By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
Layer Licensing is introducing a brand new marketplace approach to licensing IP for games, simplifying the process of finding and securing the rights.
The Australian start-up Layer just launched its dedicated digital licensing marketplace to “shake up how licensing deals between brands and games companies are managed.”
The company’s founders say Layer is essentially acting as a matchmaking platform between IP holders looking to extend their licensing activities into the games industry, and game developers and publishers seeking licensable IP to include in their games. With major titles like Fortnite leading the way and leveraging well-known brands to attract and retain players, securing IP has become a vital part of the business of gaming, the company explains. On the other hand, IP holders are realising its value and increasingly exploring opportunities in games.
The whole idea behind Layer is to make the process of finding the right deal and negotiating agreements will be so simple that anyone can do it.
The concept for Layer came about after one of the company’s founders, Rachit Moti, successfully licensed a song from his now-defunct band into a NASCAR racing game. His buddy Chris Illuk was struck by the legal complexities and opaque nature of the licensing process, so in 2021 Moti and Illuk founded Layer to democratize IP licensing by streamlining and simplifying the process.
Part of this ambition is to enable as many game creators around the world as possible to work with their favorite brands and characters.
So, how does the system work?
Basically, Layer matches game developers to IP holders’ profiles based on commercial requirements, audience overlap and thematic fit. For instance, a developer working on a new game aimed at children can join the platform and be matched with popular children’s characters based on the parameters they set. Once two companies are happy with a match, they can proceed to the negotiation phase to agree commercial terms, all of which is handled within the platform.
“With character’s skins, themed seasons, or co-branded DLC and other in-game purchases, there are so many more ways well-known IPs can get into the gaming space nowadays,” explains Moti, the CEO & co-founder at Layer. “Despite interconnected metaverses potentially being years away, we’re already seeing major brands take their first steps inside these virtual worlds, and this trend will only accelerate.
“Historically, securing an IP was a very complex, labour intensive legal process that was normally reserved for large publishers with the capital and right know-how – something I believe is antiquated and no longer fit for purpose in the modern entertainment landscape,” Moti adds. “We’re here to change that and give developers of all sizes a seat at the table.”
Signing up to the platform is free, and the Layer team also offers licensing advice to companies that may not be familiar with the licensing process.
The Layer marketplace is already home to over 50 gaming companies and more than 150 well-known brands spanning automotive, celebrity, children’s books, comics, fashion, film & TV, and toys.
It’s free to sign up and only takes a few minutes, while Layer’s onboarding team provides a white-glove experience setting up each new profile to ensure the highest quality matches for game creators and IP holders.
To sign up or learn more, visit: https://www.layerlicensing.com/