It's been over 50 years since the first James Bond film was aired on TV, and to this date no-one has managed to get a board game on the shelves to replay the films out. In the '60s, two MB Games were on the market playing out certain sequences of certain films and nothing else has been out since.
I began working on a game in March 2013, and developed it to prototype stage, not just a James Bond / 007 game but also a parallel version surrounding the US show 24. I found that the game worked perfectly for both simulating the pursuit of a mission plus delivering the excitement and competitive spirit I believe board games should.
After having it appraised by numerous game publishers and manufacturers, it was clear from the beginning that they really liked the format and had very little criticism to offer in respect of how the game plays. The common denominator of obstacles / negative comments is in relation of launching a game with injected trademark material from the license holders.
Pitch after pitch went by and the same story reared itself every time – nobody wanted to get involved in a game with material that they would have to donate royalties towards. From receiving this repetitive feedback, I developed a “generic version” of the game, a version that played exactly the same but with no images, names or screenplay from either 24 or Bond and called it "The Proxy".
I have been in contact with both trademark holders, who, are waiting for the game to succeed in its own right, before they will discuss injecting their material for a reskinned version and negotiate the royalties from sales.
The funds raised will go direct towards the manufacture and distribution of “The Proxy” games across the UK and US. Having provisional discussions with manufacturers of board games, stock levels are expected to be in the region of 40,000 for initial sale.
The first 12 months sale in UK and US sale of “The Proxy” are to be the platform to launch the 24 and James Bond versions. As these are far more marketable than the generic, I would expect a much more rapid growth in profit for the following 12 months after launching these.
Not only are these board games unique in their own right, they are the first to envelop an aftersales programme where fans of the shows and films can enhance their original boxed version by the addition of extra missions.
The boxed version is purchased with four different story packs for 24 / films for Bond inside. Each pack contains around 20-24 mission cards to be played out as a game. The aftersales programme is a collection of extra missions; for 24, it develops the story of the main character as depicted through the screenplay, and for James Bond, films not found in the original box.
With each additional mission card set, players receive extra characters from the appropriate film / show to expand the level of rewards and penalties played out within the game. In essence, what I believe to be the ultimate board game as originally purchased can only get better as people add value to their own game to whatever level they wish.
It has taken over sixty versions of the board to arrive at the right formula, precise balancing of numbers over the aftersales programme has been by design incorporating launch intervals, and evolution by the projected arrivals of further shows and films. Each mission pack has been specifically tailored to the show or film to create the tension as suggested by the screenplay.
It has taken a while behind closed doors to get to this point, but I was never going to expose it at a less than perfect standard, now I believe I’ve got the board game answer that people for 50 years have been searching for.
Comprehensive business plan available on request subject to NDA.
Risks and challenges
The most pertinent obstacle to the game is receiving the licensed material from the holders. There are two initially, though I have already discussed this potential project and, subject to sales of the platform game, shouldn't pose a problem.
The platform game however will probably have to be on sale for more then six months (at least crossing the Xmas season) to grasp what scalability it would lead to with licensed versions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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