I' looking to get rights to an game called Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS. I am a Nintendo 3DS Developer trying to make a remastered version for the Nintendo 3DS. How would I go about getting the rights for the game. Do I get the rights from Rockstar, Nintendo, or another party. I'm not sure.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is out of the scope of questions normally accepted here, it is more appropriate for Law StackExchange, or even for a real life entertainment IP lawyer. Give that the game was developed, produced, and published by various Rockstar subsidiaries it is likely the IP is owned by Rockstar, but I am not a lawyer. \$\endgroup\$ – disc_code22 Nov 20 '19 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Getting the rights to any game made by a AAA developer, especially with the brand recognition of GTA, would probably be really expensive (as in well into the millions). It may be cheaper to "just" (a) convince them remastering it is a good idea and (b) to pay you to do it, but this would probably be practically impossible for a developer who doesn't have multiple well-known releases. Although you can always make a top-down drivey shooty action and not call it GTA. \$\endgroup\$ – Bernhard Barker Nov 20 '19 at 19:19

You find out who currently owns the IP and you make them an offer.

It's that simple, but...

First complication is that the owner of an IP is not necessarily the same as the developer, who in turn is not necessarily the same as the publisher. The probability is that the IP was licensed to multiple parties during the course of making the game, and all of these licenses will come with their own terms and conditions.

Second complication is that you're very unlikely to get full rights. Best case is you'll likewise get a license, likewise with terms and conditions, and of limited duration.

Third complication is that, for a franchise like GTA, this is going to be outside of your price range. How do I know this? Because you're asking on a SE site, that's how. That tells me you're not a development house backed up with agents and lawyers and publishers, because if you were you would be talking to them instead. You're probably a solo hobbyist developer.

So the real answer to your question is: you don't. Instead you set your aspirations a little lower; consider making a clone or something.

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    \$\begingroup\$ An addition to the First complication: even if it's written © Rockstar Games inc on the title screen, it is possible that Rockstar Games inc may no longer be the owner of the copyright. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Nov 20 '19 at 19:25

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