Gaming and esports

Publication mai 2019

Our lawyers have long-standing experience in the global gaming sector and have advised clients on gaming-related transactions throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Our global network of more than 50 offices extends to the key gaming industry hubs including China, the US, Japan, Germany and the UK. We have the resources to provide our clients with a one-stop service and an experienced team to support them in exploiting their international business opportunities. Our global presence combined with local knowledge makes us ideally placed to help developers establish partnerships for distribution, assist with tax structures in different jurisdictions and advise on aligning games with local culture.

By combining our expertise in gaming and sports law (click here), our lawyers are well- positioned to advise clients on the unique legal matters associated with esports as it continues to develop at a rapid pace. The success of esports is, in part, attributable to its ability to capitalize on social trends and utilize various established industries (e.g., brands, media, and entertainment companies) as pivot points to build its ecosystem. Our global presence and reputation in these connected practice areas offers clients in this dynamic industry the benefit of a comprehensive and multidisciplinary service.

We have extensive experience in advising companies worldwide in gaming and esports matters spread across several categories such as mobile gaming, game development, gaming peripherals and accessories, gaming media and esports franchising. Our clients include Take-Two Interactive, Nintendo, Electronic Arts (EA), Flaregames and Razer.

Our areas of work include 

  • Advice on the development and operation of digital platforms and games
  • Drafting of terms and conditions of use and data protection guidelines
  • Review of business models from a regulatory perspective
  • Corporate and tax structuring
  • Financing of businesses, in particular, venture capital financing
  • Advice on all legal issues arising with respect to app stores and payment service providers
  • Establishment of international group structures and tax optimisation
  • Advice on trademark and competition law issues
  • Acquisition and integration of companies
  • Advice on development, publishing and licensing agreements
  • Advice on esports franchise agreements
  • Advice on the acquisition, expansion and operations of esports teams, including employment and commercial matters, including sponsorship agreements, streamer contracts, player contracts, league participation agreements, corporate and securities matters, including financings and go-public transactions.

Client Work

Harmonix Music Systems Inc
Advising in respect of data protection and consumer contract requirements in respect of the Rock Band video game website in various jurisdictions in Europe.

Take-Two Interactive
Assisting a leading worldwide publisher, developer and distributor of interactive entertainment software, hardware and accessories in the context of a cross-border merger/acquisition project involving a French listed company.

Flaregames Group

  • Group structuring and operational assistance with legal and tax law issues;
  • Legal advice on a distribution partnership with an internationally operating German telecommunication services provider;
  • Establishment of a development and publishing joint venture with a games developer, in particular, drafting of technology licence agreements required in this context;
  • Series A and B financing by renowned venture capital funds; and
  • Legal and tax advice in the acquisition of the Finnish game developer Kopla Games. 

Gameforge Group

  • Acquisition of various studios and many years of operational legal advice on all legal and tax aspects;
  • Group structuring and operational assistance with legal and tax law issues;
  • Series A Venture Capital Financing by renowned venture capital funds; and
  • Acquisition of various studios and many years of operational legal advice on all legal and tax aspects.

RazerOne/Razer (Asia-Pacific) Pte Ltd
Continued legal advice on major operational aspects of the business such as EU regulatory framework, data protection, general terms and conditions and licencing agreements.

InnoGames GmbH
Advised Advising EightRoads Ventures (London) and the Founders on their sale of InnoGames to Modern Times Group.

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA)
Acting as Canadian trademark counsel one of the largest developers and distributors of PC, console and mobile games. 

Knowledge

Esports: new kid on the block, new opportunities in M&A
Esports: the game changer?
Esports: making it into the big leagues means learning the new rules
Esports: a new MVP for real estate?
Sponsorship in esports: look before you leap
Esports: games galore
From equity to franchising: investing in esports


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