Current Trends in Games Industry (A Global Perspective (Global industry…
Current Trends in Games Industry
A Global Perspective
Global industry worth an estimated US$65 billion
Fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry.
Important driver of economic growth and creating millions of jobs.
Video games draw on the worlds of both technology and creativity.
Evolving video game industry and difficult to distinguish games.
A proactive IP strategy to secure appropriate IP rights is essential.
Video Game Ecosystem
IP in Games Industry
IP rights are associated both with the tools used to develop games and the content included in a game
Copyright safeguards the creative and artistic expression that goes into the software (the code), the artwork and the sound (and music) of a game.
Trademarks protect the names and logos associated with a game and its characters and can be used to set a company and its games apart from others in the minds of consumers
Patents protect the next generation hardware or technical solutions as well as the inventive game play or design elements
Without the appropriate rights and licensing agreements in place, developers may find their game cannot be distributed; they may be unable to fully leverage the value of their work.
What developers own is IP; what they sell (through licensing deals) is IP. In fact, all they have is IP, so they need to protect it.
Evolution in Ownership
Costs of development commonly run into the millions of dollars for console and online games, and the hundreds of millions of dollars for blockbuster games.
Emergence of new forms of distribution and alternate funding mechanisms, such as crowd-funding
Changing patterns of ownership emphasises how important it is for developers to become IP aware!
Key IP Issues in Games Development
Confidential information and trade secrets
Copyright for Video Games
Copyright owners can sell or licence these rights to others and prevent others from dealing with their creation without their express consent.
The underlying program or source code has copyright protection in the same way as another piece of writing.
The graphics in game can also be the subject of protection because they are an “artistic work”.
The script and the sound effects can also be protected
Furthermore, when permitted someone else to use your work, you have the right to have it used in a way that doesn’t harm your reputation.
Trademarks for Video Games
Any names or logos associated with your game or even your business name or logo, you can register them as a trademark.
A trademark can consist of words, numbers, symbols or images or a combination of any of these.
Unlike copyright, which exists as soon as the components of your game come into existence, you actually have to take steps to gain trademark protection.
Registration allows you to use the symbol ® next to your trademark and provides an immediate visual representation that you have taken steps to protect your logo
Patents for Video Games
Game-play techniques, graphics techniques, user interface artworks, handheld controller devices and many more aspects.
A patent effectively gives you a monopoly for the duration of the patent, however, the application process is lengthy.
It may not be suitable for a one off game, but appropriate if you intend to develop a few different instalments of the game or numerous levels or stages.
Confidentiality and Trade Secrets for Video Games
Angel Investor may ruin your game idea!
The law of confidential information keeps the idea secret and you can require others to keep it confidential and not use it.
Ask your investor enter into confidentiality agreement.
Trade Secrets can give a business a unique commercial or competitive advantage over another.
In video games, a trade secret can be the underlying source code, storylines and character ideas.
Therefore, the obligation of confidentiality must apply to everyone involved in the manufacturing process.
Gaming industry is evolving.
IP awareness is crucial for games developers.
As a video game creator, along with developing the game it is equally important to have a strategy for IP protection which is backbone to the success of your game.