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Video Games

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I. Introduction In part two of our series of blog articles on Key Employment Law Topics in Tech M&A (see part 1 here), we will focus on the working time of employees in tech companies and video game developers, and in particular on so called “crunch.” II. Crunch Covid-19 – Delays of game publication may lead to intensified crunch times after the pandemic has eased. What does crunch mean? The Cambridge Dictionary defines crunch as…

 The Hague’s district court has ruled that loot boxes qualify as a game of chance under the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act (BGA). The decisive factor in its assessment is the definition of a ‘prize’. For the BGA to apply, not only an element of chance is required, but the prize must represent ‘economic value’. Economic value is considered present if players can transfer the virtual goods involved between individual accounts. In addition, if such…

For some time now, start-ups, health care and tech companies have been experimenting with smaller video games to have people around the world help with categorizing or analyzing big data sets that typically take months or even years to analyze. The idea is that if everybody invests only a few minutes, the work could be done in days or weeks instead of years. A player who participates has to solve a few simple matchmaking or…

On June 16, 2020 the largest parliamentary group in the German parliament (“CDU/CSU” holding about 35% of the seats) agreed on a white paper (German), which sets the goal of strengthening voluntary work in Germany. The paper outlines measures intended to be implemented in German law in 2021 – approximately nine years after the last modification in this area of law. Among other things, the paper addresses the question of whether esports can be considered…

Introduction Now more than ever, the pandemic has underscored how the availability of healthy and motivated employees is essential to the success of a business. This is even more true for tech companies like software and video game developers who rely heavily on the talent of their employees in all areas to make the product successful. Employee engagement, physical and mental health, and strong performance should thus be a top priority for a buyer or…

The German head regulator for youth protection in online matters (Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media – KJM) issued a press release (German) according to which it has engaged in enforcement action against three Cypriot providers of adult content (pornography). The action by the KJM is the outcome of a long debate and process and might indicate a shift in the regulatory practice vis-à-vis foreign and EU providers, which also has general…

On 8 June 2020 the UK Government published its response to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (“DCMS”) Select Committee’s report on Immersive and Addictive Technologies (“Report”). The response sets out the Government’s next steps regarding issues identified in the Report, which will be relevant for companies in the video games sector as well as those involved with immersive technologies. This could result in increased regulation in certain areas. For example, the outcome…

The final version of the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code was published earlier this year. It needs to be approved by Parliament, and there will then be a 12 month period before it comes into force. The ICO expects the Code to be in force by autumn 2021. Although this may sound like a long time away, to comply with the Code existing services will need to be reviewed and where necessary updated, and changes to design…

According to Super Data, video games generated $119.6 billion in revenue during 2018, another sources forecast that by 2025 industry would be over $300 billion in revenue. This fact and that there are over 2.5 billion gamers around the world let you know how big and fast growing this industry is. Video games are more than just a booming entertainment business; they are reshaping the way we interact with the world. The gaming industry inspires…

Riot Games, Inc. (“Riot”) is the developer and publisher of League of Legends (“LoL”), a popular multiplayer online battle arena game.[1] In LoL, two teams of five players each battle to destroy each other’s Nexus, or base. Players control characters that have various different attacks and abilities. Each team also has minions that stream towards the other team’s base, and each team attempts to protect their base by attacking other characters and pushing their own…