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Mastering the Game. Business and Legal Issues for Video Game Developers. Baltic Sea Region Perspective, Krakow Technology Park, November 4 and 5, 2015
Information about the conference
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) organised the conference “Mastering the Game. Business and Legal Issues for Video Game Developers. Baltic Sea Region Perspective”. It was held from the 4th to the 5th of November in Krakow for all video game developers and those interested in video developing matters from the Baltic Sea Region. The Conference was organized as one of the events of the Polish Presidency in Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) within the framework of the “Creativity” priority.
The main objective of this seminar was to introduce the game developers in the legal and commercial issues related to gaming industry needed to participate in what is now a well-structured global market for these. The seminar aimed towards discussing the framework for boosting the game industry in the Baltic Sea region, granting its worldwide competitiveness and increasing the overall capacity for innovation within the field. The seminar encompassed the following topics:
• Current Video Game Industry Landscape.
The panelists presented the data on the games industry focusing across all game platforms and business models that may assist companies in finding the best international business partners with an emphasis on Baltic Sea countries.
• Tips and Hints about Baltic Sea Region. Entering the Markets.
The possibilities of increasing the company revenue and making a large change in a consumer profile might be a reason to enter a new market. The differences in the legal and tax laws are crucial barriers. Typical issues companies need to overcome might include challenges in linguistic and cultural barriers and simply distance. This panel provided an overview of the markets and regulatory framework, as well as an update on recent developments and trends.
• The Most Important Intellectual Property Issues Each Developer Should Know.
Intellectual Property (IP) is the most important branch of law for developers to understand. Not only will developers need to protect their creative works but they also need to avoid infringing the rights of third parties. This session focused on top 10 issues when it comes to an IP strategy. How to protect IP, avoid IP and rights of publicity claims.
• Key Games Law Issues in the Baltic Sea Region Countries - cases from: Germany, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Participants could hear about law issues concerning game industry in particular countries from the Baltic Sea region from four presentations on Germany, Poland, Russia and Baltic States. The law practitioners shared their experience and insight following legal assistance to big international computer game companies and start-ups. It was a perfect occasion to hear about relevant industry cases.
• Major Legal Issues in Agreements.
A practical understanding of major business and legal terms and conditions in agreements is critical for developers to help negotiate the most favorable terms while also minimizing risks. During this session the major legal issues in agreements were presented. Presentation were based on specific issues and negotiating strategies involving rights, term, territory, options, advances/guaranties, royalties, approvals, submissions/delivery schedules, accounting/statements, reps and warranties, indemnification, governing law, obligations, possible commitments, i.e. marketing and boiler plate law.
• General IP concerns while producing an international blockbuster.
Gaming is business involving great opportunities and challenges. There are technology and hardware companies, production companies, investors and publishers, content owners, consumers, and of course developers all in the gaming ecosystem. Intellectual property rights issues are becoming more important than ever. This panel focused on the issues that biggest Polish developers face during the game production as well as issues others should be aware of.
• The Publisher-Developer Relationship.
Publishers have traditionally played a critical role in financing and distributing games created by independent developers. While the publisher’s role has evolved during the last few years with new forms of distribution, new platforms, and new ways to raise money, publishers still play a major role in the industry. This session discussed the changing role of the publisher-developer relationship based on different experience. The importance of publishers and the major business and legal terms that generally make up the different agreements between the parties were the focal point of the presentations.
• Digital Distribution.
Within last few years, with improvements in technology, shrinking retail space for PC games, growth in bandwidth capabilities and rising Internet use, digital distribution has become the leading form of distribution for PC games and a growing form of distribution for console games. This changing landscape has provided developers with unprecedented opportunities and access to consumers. This session discussed the potential distribution opportunities and issues with digital distributors and console manufacturers.
• The Mobile Gaming Market.
Mobile gaming has become the fastest growing sector in the video game industry and has become the single largest use of mobile smartphones. For developers, the mobile market offers benefits that might be unattainable in other areas of the video game market, with relatively low barriers of entry including lower development costs and the ease of publishing worldwide and reaching consumers. The session made an insight on creation of international brands in mobile gaming coming from the Baltic Sea region developers.
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