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Video Games

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In Part 3 of our blog articles series on Key Employment Law Topics in Video Games M&A (see part 1 here and part 2 here) we will conclude the series by focusing on the regulatory and employment law environment in Germany with respect to the use of external workforce. Misclassification risks are the most common employment law-related “red flags” in video game transactions. Therefore, it is of vital importance to understand the legal consequences of…

General purpose After several attempts to classify the content of video games in Mexico, the Ministry of Interior (SEGOB) on November 27, 2020, published the General Guidelines of the Mexican System of Classification Equivalencies for Video Game Content. It is more likely than not that the Mexican government borrowed a page from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) classification system applied in United States. Moreover, the guidelines set the content specifications for classification purposes, specifying…

A judge from the Small Claims Court in the State of São Paulo has ruled that a console operator cannot permanently lock the console in case of a user’s violation of the Terms and Conditions. According to the court’s ruling, under the Consumer Defense Code, blocking the user’s ID, even if established in the Terms and Conditions, may be considered as an abusive penalty since the user has no opportunity of defense nor the opportunity…

The Association for Child Safety (ANCED) filed seven class actions against game developers and companies that host platforms for game downloading, seeking an injunction to ban loot boxes in online games. Although there is no regulation for loot boxes under Brazilian statutory legislation, the class Plaintiff alleges loot boxes are harmful for children and teenagers, as it may trigger gambling disorders and it is largely based in advertising for children, which is strictly regulated under…

On 30 September and 17 November 2020, the Italian Competition Authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato – AGCM) set new transparency standards for the offering of videogames containing in-game purchasing and loot boxes in two decisions. In short, the in-game purchase function allows players to obtain through real money several items (such as weapons, equipment, special moves, upgrades linked to the nature of the game, virtual coins, etc.), that may allow the upgrade…

I. Introduction In part two of our series of blog articles on Key Employment Law Topics in Video Games 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…

 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…