View profile

Games Industry Law Summit 2020 – Alles, was Sie wissen müssen.

Games Industry Law Summit
Games Industry Law Summit 2020 – Alles, was Sie wissen müssen.
By Sergei Klimov • Issue #51 • View online
Welcome back to this irregular newsletter of our humble community event for professionals who practice law (and, sometimes, business) in the games industry! It’s been a few months since we spoke last, and I hope you guys had a chance to recharge your batteries during the summer (also, congratulations to those who had a baby between then and now – there’s quite a few of you!).
Hong Kong is on fire, Amazon is on fire; there’s an idiot in charge of America and an idiot in charge of the UK; a former Chechen commander gets gunned down in the middle of Berlin while the ex-CEO of Danske Estonia is found dead in Tallinn amid the investigation into laundering of $220 billion through the bank (of course, both of these events have something to do with Russia, as you might have suspected).
Given the drama of the current affairs around the world, our industry is actually one of the few places that is not going batshit crazy right now – and man oh man, we could use more of that!
Today’s issue kicks off the registration for the 6th annual Summit. Immediately below, you will find a summary with everything you need to know in order to start planning and booking, and further on I share the details on the specific activities – at least those that we’ve got pencilled down by now.
If you need additional information or help, please reach out to the person who makes the Summit tick like a clock every year: Alma. As to me, I’ve got a new game coming out in a month on Steam, so I apologise in advance for being sporadic in my replies between now and after we launch, fix our bugs and catch some sleep.

The Venue
In 2020, we make another step forward; on the photo: the new venue.
In 2020, we make another step forward; on the photo: the new venue.
With Summit 2019, we grew up to 200 attendees coming from over 30 countries – despite being very strict about the invitation-only policy, and requiring each and every attendee to have actual practical experience in the games industry.
As more great studios emailed us about attending Summit next year, and as more law firms got introduced and recommended by our friends at the global games companies, we knew that we have to change the venue to a place that can accommodate at least 200-250 attendees in 2020.
And while we needed a place that would offer each attendee not only a chair to sit on, but also a table to work from (given the time difference and the requirements of staying in touch with your offices), we also wanted to retain the benefits of the incredible service and delicious food provided by the Grand Hotel Kempinski.
As a result, we went ahead and rented what is arguably the conference venue of Vilnius: The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Dating back to the year of 1530, it is located right on the Cathedral Square in front of the Kempinski and functions as a museum. Generally, they do not allow commercial events, but given the track record and the professional focus of the Summit, we got our proposal approved by the museum’s board of supervisors.
Welcome to the Palace!
Welcome to the Palace!
That's how it looks if you climb up to the Gediminas Tower.
That's how it looks if you climb up to the Gediminas Tower.
The Schedule
In 2020, the schedule remains the same except we’ll have a longer launch break compensated by an earlier start on the second day:
April 29 (Wednesday) – “Day Zero”
0800-1200: Semi-finals & finals of the Legal Challenge
1500-1800: Workshop for in-house counsels (invite-only)
1800-2100: Reception Dinner
April 30 (Thursday) – “Day One”
0630-0730: Legal Run
0830-1200: Presentations & Panels
1200-1330: Lunch at the Kempinski
1330-1600: Presentations & Panels
1600-1630: Coffee Break at the Palace
1630-1830: Presentations & Panels
2000-2300: Formal Dinner at the Kempinski
April 30 (Friday) – “Day Two”
0900-1200: Presentations & Panels
1200-1330: Lunch at the Kempinski
1330-1530: Presentations & Panels
1530-1600: Coffee Break at the Palace
1600-1800: Presentations & Panels
1800-2100: Informal Dinner at the Kempinski
The Agenda
As usual, we’ll be discussing the agenda between here and a bunch of group email threads with in-house and specialist lawyers between now and end of 2019; the board meeting that locks down the draft of the agenda is currently scheduled for mid-February. By early March, we expect to release the final agenda that will remain in place throughout the event.
As a general note, we’ll be mostly moving away from the laser-focused territory-specific presentations (say, “What’s new in Russia?”) towards a theme-based program where the same topic (say, “M&A in Games Industry”) is addressed by a panel of speakers who come from different countries, and contribute the knowledge specific to their regions.
If you have a good idea about the topics you want to contribute on or see covered by others, please send me a brief note!
My favourite themes are currently “Performing Audit in the Games Industry”, “Damage Control in Partnerships with Teams Who Are Caught Doing Something Bad Publicly” and “Preventing Your Company From Becoming the Topic of a Kotaku Article”.
The Food
Champagne is back in 2020, as is Commandaria.
Champagne is back in 2020, as is Commandaria.
As in 2019, lunches and dinners as well as coffee breaks will be prepared by Kempinski’s wonderful chef, Vytautas Alekna, with a focus on local and seasonal products as well as on expanding the overall palette (we hear that many people enjoyed quinoa and artichokes and pak choi in 2019; we’ll bring these back, and more!).
Both lunches as well as both dinners will be served at the Kempinski while the coffee breaks will be served in the lobby of the Palace.
The Registration
The registration for Summit 2020 is now OPEN.
As usual, we require that each attendee be (a) qualified i.e. have relevant practical experience in the games industry, whether in-house or at a law firm; and be (b) recommended by industry peers i.e. receive an invitation from someone whom the board know.
A very easy test for the above is the Formal Dinner, where you will find yourself seated at a table with 5 other people who come from 5 different companies and 5 different countries: are you an interesting dinner guest to them, and are they to you? In this respect, we very much believe in the concept of mutual interest.
2020’s registration fee is €700 per person, and it covers:
  • access to the conference + conference materials;
  • the Reception Dinner (April 29);
  • two five-star lunches at the Kempinski (April 30, May 1);
  • two five-star dinners at the Kempinski (April 30, May 1);
  • four coffee breaks with drinks & snacks (April 30, May 1);
  • unlimited champagne and wine, as well as commandaria and zivania (while the supplies last; see below for 2019’s stats);
  • unlimited single-origin specialty coffee, home-made ice-cream and specialty tea throughout the two days of the event;
  • a complimentary professional technical running shirt if you participate in the Legal Run (in 2020 it will be a relay race);
  • a takeaway food tray for those who leave early on May 1 (and thus miss the Informal Dinner);
  • pick-up and drop-off at the airport, plus a Fast Track pass for the airport for the return flight.
There are no discounts and every attendee pays the same price.
As with every year before, our ambition is to improve your experience and to make your time at the Summit both enjoyable and productive; thus in 2020 you will encounter a number of new features, including (finally!) a specialty Tea Corner.
The Hotels
The attendees were pretty happy with Hotel PACAI in 2019
The attendees were pretty happy with Hotel PACAI in 2019
As always (and yes, since the Summit turns 6 next year, I’ll be using this phrase a lot!), we negotiated special rates at a number of the Old Town hotels which are within a few minutes of walking to the venue. For Summit 2020, special rates are available at the following hotels:
If you don’t care about the budget, then you can go ahead and book directly; otherwise please reach out to Alma who will be happy to send you the Summit-specific rate card, and then connect you directly to the booking manager of the hotel of your choice to make sure that they give you the special attendee price.
Early in October, I’ll be sending around the 2020 sponsorship presentation. We keep the same 3 tiers as before, but we’re adjusting the prices as we’ll bear higher costs of branding in the new venue + we have a couple of ideas that will require a bit more budget (delivering espressos and cappuccinos right in the presentation hall during the talks worked well to minimise the hassle of walking out for coffee/tea and coming back, but to make sure that espressos remain hot as they’re being served, we’ll commission custom sponsor-branded ceramic cups that retain heat and rent a heating box to keep them in; and in order to serve specialty teas from Japan, China, India and Cyprus, we’ll need a bunch of equipment from HARIO since paper cups do affect the taste of green teas to a significant degrees, so we want porcelain).
If you’re interested in taking a look, please let me know (I’ll also directly contact all of our existing partners).
Legal Challenge 2020
This is still my favourite photo from Legal Challenge 2019.
This is still my favourite photo from Legal Challenge 2019.
Legal Challengethe games industry moot court competition – is back in 2020, thanks to the wonderful folks at Wargaming who once again reaffirmed their commitment to helping young talent get the recognition they deserve in the games industry.
All I know for now is that we’ll be dealing with arbitration, and that the real case on which 2020’s challenge will be based upon, is already finished in real life, and the award is issued.
If you have experience in litigation and would like to contribute as one of the judges, please let me know.
If you’re a law firm or a games company that wants to set up a locale-specific award (e.g. cost of travel if any of your country’s teams qualify to semifinals), please get in touch with Alma so that we can keep announce this.
Finally, if you’re a student or a recent graduate (up to 3 years) and would like to compete, then please email both me and Alma and we’ll ping you once the registration opens.
…and now, some stats on 2019 that I want to share:
Legal Run 2019
We had 43 runners this year and the feedback has been overwhelmingly great, so we’re bringing this back in 2020 with a shorter warm-up, an earlier start (0630) and a change in track (“8” shape right on the Cathedral Square).
"V" for "Vargaming" – Roman Zanin doesn't care for rain or wind
"V" for "Vargaming" – Roman Zanin doesn't care for rain or wind
Jakub Kubalski knows what IDDQD is for.
Jakub Kubalski knows what IDDQD is for.
Kai Schukowski & Alexandros Alexandrou took things seriously.
Kai Schukowski & Alexandros Alexandrou took things seriously.
Here, Ella Schröder shows Sanna Luoma the right attitude for winning the race.
Here, Ella Schröder shows Sanna Luoma the right attitude for winning the race.
The team from Take-Two lived up to their name and took home two medals.
The team from Take-Two lived up to their name and took home two medals.
Attendance 2019 vs Attendance 2018
Compared to the last year, we were +37% in attendees overall (this is after taking into account all the cancellations), and +33% in in-house attendees specifically.
This is very much in line with our ambition to expand the regions currently represented by law firms (attendees came from 33 countries in 2019) as well as to grow the number of games companies present (in 2019, 53% of attendees were in-house).
88 people came to the Summit for the first time while 112 people have attended the event at least once before.
Jas Schelinski hugs Tobias Purewal, or the other way around.
Jas Schelinski hugs Tobias Purewal, or the other way around.
Drinks in 2019
Having almost 200 people on-site with unlimited access to high-quality alcohol is normally a recipe for disaster, but I’m here to report that we finished the Summit without a single major emergency! The hotels couldn’t believe it. The taxi company couldn’t believe it. But we were very, very proud of our happy-but-organised games industry!
Only one passport was lost (and found), only one mobile was forgotten in a taxi (and later retrieved), and only one person had to re-book their flight (after unsuccessfully trying to leave the Schengen zone using only a British drivers license – you can probably guess who?! =).
Katya Nemova and Kayla Page sharing a drink and a view of the Cathedral Square.
Katya Nemova and Kayla Page sharing a drink and a view of the Cathedral Square.
Speaking of alcohol, throughout three dinners we consumed:
850 bottles of beer (that’s 4.47 bottles per person).
24 magnums of Billecart-Salmon champagne, 55 magnums of Marco Felluga’s Sauvignon Blanc and 32 magnums of Marco Felluga’s Carantan 2009 (that’s 5.84 glasses of wine/champagne per person).
10 bottles of Tsiakkas Commandaria and 6 bottles of grappa (that’s 1.15 glasses of digestif per person).
NB: the above count (11.46 drinks per person, including infants) does not include the amounts consumed off-site in Trinity, Alchemist and in other wonderful clubs visited by the shock troops of the Summit throughout both nights (I hear that in certain circles it is now forbidden to as much as mention the word ‘absinth’).
Ice-Cream & Specialty Coffee in 2019
We introduced ice-cream in 2019, and we're keeping it for 2020.
We introduced ice-cream in 2019, and we're keeping it for 2020.
The artisanal custom-made ice-cream – introduced this year for the first time – was a roaring success. According to Paulius at Ice Dunes, during two days we went through 55 kg of ice-cream (that’s 290 grams per person). Top flavours: TaylorWessing’s pistachio followed by MSK’s bitter chocolate.
The specialty coffee corner returned, thanks to the enthusiastic reception in 2018. Manned by Arnas and Mindaugas, the founders and owners of Kavos Broliai, the coffee corner used 26 kg of coffee beans to keep us going (2:1 in terms of Brazil vs Ethiopia origin).
Cafe affogato – finally made possible because we had both the coffee and the ice-cream corners this year – was responsible for 2 kg of Osborne Clarke’s vanilla & figs ice-cream alone.
In plans for 2020: offering iced coffee, moving up from the current two to 4 single-origin options, and taking the idea of coffee served during the presentations by wait staff on trays further.
Formal Dinner 2019
Anneliese Hartlaub (Taylor Wessing) & Peter Lewin (Purewal & Partners).
Anneliese Hartlaub (Taylor Wessing) & Peter Lewin (Purewal & Partners).
When I noticed a waiter who carried on his tray three shots of ice-cold vodka and a credit card machine, I got worried – but then I saw that these were meant to celebrate the Polish/Russian/German friendship at table 2, and I knew that these people can handle that (and more!) pretty easily.
To summarise my own impressions: everyone looked beautiful and lots of people gave feedback that they made new meaningful connections, which is exactly how it was supposed to work.
(If you did not attend the Summit this year: we had tables for 6 guests each, and we’ll ask the 1st guest to invite someone off the list, then ask the 2nd guest to invite one more, and so on, until the table was complete; two rules: you cannot invite a person from the country already present at your table & you cannot invite a person from the company/firm already present at your table).
Aaron (US), Elli (FIN), Sung-Uk (KR), Emi (CN) and Elena (PL) at table 10.
Aaron (US), Elli (FIN), Sung-Uk (KR), Emi (CN) and Elena (PL) at table 10.
Who benefitted the most: people who responded to my emails quickly. Some of the tables were fully booked within 48 hours. Who had less control over their tables: people who did not respond for 2+ weeks and people who registered already after we finished with the dinner arrangements, and hence were assigned tables based on the last-minute changes.
Ewelina (PL), Anne Sophie (FR), Felix (DE) and Dave (FIN) at table 11.
Ewelina (PL), Anne Sophie (FR), Felix (DE) and Dave (FIN) at table 11.
In 2020, we will definitely keep this format going, with the (currently unconfirmed) possibility of turning Day-2’s lunch into a sit-down lunch just as well (and expanding it to 2 hours), so that each of you will have more chances of catching up with people from different regions.
Can you help us make Summit 2020 better?
If you enjoyed the Summit this year and would like to contribute to making the next year’s Summit even better, then the best way to do this is to introduce us to professionals whom you would like to see among the attendees.
We’re on the look-out for industry-experienced law firms in India and Vietnam, as well as in South America, and we’re always very happy to on-board in-house counsels from dev studios and publishers – whether they are from Russia, from France or from Singapore!
See you in Vilnius in about 6 months – and we’ll keep sharing more information on Summit 2020 as it becomes available, via these newsletters. 有朋自远访来, 不亦乐乎.  
What makes Alma and me happy: seeing your happy faces!
What makes Alma and me happy: seeing your happy faces!
Did you enjoy this issue?
Sergei Klimov

A newsletter about games industry's legal side, written for the benefit and entertainment of the folks attending (or considering to attend) the annual Games Industry Law Summit in Vilnius.

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Games Industry Law Summit is organized by Charlie Oscar LIma Tango. Malunu 6B-8, Vilnius, LT-01200, Lithuania