If you are a video game developer — maybe a hobbyist for now or maybe on the verge of launching — you need an experienced, industry-savvy video game lawyer. If this is you, call us here at Revision Legal at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474. We are internet and gaming attorneys with proven experience with IP protection, contract law, and complex litigation. Here is a short list of the expert legal guidance that you need.
Forming Your Corporate Entity
Even if you are a hobbyist at the moment, you need to form a corporate entity. We here at Revision Legal recommend forming a limited liability company, but there are other options. There are annual carrying costs and some corporate formalities, but if you are serious about eventually launching a video game development business, start now. There are tax advantages, and most importantly, forming a corporate entity protects your private assets in the event you are sued and a judgment is issued. A corporate entity also allows you to formalize the sharing arrangement with your friends and partners who are helping. Few video games are developed by one person. So, the art designers, coders, etc., can have ownership interests in the corporate entity. Forming a corporate entity will also lend a certain gravitas to your endeavors. That is, people will begin to take your goals seriously. Also, investors and financers will require a corporate entity.
Assistance With All Sorts of Contracts
There are myriad business and service contracts that will need to be reviewed and drafted. For example, if you need limited or more substantial art design, you will need specific types of independent contractor agreements. The key is to ensure that the copyrights and other intellectual property aspects of the services are ultimately owned by your video game development company. Depending on the circumstances, you may also need assignments of those intellectual property rights or a long-term license. You will also need confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Such will be especially important when you are marketing for investors, financing, and a buyer. If and when you hire actual employees, you will need solid and enforceable employment agreements and legal assistance to ensure compliance with local and federal labor laws. As an aside, you will also need excellent accounting and tax services to help with such matters as employee withholding taxes.
Trademarking, Copyright Registration, and Other Intellectual Property Matters
At some point, you will need to establish and register trademarks and copyrights for your newly developed video game. You will need legal help and guidance with these matters. Likewise, a video game development company will have internal trade secrets that must be protected in the proper and legal manner. This sort of IP protection is among the legal services provided by video gaming lawyers.
On the flip side, you will need proven legal guidance to avoid infringing upon the IP rights of others. Likewise, if your video game includes the likeness of real people, you will need help securing the rights to use another person’s likeness.
A Few Other Services Provided by Video Gaming Lawyers
Experienced video gaming attorneys provide many other necessary legal services, including the following:
- Drafting and preparing terms of service and privacy policies for websites
- Compliance with laws respecting consumer privacy if your website collects information from users
- End-user and licensing agreements for websites and software
- Compliance with cybersecurity requirements (if applicable)
- Assistance with the sale of your video game development business or licensing of your game
- Assistance with the legal aspects of marketing and sales
- Prosecuting litigation to protect your video game
- Defending against lawsuits filed by others