A panel of experts have come together to discuss the real value in working with a popular brand in mobile games. The moral of the story is that, in this case, size isn't everything. If you can pair the right ideas with stellar timing, it can be a big success.
This panel came together at Pocket Gamer Connects London, bringing together four experts in the mobile industry: Melisa Bunce, CEO of B-Hive Associates, Mike Hawkyard, Amuzo's MD, Anil Mistry, Managing Director of Good Catch Games and Dittmar Tukker, the founder of GAMEDIA. The panel was led by Simon Usiskin, co-founder of IQU.com
Hawkyard added that companies shouldn't just think about "big, huge, massive IPs", instead focussing on working with licenses that the company, as developers, understand and feel like they could bring faithful ideas to, instead of looking at the financials. This is a sentiment echo'd by Bunch, who said that as a company "you need to feel that you actually trust the person you're giving your IP to" and that many licensors are thinking not about whether they will make money, but rather that those involved have real enthusiasm for the license.
Tukker adds a more cautionary voice to the mix, suggesting that "brand documents are longer than any design documents", and that sometimes working with IP can be difficult dependant on which brand it is, as some managers may try to make changes or insist on different angles to make sure a the game lines up with the company's brand expectations.
In short, it seems to work with licenses you'll need to have a genuine love and appreciation for a brand, with a good sense of its underlying identity. Pair that with a good idea and the right timing, and it's a great choice. Simple, really.