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Video Games

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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…

In February this year, the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs called for government departments to explore ways to restrict access to loot boxes for those younger than 18 years old, including through mandatory age checks. This recommendation formed part of six broader recommendations made in a Parliamentary Committee report published on 4 March 2020 following an inquiry into age verification for online wagering and online pornography. The report…

The Spanish minister of consumer protection, Alberto Garzón, has released in the past days several tweets stating that the Ministry of Health, Consumer Protection and Social Welfare is currently looking into different options to regulate loot boxes. Garzón has publicly expressed a critical view on this practice on several occasions, which he considers “Creates a compulsive consumption pattern” that directly affects minors. The Spanish gambling authority (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego) already anticipated last…

Introduction What is content rating? Rating entertainment content means giving information on its suitability for its audience. The way in which such information is presented to, and evaluated by, the public is traditionally the primary objective of self-regulation. Drawing from the best practices of the industry, this serves the purpose of protecting minors from harmful content by enabling them (and their legal guardians) to make informed choices. One of the best examples of such self-regulated…

Level I – Introduction For almost three decades, the computer gaming industry has found itself in a fast paced and highly dynamic development and change process. The games have developed in all of their aspects, including graphics, sound, music but also storytelling and art. The interest for playing computer games has steadily increased on all platforms with a peak on mobile gaming nowadays. The computer gaming industry has thus become a multi-billion dollar business attracting…

As it is currently being reported in many German news outlets, the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien, “BPjM”) has (upon application) opened proceedings to blacklist the mobile game Coin Master for its in-game monetization model which is allegedly targeted towards minors and would involve gambling-like elements. The game came under scrutiny in the wake of several adverse news articles in well-known German magazines and newspapers for its in-game…

The German State Bavaria has published a draft for a new guideline (Draft JuSchRiL) on the interpretation of the Interstate Treaty for the Protection of Minors (JMStV). The JMStV regulates, inter alia, youth protection matters for online media in Germany (including online video games, mobile games and apps). The new guideline – which clearly serves as a reaction to the ongoing loot box and monetization debate – states, among other things, that “advertisement which is…

Last week the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage presented a draft of the long-announced ‘Act on financial support for the production of cultural video games’. The proposed act provides the rules of financial support for video game producers by means of tax exemptions for video games promoting Polish or European cultural heritage. The act aims to improve the conditions of the functioning of the video game production market in Poland and to create…