Why DMCA and trademark protection is a no-brainer: the Darkest Dungeon scam

I just saw an interesting story on Eurogamer: the developer of Darkest Dungeon, a popular new indie game, has hit out at a clearly fake version of its game on the Windows Games Store.  The developer is said to have reached out to Microsoft for help.  I’m sure they will oblige in due course. I… Continue reading Why DMCA and trademark protection is a no-brainer: the Darkest Dungeon scam

Can you pirate your own video game?

Hotline Miami 2, the forthcoming sequel to the excellent indie game Hotline Miami (note: I wrote that in bold, underline and italics to show how much I mean it), has been denied classification in Australia (another victim of the relatively restrictive local age rating system there).  So its developer instead just told Australian fans to pirate the… Continue reading Can you pirate your own video game?

A quick practical guide to EU free to play games regulation

I spoke at the PocketGamer Connects conference in London today about the EU’s free to play games regulation: I thought that a quick presentation based on actual free to play games might help illustrate this fast growing and uncertain area of law.  Here’s the slides – let me know what you think! [For those viewing via… Continue reading A quick practical guide to EU free to play games regulation

Season’s Greetings from Gamer/Law

Hi everyone – this is a quick message to wish you all a great holiday break and best wishes for 2015!  In the meantime, I found this dusty old letter from a corner of our old client files recently and thought you might like to read it…(click on it for the full version!)

A practical guide to the EU’s new VAT rules, video games and digital content sales

So, what’s happening? From 1 January 2015, new EU tax rules will require value added tax (VAT) to be charged on paid digital content (like video games, apps, digital music and video) at the VAT rate of each EU country where its customers are based. How is this different to the existing system? Previously digital… Continue reading A practical guide to the EU’s new VAT rules, video games and digital content sales

The latest games trademark controversy: S.T.A.L.K.E.R and STALKER

If you haven’t played the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of PC video games, you really should – it’s a glorious first person survival game based in and around a fictional Ukraine where the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded a second time and changed the world around it (it’s based loosely on the excellent Stugatsky brothers’ short science fiction novel, Roadside Picnic).… Continue reading The latest games trademark controversy: S.T.A.L.K.E.R and STALKER

Activision v Noriega analysed: don’t make way for the bad guy

Back in July 2014 I wrote a post about whether a dictator (Manuel Noriega of Panama) could control his online image in a video game (the hit game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2)?  We now have an answer: nope.  In a short judgment which is interesting for all kinds of reasons, a Californian court has… Continue reading Activision v Noriega analysed: don’t make way for the bad guy

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

Avoiding the Tiny Death Star: reducing risks of a published game being canned

I just read about Disney deciding to pull NimbleBit’s excellent Tiny Death Star from the Apple and Google Play app stores, apparently without prior warning to NimbleBit.  So I thought I’d write a few thoughts on what should a developer do to make it less likely that a a publisher can pull the developer’s game.  Here goes…