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Everything you need to know about the legal side of the games industry. High-profile lawsuits and disputes, game-related laws and legislative changes, as well as patent and copyright issues.
The seventh episode of Games and Names, a games industry podcast launched by AppMagic in partnership with WN Media Group, is here. It is dedicated to a really complex yet important topic — the legal side of the games industry and how developers can protect the results of their creative work.
Sony failed to annul a class action lawsuit filed by British gamers in August 2022. The UK Competition Court of Appeal ruled that the company must justify its position at the hearing.
This was told by the head of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, during a hearing in the case of Epic Games and Google due to the removal of Fortnite from Google Play.
On Thursday, November 9, the Government of the Russian Federation held a meeting with representatives of the Russian gaming industry. According to Kommersant, it discussed a bill on the mandatory transfer of servers of popular games in the country to Russia.
In the USA, a lawsuit was filed against Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Epic Games and some of their affiliated studios. The companies were accused of making games too exciting and aggressively monetizing them in order to earn as much as possible.
Epic Games Store is still running at a huge loss for the company. New details have emerged as part of its antitrust court battle with Google.
Journalists dev.by We have studied the latest data of the State Tax Inspectorate under the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania. They found that in the first nine months of 2023, Wargaming paid taxes in Lithuania in the amount of €11.8 million.
The Tokyo Tax Bureau found that in 2018-2020, the Luxembourg division of Epic Games did not declare income from microtransactions in Fortnite in Japan. The company was obliged to pay off the tax arrears and pay a fine.
FNTASTIC studio has announced that The Day Before survival will retain its name. She won a lawsuit over the trademark rights of the game with a Korean company that developed a calendar application called TheDayBefore.
A group of Russian senators and deputies proposed to streamline the work of creative industries in the country. The relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma for consideration.
French police have arrested several former Ubisoft executives to question them about workplace harassment allegations. This is part of an investigation that has been running for more than a year.
The police detained several former Ubisoft managers, according to the French trade union Solidaires Informatique. They were interrogated in the case of harassment.
Epic Games continues to develop the Fortnite ecosystem. The company announced that since the game has content for different ages, then everyone should be assigned an appropriate age rating.
Seven BioWare veterans have appealed to a Canadian court. They accused the company of "unreasonably mistreatment" during the dismissal.
A group of Russian deputies appealed to the government with a proposal to create an analogue of The Sims, which will correspond to the values important for Russia. This is reported by "TASS", who got acquainted with the materials of the initiative.
The owners of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II — The Sith Lords version for Nintendo Switch sued Aspyr Media and Saber Interactive. Gamers are unhappy that companies have changed their minds about releasing DLC with cut content.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released a new statement on its probe into Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The $68.7 billion deal is now as close to approval as possible.
Despite the difficulties of recent years, game studios continue to open and operate in Russia. An overview of the current state of regulation, primarily tax, for such companies was prepared by Roman Motorin, a lawyer at Versus.legal.
You will have to fork out a lot for the expansion of the Game Pass library. Microsoft management came to such conclusions, according to a leaked internal correspondence that appeared on the website of the District Court of Northern California.
The new Unity collection is called Runtime Fee. It got its name in honor of the Unity Runtime library set. The company believes that since libraries are installed on users’ devices along with the game, the developer must pay for it. We talked about Unity Runtime with Kirill Shabordin, the founder of Yerevan Cowboys Games, and Alexey Pechenin, the founder of Infinite Art Solutions.
Unity has announced a new pricing policy. Starting next year, if a number of conditions are met, the company will charge for each installation. Important: the installation will also be considered a reinstall (maybe it won’t be considered).
The Russian authorities continue to talk about the need to support esports. The State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports proposed to legislate the term “esports athlete”, and then discuss special benefits.
A court in Japan has sentenced 53-year-old Shinobu Yoshida, who posted a video on YouTube with the passage of the visual novel STEINS;GATE: My Darling’s Embrace. He was given two years in prison with a five-year suspended sentence.
Google is ready to sign a settlement agreement with the attorneys general of 37 US states who accused the corporation of abusing power in the Android mobile store market. The legal conflict between them lasts more than two years.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has opened up about the use of AI tools in game development. He also threw shade at Steam, saying that the EGS doesn’t ban titles for “using new technologies.”
Erik Peterson, responsible for business development at Valve, has shared some insights into visibility and discovery mechanisms on Steam. Here is how the company helps devs reach players and connect users to games.
Discoverability expert Simon Carless has shared some interesting insights into why some games, even quality ones, fail commercially in today’s market. It might be due to the oversaturation of certain genres, but the issue seems to be much more complex.
Indian gamers will soon be able to download Free Fire again. Garena announced that on September 5 it will release a new version of the game in the country with a number of special changes.
Blackbird Interactive is another game studio that has been recently hit with job cuts. It appears that the Homeworld 3 developer has laid off dozens of people, including some senior staff.
On August 22, a Dutch court declared the indie studio Ronimo Games bankrupt. Emerce writes about this.
Earlier this year, Motorsport Games was accused by dozens of employees at its Russian office of not paying them for months. At least two of them have won their lawsuits against the company.
Recall that in January 2023 it became known that the American company Motorsport Games had not paid salaries to three dozen Russian employees since October 2022. In response, part of the team threatened the company with court.
The Day Before, an upcoming multiplayer survival game developed by Fntastic and published by Mytona, is still the subject of a trademark dispute. However, the companies could use the new registered brand to eventually bring the title back on Steam.
In early August, the New Zealand legal entity Mytona Fntastic Limited registered the Dayworld trademark. According to the document, we are talking about a downloadable game product.
The situation around Dark and Darker has taken an unexpected turn. Although the legal fight between Ironmace Games and publisher Nexon is not yet over, PUBG maker Krafton is now considering creating a mobile game based on this IP.
A London court ruled that 18-year-old hacker Arion Kurtaj was involved in hacking the internal network of Rockstar Games and leaking fragments of GTA VI. The hacker attack was carried out in September 2022.
Developers of anti-tamper solution Denuvo have announced a new feature that would prevent users from manipulating files in games made with Unreal Engine. Branded as another way of fighting against pirates and fraudsters, it poses a real threat to modding.
Magic shooter Immortals of Aveum has just been released globally. The initial metrics for the AAA game, developed by Ascendant Studios and published under the EA Originals program, don’t look promising.
Microsoft used rumors about its plans to close the deal with Activision Blizzard without the approval of the British regulator to force the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sue it in a hurry. This is reported by Bloomberg.
Microsoft is now trying to restructure its proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard to finally get approval from the UK regulator. That’s why the company has announced a new cloud gaming agreement with Ubisoft.
Microsoft has signed an agreement with Ubisoft allowing it to distribute Activision Blizzard games through the cloud. As the corporation hopes, it will convince the British regulator to approve the deal with Activision Blizzard.
Lithuanian Game Insight has agreed to repay a debt of € 1.92 million to the Russian Game Insight. Alexander Masgutov, a representative of the company, said this in a comment to Kommersant.
The Seattle court rejected the lawsuit of the South Korean publisher Nexon, filed against the Ironmace studio in April 2023. The company accused the developers of the PvPvE action Dark and Darker of stealing the code and assets of the unreleased P3 shooter.
Wargaming took the second place in the top IT companies in Lithuania in terms of tax deductions in the first half of 2023. In January-June, she paid taxes in Lithuania in the amount of €8.2 million. Only €0.3 million less than in the whole of 2022.
Ironmace Games has suddenly launched its upcoming PvPvE dungeon crawler Dark and Darker into Early Access. Still unavailable on Steam due to a legal battle with publisher Nexon, the game is now being sold through another platform.
The antimonopoly regulator of New Zealand announced that it does not object to the sale of Activision Blizzard to Microsoft.
China is preparing new restrictions for minors. China’s Central Commission for Cyberspace Affairs (CAC) has published draft rules setting limits on the time that children can spend on mobile applications.
An arrest warrant was recently requested for the head of South Korean developer Ironmace Games. This happened amid the legal battle between the studio and publisher Nexon over Dark and Darker.
The district court of the South Korean city of Suwon refused to issue an arrest warrant for Choi Ju-hyun, the managing director of the Ironmace studio. It was requested by the police as part of the proceedings with Nexon.
WN Media Group has shared the first details about WN Belgrade’23, the upcoming conference for games industry professionals. The event is expected to bring together more than 400 companies and feature talks from renowned devs like Raphaël Colantonio.