Games Industry Law Summit - Recap of Day Three

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Games Industry Law Summit
Games Industry Law Summit - Recap of Day Three
By Sergei Klimov • Issue #94 • View online
Those of you who attended this Summit’s closing presentation from Matt and Saki by now know of a $1 billion-grossing game that is a combination of:
  • racehorse training
  • idol management
  • roguelike mechanics
To me, this is the perfect illustration of both the special nature of our industry, and the richness of our community – which brings together people from forty different countries (including two of my favourites: Africa and Latin America; sorry! just a joke here ;-).
With most of you already back in the office by now, it’s time to recap the last day of the Summit (as to the big “It’s a wrap!” issue with the stats for 2022 and plans for 2023, it’s coming later in the week).
So what did we do on Friday, September 9?

Sanctions: Trade Compliance
We opened the last day of the Summit with the debate on the sanctions (against Russia, Iran, etc.), and the way they are applied.
Ironically, from September 19 two of the panelists would not be even allowed into Lithuania on a direct flight – but would be fine, if they took a stopover in Frankfurt prior to that (which just goes to show how some of the recent measures are decoupled from the reality, with the aim of scoring popular votes rather than any real impact on the actual situation).
🇨🇾 Roman Zanin, a GC at Wargaming for nearly 10 years, moderated a panel of experts from key jurisdictions: 🇨🇳 Thomas Pattloch, 🇨🇭 Alexander Schmid, 🇷🇺 Arseny Seidov and 🇬🇧 Ciaran Hickey. 🇺🇸 Canon Pence, one of our community’s pillars (dearly missed at this year’s event!), made a valuable contribution via video link – explaining the general approach of Epic to the whole matter of sanctions.
M&A and Invetsments
During 2022 panel on M&A, one of the participants expressed a polite disagreement with the perceived high value of investment banks in the sale and purchase of creative studios. In 2023, we explored the issue with the help of 2 investment bankers and 1 investment officer – thanks to 🇬🇧 Mike Turner, an industry legend:
Joining Mike on stage were 🇬🇧 Micha Katz from Aream & Co., 🇬🇧 Shum Singh from Agnitio Capital, 🇫🇮 Jaakko Harlas at Supercell and 🇸🇪 Anna Orlander at the Embracer Group.
Protection of Minors
🇩🇪 Sebastian Schwiddessen chaired the next panel, dedicated to protection of minors – an evergreen topic for our industry. Joining him were 🇺🇸 Karin Pagnanelli, 🇭🇰 Lex Kuo, 🇬🇧 Isabel Davies and 🇱🇹 Katya Nemova.
Regional Update: USA
🇺🇸 Karin Pagnanelli then stayed for the next presentation, where she and her partner 🇺🇸 Marc Mayer delivered an update on the games industry cases in USA.
Regional Update: UK
And where USA leads, UK follows (or was it the other around, recently?): 🇬🇧 Paul Gardner, a true ace of the industry law, covered the recent developments in the UK with his colleague 🇬🇧 Isabel Davies.
Games Business VS Film Business Approach
Given how engaging the earlier presentations have been, by this time we have accumulated a time debt of nearly 40 minutes. Which meant that we had to swap two panels, so that one of the speakers can then immediately jump into a cab to fly home.
Thus next on, we debated the good (and the bad) of the different approaches that the games industry and the film industry take to running their business, and making their deals.
Personally, I’m a big fan of film process. As I type this, most game developers pile into their offices untested – while my friends in LA run as many as 10,000 daily corona tests on the film and TV sets, to ensure everyone’s safety. Why, or why, can’t we be like this? Probably, there’s some capitalistic motive that drives such behaviour (maybe insurance? and the cost of lost opportunities for top talent?), but I prefer to think that it’s the maturity, and the closeness of the community, that drove Tom Cruise nuts on the set in Rome last year.
A veteran industry lawyer with experience in both film and games, 🇺🇸 Sean Kane, moderated a panel of experts with similar background: 🇺🇸 Meeka Bondy, 🇬🇧 Alexander Lea, 🇵🇱 Anna Piechówka and 🇺🇸 Simon Pulman.
After the panel, the film people thought that they have debunked most of the scares (while the games people might hold to a slightly different opinion…;-P).
Regional Update: Spain, Brazil, Chile, Colombia
After breaking for sake and beer, the community reconvened for an absolute blast of a cross-country regional update that focused on Spain, Brazil, Chile and Colombia – a first for two of these regions!
Moderated by 🇪🇸 Andy Ramos, it featured 🇨🇴 Jorge Andres Bedoya Carmona, 🇧🇷 Vanessa Pareja Lerner and 🇨🇱 José Manuel Muñiz Herrera. We’re so lucky to have them in our community!
Regional Update: South Africa
When 🇿🇦 Nicholas Hall climbed on a box on stage, we knew we’re in for a thrill – and he didn’t disappoint. Africa is huge. Africa is diverse. And Africa is, indeed, a land of the opportunity – if only we make the effort to connect, and collaborate, across the continents!
Assisting Nicholas in unpacking the region was 🇨🇾 Roman Zanin, and in the end, I think, we all started to itch to visit Africa Games Week in Cape Town!
WFH VS hybrid VS office mode for legal teams
Coming up next was a discussion on whether remote, hybrid or full office mode works best for the legal teams (you can probably guess that the answer was, “it depends” :-D).
This culture panel was moderated by 🇵🇱 Rafal Kloczko of Epic Games and featured 🇩🇪 Gregor Schmid of Taylor Wessing Germany, 🇺🇸 Stephanie Adamson King of Playco, 🇵🇱 Anna Atanasow of Huuuge Games, 🇪🇸 Andy Ramos of Pérez-Llorca and 🇰🇷 Brian Chung of Kim & Chang.
Lawyers and the Japanese games industry
Finally, this year’s Summit couldn’t have asked for a better ending that the culture panel on the Japanese games industry (and the role of lawyers there) – against the background of us overrunning the timetable, and living on borrowed time, as the city electricians came over to switch off the power supply and the supplier trucks started backing up into the square.
But it was worth it – so very worth it!
🇯🇵 Matthew Datum and 🇯🇵 Saki Takimoto gave as an insight into one of the most special regions, where everything is different – from having to learn the knots in order to pass the bar exam, to working with the title of an “employee” that can do legal work one year, and switch to marketing work during another.
どうもありがとうございます!
–––
And that’s about it, peoples – we hope you made new friends, and enjoyed the time spent with the old ones!
The registration for Games Industry Law Summit VIII in Vilnius and the premiere Games Industry Law Unpacked in Warsaw will kick off by the end of this week, meanwhile we’re gathering the data (and the supplier invoices) to wrap our head around what went right and what went wrong, and how to make 2023 events better for all of you.
PS
In early August, we ordered 60 bottles of Campari Soda from a shop in Italy as the Speaker’s Blessing drink for this year (obtainable only with a speaker coupon). Little did we know that it will take weeks for them to clear the export requirements, and then a detour through Belgium, before these bottles could arrive to Vilnius.
And so just when the Summit was over… a courier knocked on our studio’s doors with a big box of these ;-D. Despite the urge to just gulp it, we’re sending it into storage for the coming year.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Sergei Klimov

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