What are the most common basic legal issues facing game developers?

While game developers face many of the same issues that other businesses deal with, there are many specific needs that pop up in game development.

Some of the most common issues deal with starting and running a business, protecting valuable intellectual property, and getting the right contracts in place with employees and business partners. Getting the right protection in these areas goes a long way toward avoiding many common pitfalls in game development.

Many video game developers struggle with the decision of whether to form a separate business entity, and which type of entity to form (LLC or corporation). A video game attorney with experience helping small and medium-sized developers can help them make this decision, by assessing their goals and business plan.

Similarly, developers are often confused about the different types of protection available for intellectual property. The software, art, music, and sound that goes into a game are extremely valuable – in many cases the entire value of the company is in that intellectual property. If a developer fails to properly own, protect, and enforce that intellectual property, their business could lose all of its worth. A video game lawyer is just the type of professional to help with this.

Lastly, game developers need to be sure that contracts are in place with their employees and contractors, as well as publishers and other service providers. If the deals aren’t in writing, it’s not going to be clear who owns what, who gets paid what, and how to get out of a bad contract.

All of these questions and more can be answered by an experienced video game attorney.

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Tom Libelt

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