To support the gaming community while protecting our brands, Monte Cook Games offers a limited, royalty-free license for individuals and publishers interested in producing small-run game material supporting the Cypher System. This is a hassle-free way for publishers to license small-press products with expected sales of $2,000 or less.
It’s important to note that the Limited License is not an open license. Although it’s very flexible, it is a contract you enter into with Monte Cook Games. You are not under license until you receive a fully countersigned Limited License and have paid the license fee, and you may not publish or announce your product until you are under license. Also, not all Limited License applications we receive are accepted. We can choose whether or not to issue a Limited License to any applicant, and will make that decision, as we see fit, to best support the game and fan community.
It can take up to 3 months from the time we receive your Limited License application until we respond with our decision. Potential licensees are asked not to announce their product publicly until they receive a signed license from Monte Cook Games.
This Limited License is probably not for you if you’re a fan who wants to create awesome Cypher System content for your website, blog, or community. You probably want to check out our fan use policy instead.
This Limited License is also probably not for you if you are large company and/or are hoping to put out a product with expected sales revenues of more than $2,000. In that case, you’ll want to apply for a full licensing partnership from Monte Cook Games.
Here are some of the features of the Limited License:
- There is a $100 fee. Please do not send a licensing fee until you know whether your license has been approved.
- The above fee licenses a single print and/or PDF product supporting the Cypher System (you can obtain multiple licenses for multiple products).
- You may sell the product commercially (or release it for free, if you desire).
- You may not crowdfund the product.
- You do not need to pay royalties and are not required to report sales unless we request a report.
- However, this license limits your total sales revenue to $2000. (If you anticipate sales revenue greater than $2000, or if your sales revenues exceed $2000, you’ll need to discuss a full license with us.)
And here are some additional policies you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about applying for a Limited License:
- Do not publicly announce or discuss your plans until you are under license.
- In general, we will only consider one Limited License application, per publisher, at a time. We generally won’t issue you a second Limited License until you have published the product covered by your first license. Please don’t send us multiple license applications at once.
- When you apply for or obtain a Limited License, you’re working with MCG and our properties. Be careful about what you say in public or online about us, our games, or in fact anybody—disparagement reflects poorly on you and on us. We don’t want to be in business with people that reflect poorly on Monte Cook Games or the game industry in general.
- Remember that it can take up to three months to process your application. Plan for this amount of time, and be patient!
The Monte Cook Games Limited License is intended for small-press support products. This is not the entirety of the Limited License. If you are interested in pursuing a publication under our Limited License and would like additional information about what it entails, please contact Charles Ryan at email@example.com.
If you have a project in mind that exceeds the limits of this license, you must submit a full proposal detailing both the creative and financial aspects of your plan to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to be considered for a full licensing partnership. Please note that we are unlikely to license products that compete with our own, so please make sure that your idea for a Cypher System game is substantially different than our properties. A full licensing proposal must include detailed descriptions of your creative intent, samples of your work, and a business and marketing plan that fully explains how you will bring your product to market with a high degree of success. In other words: Sell us on the product, and on your ability to launch it in a manner that befits the Cypher System.
Thank you for your interest!