The Hamburg, Germany-based Iconicfuture has created a global marketplace for the sale of virtual goods in online and mobile games.
Under the deal, Iconicfuture will be able to use assets from Virtual Greats in its digital market. Virtual Greats’ brands include “Domo,” film rights from Universal Pictures movies, and others.
“Virtual Greats’ portfolio of leading entertainment and fashion brands should perform wonderfully in Iconicfuture’s strong gaming distribution system,” said Dan Jansen, the chief executive of Virtual Great.
Iconicfuture makes it easier to license brands by building the marketplace between rights holders and game developers who want to use recognizable assets in electronic games. It aims to simplify the convoluted legal process of licensing small items for games from multiple rights holders. It tracks use, adheres to rights holders’ guidelines, and handles payment.
Christian Weddigen, the managing director of Iconicfuture, “With this step, only two years after launching, Iconicfuture has established itself as the largest provider of intellectual property rights for virtual worlds.”
The merger enables the sale of hundreds of unique licensed virtual items from the sports, entertainment, celebrity and fashion industries to game publishers and developers such as Bigpoint, Digital Chocolate, and Travian.
Some of Virtual Greats’ team members will join Iconicfuture. Terms were not disclosed.
The Hamburg-based company is a logical outcome for the free-to-play game industry, where users play games for free but pay real money for virtual goods. If developers can get attractive items, such as the Lady Gaga virtual goods in Zynga’s FarmVille game, users will pay real money for the items.
In the marketplace, a game developer can search for the best branded item that they can use inside a game. The legal permissions are either pre-specified or worked out in negotiations. At the end, developer and licensor can share revenue related to selling the virtual goods in games.