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Games Industry Law Summit - event details & call for submissions

Games Industry Law Summit
Games Industry Law Summit - event details & call for submissions
By Sergei Klimov • Issue #86 • View online
A very good morning from the heart of the Baltics to all of you, dear readers! As the world gets more complicated, we find pleasure in simple things: tea served hot, coffee brewed strong, contracts drafted in plain language…
One school of entrepreneurs says: “dream big!”. Sony’s E3 banner, years ago, proclaimed: GO BIG OR GO HOME. Typical visuals of this school feature lions, tigers, eagles and other predators, and typical studios here bleed money both before and after they raised funding, since growth happens way too fast.
Another school says: “to thrive, first survive”. That school values compounding, and advises independent studios to model themselves after cockroaches: create a positive cashflow, then increase your appetite. Typical studios here raise money when they don’t really need it, because they like their risk to remain comfortably low.
It takes a different kind of a law firm to match the work style of these different types of clients: the first cohort prefers to move fast, seizing the day and having ten people on the Zoom call as they hunt for acquisition or engage in litigation; the second prefers to move safe, builds a roadmap, and normally ends up working with just a few trusted lawyers, with a preference for great comms and experience.
Recently, I’m seeing these two cultures clash in a number of studios and law firms. Get too conservative – and miss the opportunities, losing talent in the process. Get too aggressive – and face the lawsuits of dissatisfied investors or grumpy clients, with a messy crew of short-term champions who change jobs every two-three years.
Ideally, you want a cockroach of a CFO and a lion of a CEO, working hand in hand with a sober CTO to reach for the sky over a ladder that’s firmly supported by your committed and motivated dev crew.
But nothing is ideal in this world, and living through the war in the middle of the pandemics exposes the cracks that have been barely visible in the fatter times… Which, by the way, creates a great environment for switching jobs: these days you can observe with an x-ray clarity how both firms and studios perform under the multiple stress factors, and know what you can (or cannot) count on.
What a time to be alive!
And now on to this week’s updates –>

Registration for 2022 is over, done, finito
The registration for this year’s Summit is formally over as we’ve exceeded the limit that we planned for, repeatedly, including Plan B and Plan C. As of today, we expect attendees from 40 different countries (including Chile and Greece) –
The in-house/law firm ratio stands at 48% to 52%.
Female/male representation at 32% to 68%.
Over 120 attendees will come to the Summit for the first time, so bring your business cards! Or, actually, just don’t lose your Attendee Book 2022 – which will have all of the profiles, plus the photographs and the attendee Q&A.
Of course, there’s no rule without an exception (exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis – as discussed in this letter to the editor): we still onboard in-house GCs and studio managers, as well as law firms from yet-unrepresented regions, as the impact from having such attendees prevails over the logistical challenges.
But that’s just a few people, really, as we are literally running out of chairs, having rented 600 of the best that could be found in Vilnius.
Venue details
In 2022 we’re going to use two separate venues: one for the Super Pass holders and crypto enthusiasts, and the other for the peasants and commoners (just kidding, sorry). The first venue – Hotel PACAI – is where we’ll serve everyone with lunches and dinners:
The second venue – the Lithuanian Art Museum just across the road from PACAI – is where we’ll build the tent for the actual program, and where we’ll also serve coffee, tea, ice-cream, beer, sake and snacks during the breaks:
The reason for erecting 2 tents rather than 1 as in 2021 is purely logistical: to quickly serve 300 people with food and drinks, the kitchen staff will need to prepare everything way in advance – setting up while we’ll still be busy with the presentations.
Here’s the map to get you oriented: it takes about 3 minutes to get from one place to another; both venues have toilets, and security.
Arrivals & Departures
If you already know your arrival and departure flights, please communicate these to Alma. This year we will provide complimentary pick-up for all arrivals.
As to the departures, we ask each attendee to coordinate this on your own – as with the centralised booking we are guaranteed to hit a bottleneck when we’ll have dozens of departures happening at the same time, exceeding our ability to coordinate on-site.
If you use Uber, Volt or other shared services, rely on your app. For taxi contacts, please reach out to Alma – we recommend A2B, our standard choice for all these years, and A2B recommends to arrange the trips a few days ahead as we’ll have a surge.
Vaccination Rules
First off, it may be possible that by this September we will see a new retirement to be vaccinated against MPX – if the cases continue to grow as they do right now.
With over 500 patients in nearly 30 countries, and with confirmed airborne transmission model (see UK Health Security Agency’s classification in the chart here), we may be looking at a replay of 2020 – except that the vaccine against MPX already exists, and can be deployed within weeks. We’ll see.
Secondly, on the COVID, our policy remains the same: to provide everyone with the safety tools that each attendee can use to calibrate their own risk level. And luckily, what prevents COVID will also prevent MPX and flu and whatnot, so that everyone can stay safe regardless of the specific virus.
Safety Kit:
Like in 2021, each attendee will receive the Safety Kit. The kits will be delivered to your hotel room, ahead of the Reception Dinner.
Each kit contains two LTE tests to be used in the morning of each conference day. Please use these to keep the others safe.
The kit also has 2 high-quality FFP2 masks, made in Germany. We went through some pains in sourcing the masks that work great with both glasses and beards, and these are the most convenient among the bunch.
We ask everyone to wear a mask when indoors or in close proximity as we have vulnerable people among the attendees, and regardless of one’s own decision to exhaust one’s precious T cells to embrace the risk of opportunistic infection, we should not put others at a risk that’s easily preventable.
We ask each attendee to confirm that they are vaccinated with the EMA-approved shot (see the list here). This is both for your own travel needs (some countries in the EU still require proof of vaccination or a PCR test and a quarantine period for unvaccinated travellers), and for the safety of others (while vaccination doesn’t prevent infection and lends only a 15% decrease to your chances of catching Long COVID, it does reduce the viral load).
If you are vaccinated with one of the EMA-approved shots, regardless of the country of manufacture (e.g. AZ India, AZ Korea, AZ UK, etc.), you would be fine. And if not, it’s time to book Pfizer or Moderna now (Moderna reportedly being a bit better against current VE).
Finally, as the ultimate layer of safety, we imported this highly effective medicine from Poland, which will be made available throughout the Summit:
Last room available at PACAI
If you have the budget, the last room that remains available at Hotel PACAI is their 120 square meter PACAI Suite with a Hastens bed and a huge balcony overlooking the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, which you can book through Alma for a meagre €1.400/night (which is 20% below the regular rate).
With large windows and a spacious meeting area, this would work well for any on-the-spot meetings (and we’ll be thankful for having 100% of the hotel booked by the Summit guests, to avoid the chance of some local celebrities deciding to hold a feast here during our conference – remember how we had to literally squeeze the Rolls-Royce Cullinan from the yard last year? Man oh man oh man…)
Kayaking, biking, running, hot air balooning
Early September in Vilnius is a great time for the outdoors. In 2019, we organised the Legal Run – and in 2021, we had groups of attendees kayaking, running, biking as well as flying on the hot air balloons, which is a thing here.
If you arrive to Vilnius on September 6th or early in the day on September 7th, and/or if you’re up to the early run on September 8th (we start at 08:45, so the run needs to begin at 07:30), please let Alma know your preference: running, kayaking, ballooning or biking. We’ll try to match you with fellow attendees and put you in touch with a few suppliers to book with.
Program: call for submissions
Last but not least, tomorrow is the day when we begin working on the program of the event. Having secured a supply of great champagne and arranged an incredible menu, we now turn to the main dish: the content.
In the coming week, I will reach out to the board to define the key topics of 2022; and then will work with each panel and each presenter to schedule the specific talks.
As always, there will be the classics – such as M&A, OS and regional updates – plus a few new things that attract the most votes – such as, hopefully, audit of games companies, EU’s cartel law and compliance with sanctions. And maybe, just maybe, this year we’ll manage the panel on mental health of our high-stress profession.
If you would like to join a panel or contribute to a specific topic, please let me know via email. The way it works is that we make the options available to the board, who then balance the participants for the best impact.
With this, I wish you a wonderful week – and until the next issue!
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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.

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Games Industry Law Summit is organized by Charlie Oscar Lima Tango Interactive Entertainment UAB