Displaying inappropriate ads in a children’s game is a bad idea (but it’ll happen anyway)

Earlier this month, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority issued a ruling against Mobjizz Limited, owner of Ewank.com (an adult services provider) for displaying adult ads in Talking Tom (owned by Outfit7), the popular mobile app that is particularly popular with young children as a kind of game.)  The adult ads apparently involved three nearly naked women.  The… Continue reading Displaying inappropriate ads in a children’s game is a bad idea (but it’ll happen anyway)

Australia, Steam and consumer legal rights in video games

If you decide you don’t want your purchased Steam, Xbox Live or Apple iOS game anymore, or if it doesn’t work as promised or at all, what rights do you have legally? I get such questions a LOT.  While there is a body of law about this area of consumer protection, sadly there is little in… Continue reading Australia, Steam and consumer legal rights in video games

What happens legally when a retailer sends you a console bundle instead of a game?

Here’s something interesting that happened recently: customers of online retailer Zavvi ordered a new game called Tearaway but the retailer mistakenly shipped out to them the game AND a (much more valuable) PlayStation Vita handheld console (see here).  They realised their mistake and have since apparently threatened legal action against customers refusing to return the goods.… Continue reading What happens legally when a retailer sends you a console bundle instead of a game?

An international legal guide to games development and distribution

Last year I gave a lecture at the Gamer Tech Law conference in Seattle with the rather ambitious title of “Going Global: legal and business issues for international games development and distribution”.  As you can imagine, that’s a lot to cover – even in a lecture directed at other lawyers.  Anyway, below is the lecture… Continue reading An international legal guide to games development and distribution

How long until free to play and in-app purchases are regulated?

This is going to be a relatively short post, because two other writers have already a lot of my work for me. Step 1: read Rob Fahey’s editorial on Gamesindustry.biz: “How to control free-to-play spending?” Step 2: read this Wall Street Journal feature: “Mom, please feed my apps!” Step 3: let’s have a quick chat…

Some thoughts about gacha

There’s been a lot of talk about something called ‘gacha’ or ‘complete gacha’ this month, after the Japanese government announced that they intended to regulate it – which directly affected the share price of Japanese social/mobile gaming giants like GREE and DeNA.  So, what is it and why did the Japanese government decide to regulate… Continue reading Some thoughts about gacha

Gamer/Law’s ten 2012 predictions

You’ve guessed it: I thought I’d jump into the it’s-a-new-year-let’s-make-some-predictions business for 2012.  And, like all forward-looking predictions, I’ve mixed a few safe bets with some slightly more “punchy” predictions (which FYI is lawyer-speak for taking a massive bet on something!)  Here goes, in no particular order:

Advertising Standards Authority to take control of in-game advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority is set to assume oversight over UK in-game advertising under new rules introduced this week. This has the potential to change fundamentally the (previously unregulated) UK in-games advertising landscape in the future. Read on for more..  How is advertising regulated in the the UK and what is the ASA? The UK… Continue reading Advertising Standards Authority to take control of in-game advertising

South Korea to impose MMO curfew

The South Korean government intends to impose a form of curfew over MMO games in an effort to combat perceived growing MMO addiction, reports MCV. Reportedly, the government plans to implement this curfew by blocking or incrementally slowing down the internet connections of those who spend prolonged periods playing popular MMO titles such as Maple… Continue reading South Korea to impose MMO curfew