How do I get a UPC/ ISBN for my game?

Many of our customers wish to sell their games in retail shops, but to do so they must have a barcode on the packaging. This is actually a relatively easy process, but if you haven’t done it before, it can feel daunting. To help you out we’ve decided to provide a quick tutorial on the process.

The first step is to determine if you need a UPC (universal product code). The only reason to have it is if you plan to sell it at retailers. If you’re selling your game exclusively from our website, your website, or at trade shows, then you do not need to worry about adding a UPC code. 

Second, find a purveyor of bar codes. You could go direct to GS1 (the administrators of UPC bar codes) and buy your bar codes, but that will cost you $750 up front and $250 per year. Instead, there are lots of internet retailers that buy bulk codes from GS1 and then resell them to you one at a time. Search “UPC bar code” on your favorite search engine and you’ll find plenty. Beware though, you want to make sure that the bar codes are GS1 certified, and also that they’re approved for use at major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

If you just want to save yourself some time, one such purveyor is Nation Wide Bar Code. You can buy a UPC from them for $8.95. 

ISBN is the acronym for International Standard Book Number. This 10 or 13-digit number identifies a specific book, an edition of a book, or a book-like product (such as an audiobook). Since 1970 each published book has a unique ISBN. In 2007, assigned ISBNs changed from 10 digits to 13.

You can purchase an ISBN number here.

Third, once you’ve purchased a bar code from a reputable purveyor, they will provide you with high-resolution bar code images. The good places will provide you with both bitmap images (JPEG/PNG) and vector (EPS/SVG).  Download those images and keep them in a safe place that is backed up. Also make sure that you keep track of which bar code goes with which product, as you cannot reuse a bar code. Even if you have a variant of the same product (like a deluxe edition) it needs it’s own unique barcode.

Fourth, create a white space on your packaging and place the barcode in it.  Be sure to leave a white margin all the way around the barcode. Ideally, that margin should be at least 0.125 inches (38 pixels). The barcode itself should not be warped in any way, and should ideally be 1.469 inches (441 pixels) wide and 1.02 inches (306 pixels) tall. 

Congrats! You can upload your packaging image to The Game Crafter and now you’ll have a UPC printed on every package that is compatible with any retailer in the United States or Canada. 

How do I add the code to the box? 

It is up to the designer where you want the barcode to be displayed on the box. You will need to add the image to the box image you load to the site. 

Will The Game Crafter add a Barcode or UPC to the box for me?

If you want a code on your box you will need to add it to the image you load for your box. The Game Crafter will only print what you load into your game. The only thing we add is our logo on the blank large pro box or inside a tuck box.

Does The Game Crafter Sell UPC codes or ISBN codes for designers to use?

The Game Crafter does not sell UPC codes or ISBN codes for designers to use. You will need to purchase the codes from specific sites that offer them.

Do I need a UPC code or ISBN code to sell my game on The Game Crafter site?

You do not need any codes to publish and sell your game on The Game Crafter site.

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