions and share those again.

Does that help?

answered Jul 4 '11 at 11:50
Robin Vessey
8,394 points
  • I think it helps quite a bit. The bit that helped me most - as I wasn't thinking about it - was the exclusive right as well as the potential ongoing contribution. That narrowed it down to a value I was thinking about before posting. – Marcus K 13 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: