Content Creator - Avatar License & Makeship Framework

Content Creator - Avatar License & Makeship Framework

Today we are announcing a new Avatar license and Makeship Framework For Content Creators

Our RuneScape and Old School RuneScape creators produce some amazing content that is appreciated by players and Jmods alike.

We are always looking for new ways to support their creativity and enable them to build a livelihood from their work. Post the release of the Jagex Fan Content Policy we have been working with Jagex legal and our partners on other ways to allow content creators additional revenue streams from merch. We have two updates on this today.

We have no hard and fast rules as to how we define a content creator, but the programmes outlined below only make sense for creators who can use a significant following to promote the products being made, so it follows that this will likely be one of the criteria considered in any application process.

Avatar license

Under the ts and cs for playing RuneScape, which all players are bound by, Jagex owns any player avatars, including those that may be iconic to popular content creators.

As long as a content creator’s avatar is unique to them and is not based on an iconic outfit, Jagex has no present intention of using the likeness of creator’s avatar on merch and would like to enable content creators to do so instead, with official sanction.

We have therefore drafted a template for an Avatar license Agreement that content creators can apply for using this form.

Once agreed and signed, the license would define the outfit worn by a creator’s avatar and give them permission and parameters for using its likeness on merchandise.

Avatar outfits unique to the creator and not based on well-known outfits worn by other players or any iconic in-game characters have potential to be approved (at Jagex’s discretion). Under the terms of the license, in most instances content creators would be able to keep 100% of any revenue from sale of merchandise based on the licensed avatar likeness. A license for more than one avatar can be requested if different on alt accounts.

Once an avatar license is in place, creators would not be restricted by the terms limiting numbers of units made of merchandise etc under the Fan Content Policy and it would be at the creator’s discretion how they create and bring merchandise to market, as long as they operate within the parameters of the license.

Makeship Creator Framework and Makeship Makers Programme

As you may have seen, Jagex has now entered into an agreement with Makeship to make an official range of OSRS/RS plushies.

Some creators had already worked with Makeship to produce fluffy masterpieces based on in-game outfits and items. At that time, this plush was not made with Jagex approval. Jagex has since given Makeship retrospective permission for these lines with no implications for the content creators involved.

Going forward we want to introduce a process to allow the creation of other new Makeship products with creators. As well as a license for an official range, the Jagex/Makeship agreement also includes a framework for content creators to develop more plushies for sale with Makeship, under Jagex approval. This framework is intended to cover plushies that would not come under an Avatar license, for example something that is not based on the creator's usual avatar that might tie in with a one-off event that happened during a stream or an item, outfit or NPC that is iconic to that creator from featuring in their content series.

Not every item/outfit/creature/NPC in-game will be allowed under the framework:

  • It will need to either be something Jagex is unlikely to want to do for an official range or have a point of difference that distinguishes it from a version Jagex would want to create for an official line
  • Stylistically, facial features including eye and mouth shape etc would be different to official OSRS/RS plushies

Content creators who have an idea for a plushie that falls under the descriptions above can fill in this form on the Makeship website with details of the idea and who they are, Makeship will then present any concepts they want to progress to Jagex for approval.

Note for any given the go ahead, it is likely to take 2-4 months to design and sample the plushie ready to go on pre-sale and it then takes 3-4 months after the end of any pre-sale campaign for purchasers to receive their plushies!

Makeship will be able to confirm commercial terms and will have certain criteria for the content creators they work with. As they have a limited royalty pot they can pay out on from each sale and Jagex will also be receiving a % of sales under this framework, this does mean creators will likely be paid a lower % of sales using this model v. contracting directly with Makeship to make a plushie based on their avatar under an Avatar license from Jagex. This reflects the fact that the plushies will be using Jagex owned IP not specific to that creator but we understand that this may not appeal to everyone. It is however another option open to content creators.

Note: Where a content creator already has an Avatar license in place they can negotiate their own contract and terms directly with Makeship for plushies based on that Avatar (or any other company they want to work with) outside of this framework.

Lastly, Makeship have also recently started an affiliate programme called Makeship Makers under which content creators receive a % of sales for promoting Makeship product – this includes official Old School RuneScape and any RuneScape merch Makeship creates (and potentially other merch on their store).

The programme is by invitation only from Makeship themselves and they will start reaching out to certain content creators soon to open up membership to the programme. Any interested content creators can apply to join the program here.

We continue to look for new ways to support the creativity of the community and our content creators whilst being transparent about the permissions needed for certain activities and are excited to see what great products might come out of these latest initiatives!

- The Runescape Team

Back to top