I, an ever curious soul, am a devout fan of Cricket, just like the next 1.17 Billion.
While, I have been working on setting and launching BillBharo, I also keep wondering how to do a bit more and eek a little more out of the 24 hrs. This involves keeping my eyes and ears open.
So a few weeks ago, in the middle of the World Cup and IPL 2011 edition, I thought about how would it be to introduce a Card Game based on Cricket(which acts as a game, a learning tool and as a collectible) and set about looking at present options in the market. I came across Topps and the fact that they introduced a Card Trading Game-"Cricket Attax (http://www.cricketattax.com/home.html) ". Great, I walked into Hamley's and picked up the Card Game (a pack of 5 playing cards for Rs 15.00), to figure the whole thing out.
I cracked open the case(foil pack more like it) and spent the better part of an hour trying to figure what to do with it. Finally I did and this was nothing more than the Card equivalent of the good ole Book Cricket.
Thank god since the concept which I had envisaged was far removed from this.
Next, I figured I would write to each of the IPL franchise teams and figure out if this concept appealed to them. 4 of them said it was cool, but you might want to touch base with the IPL Management, and have them on your side, as it would/might involve using the IPL logos and colours, etc.
So finally, I wrote the man-in-charge and got a very quick, clipped response that read something like this '"...IPL has tied up with Topps International Pvt Ltd to produce and market player trading cards for the next 8 years. They are IPL’s official licensee and no other company can use the IPL logo or association for trading cards. ..."
I probed further. I wanted to check if "IPL's license would not allow a Card Game which is Not a trading game, to co-exist as a part of IPL".Result a terse - ".. Topps has the exclusive rights for all card based games/collectibles etc.."
Topps from whatever I understand is ONLY into Trading Cards and nothing more. So for instance, Topps has not made an UNO version of their Cards. Trading Cards is an alien concept for Indians and is more of a US thing. India likes Card Games .. <Alok: Please correct me if I am wrong>
Bugger I thought .. and then realised that IPL had sort of put a Concrete Wall barrier for all such games and who knows how many other things for 8 years !
The issue is of Blanket Licenses and covering pretty much the Horizontal for every Vertical (license is for 'card games', when the need is for a Vertical only-'trading card games'). Well, I know I know, in strategy parlance, this is called Barriers to Entry. Understood.
What I want to ask all of you is what your thoughts are on such a matter of Blanket Permits/Licenses ?
Second, I will turn to advice to all of you on the following aspects
1. Should I let it go and not pursue this?
2. Please remember, I have a level of interest that is present from the franchises itself, so would it make sense not use the IPL and just build a game for each franchise ?
I look forward to all your thoughts and brickbats.
Can I pick your brain on how to do so ?
The option of keeping it a Card game OR take it online.
So, did you go ahead and make the Card game or not.
I missed this when originally posted, else I could have shown you my Card based Cricket Game then.
I have been facing the same BCCI wall on my game, however I have gone ahead and built it for other platforms.
My game was initially created as an "In-call" Audio game, but in the past year we have also made it for FB, iOS, Android, BB & J2ME devices, and it features cross platform multiplayer gameplay with extensive Audio Commentary.
Could you connect me to the IPL franchisees you said you got some interest from...?
I could not go ahead with the Game as the 'Cricket Attax' by TOPPS has been given the exclusive rights for producing and marketing a Card Game for the next 7 years. Strangely, any sort of Card Game is included in the Excluded List.
The IPL franchisees had an interest, however, since its directly governed by the IPL Council for permissions, Sundar Raman and Srini are the men who will give you your Go ahead.
I'll be more than willing to make the introduction. That's the least I can do :)
Please send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll share the details with you.