went ahead and backed them as i really want a proper updated TB JA to play again and not the 1.13 fan made by the bearpit etc. This is what they wrote about the licensing
Licensing, Money, bitComposer and what it all means
There is some confusion about what it means that we have licensed Jagged Alliance from bitComposer.
A license is a right to use a brand. Its a legal agreement where we (Full Control) get the right to use a brand name (Jagged Alliance) from the license owner (bitComposer).
Licenses could be given to e.g. make a t-shirt, a movie or like in this case - a computer game.
Getting a license costs us (Full Control) money. It is not free, and there is typically also royalties to be paid. Totally similar to someone making Star Wars themed lunch boxes having to pay a royalty fee for every lunch box sold.
This is also true for this deal. On the sales of the game past the Kickstarter we have to pay bitComposer for the Jagged Alliance license. This does not apply to your donated Kickstarter money. This will all go into development directly. The deal goes on royalty payments for non-backers who buy the game later.
If we had to make a classic publisher work-for-hire deal, bitComposer would have paid the development, owned it all and they would control the development and which features go in.
Since we are licensing instead, we do not get a single $ from them or others. We have to finance the development ourselves, define the game features and story (together with you), produce it and get it into your hands by the way we think is best.
bitComposer still has a say in terms of us not destroying their brand by turning Ivan into a ballerina in a pink shirt and make the game into an endless runner in iOS. But as long as we stay within the defined boundaries of the license agreement, we are free to make the game to our ideas. We are pretty much free to do whatever we want, as long as it stays in the tactical genre however.
This also means, that we can use bitComposer and other 3rd party companies as resources if it helps us. For example if we want to reach out to existing Back in Action fans on the bitComposer Facebook page, we can ask bitComposer to do that. If we want to send out press releases, we can use our own press agents instead of bitComposers PR guys - so that's what we've done - used our own. If we want to do physical boxes we can ask bitComposer to broker a deal for us (since they already have contacts) or go with our own if we want. Or find another partner. And so on.
Being independent simply means that WE have a choice of who to ask for help. And sometimes the most wise choice is to seek partnership and help rather than doing things yourself.
You might then wonder who pays for the development. Where is the money coming from to pay rent, purchase pizza and energy drinks to keep developers running?
We are throwing in money of our own on top of the Kickstarter pledges. So it’s you and us. But we simply don't have the money to fully fund the development ourselves - far from it. We are a small company with 12 employees, running independently. We don't have the backing of deep pocketed publishers and we want to stay independent if possible for our game productions. So that we can make games that we feel need to be made in a way that might not be the latest and hottest one-click mechanic that makes gazillions.
So if we don't get this Kickstarter backup from you, this game will not happen. We don't have the muscle to fund it ourselves, and the worst case would be that if it fails it may, for some people, also prove that a turn-based Jagged Alliance game is a dead end.
Lets prove them wrong!!
We hope this clears up any questions or confusion you might have on what a licensed deal means. Otherwise ask and we will answer