Board games are a great way to spend time with family and friends. Why not try self-publishing or licensing your board game? Both options have pros and cons, so your decision will come down to personal preference. Self-publishing gives you the most control over the final product but it can be challenging to get into distribution channels.
On the other hand, licensing opens up many doors for marketing and distribution, but there is less creative freedom in how your game looks.
When choosing between self-publishing and licensing your board game you must make an important decision: do you want more creative freedom or easier access to potential distributors? It all comes down to what’s most important for YOU and your custom board game.
What is a board game, and what are the different types of board games
The first thing you need to know is what a board game is. A board game is a game where you move pieces on a special surface according to a set of rules.
There are many different types of board games from well-known classics like Monopoly to newer games like Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. Board games can be broadly categorized into several different genres:
- Strategy games: These are games that require players to make decisions that will affect the game’s outcome. Examples of strategy games include chess and Settlers of Catan.
- Tactical games: Tactical games are usually focused on military conflict and often involve combat between players. Games like Risk and Axis& Allies are examples of tactical games.
- Cooperative games are when players work together to complete a task or goal. Pandemic and Forbidden Island are two well-known cooperative board games.
- Miniature war games: Board games use miniature figures to represent armies or units in battle. Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine are two popular miniature wargames.
2. How do you self-publish a board game?
Self-publishing a board game is the process of independently producing and releasing your game without the involvement of a third-party publisher. This means that you will be responsible for everything from manufacturing to marketing to distribution.
There are a few different ways to ao about self-publishing your board game. The most popular method is to use a print-on-demand service like The Game Crafter or DriveThruCards. These services will print and ship your game for you which takes a lot of the hassle out of self-publishing.
Another option is to find a local game store or hobby shop willing to sell your game on consignment. This can be a great way to get your game in front of potential customers but finding a store willing to take on a new and unknown game can be difficult.
3. How do you license a board game?
Licensing a board game is the process of giving someone else the right to produce and release your game. This is often done with the help of a third-party publisher, who will handle everything from manufacturing to marketing to distribution.
There are a few different ways to license your board game. The most common method is to sign an exclusive licensing agreement with a publisher. This means that they will be the only company allowed to produce and sell your game for a certain period.
Another option is to sign a non-exclusive licensing agreement, which would allow multiple companies to produce and sell your game. This can be a great way to get your game into more stores, but it can also be difficult to negotiate fair terms for both you and the publisher.
4. What are the benefits of self-publishing a board dame?
There are a few key benefits to self-publishing your board game:
- You have complete creative control: When you self-publish, you get to make all the decisions about your game. This includes everything from the art and graphics to the rules and gameplay.
- You can release your game on your schedule: One of the biggest advantages of self-publishing is that you aren’t beholden to anyone else’s timeline. You can release your game when it’s ready not when a publisher says it’s ready.
- You keep all the profits: When you self-publish, you get to keep 100% of the profits from your game sales. This is a big advantage over licensing where you would have to split the profits with a publisher.
5. What are the benefits of licensing a board game?
There are a few key benefits to licensing your board game:
- You can reach a larger audience: One of the biggest advantages of licensing is giving you access to a larger distribution network. This means that your game will be available in more stores and online retailers which will help it reach a wider audience.
- You can get help with marketing and promotion: Another big advantage of licensing is tapping into a publisher’s marketing and promotional resources. This can be a huge help in getting your game in front of potential customers.
- You can focus on designing games: One of the big advantages of licensing is that it frees you to focus on designing games. You won’t have to worry about manufacturing shipping or any other self-publishing logistics.
6. What are the disadvantages of self-publishing a board game?
There are a few key disadvantages to self-publishing your board game:
- You have to do everything yourself: When you self-publish, you are responsible for everything from manufacturing to marketing to distribution. This can be a lot of work. and it can be difficult to do everything independently.
- You might not reach as many people: One of the biggest disadvantages of self-publishing is that you might not reach as many people as you would if you licensed your game. You won’t have access to a publisher’s distribution network
- You might not make as much money: Another big disadvantage of self-publishing is that you might not make as much money as you would if you licensed your game. This is because you’ll have to split the profits with a publisher.
7. What are the disadvantages of licensing a board game?
There are a few key disadvantages to licensing your board game:
- You might not have as much control: One of the biggest disadvantages of licensing is that you might not have as much control over the final product. A publisher will have to approve any changes you want to make to your game.
- Your game might not be released: One of the biggest risks of licensing is that your game might never be released. A publisher could decide not to publish your game for many reasons.
8. Which option is better for you?
The best option for you will depend on your specific situation. If you want complete control over your game and don’t mind doing all the work yourself, self-publishing might be the best option.
However, licensing might be the better option if you want to reach a larger audience and don’t mind giving up some control. Ultimately, it comes down to what you look for in a publishing experience.