View profile

Summit – 24 hours to the finals!

When you will read this issue, we will be less than 24 hours away from the semifinals and finals of G
Games Industry Law Summit
Summit – 24 hours to the finals!
By Sergei Klimov • Issue #50 • View online
When you will read this issue, we will be less than 24 hours away from the semifinals and finals of Games Industry Legal Challenge 2019. To some, this is just a fun pre-Summit event; and to some, this could be a major win in terms of exposure, and a possible future career in the international games industry!
Let’s run through a few small updates on the Summit, and then have a brief moment of feeling sad about the recent developments in Estonia –

PGL Chocolates Are Here!
GamesLawSummit
Thanks to @pglesports, each participant of the Summit will find in their attendee boxes this set of chocolates (90%, 85% and 75% cocoa) manufactured here in Vilnius by La Naya Chocolate specifically for the event. We’re sure these will come handy in the morning of day two! <3 https://t.co/yArJ3HNpaz
Based on the success of 2018’s collaboration, we again commissioned the local chocolatier La Naya to produce a custom set of three bars on behalf of PGL for all of you to enjoy.
Frankfurt Kurnit Specialty Coffee is Here!
GamesLawSummit
Traditionally, for each Summit @FrankfurtKurnit sources specialty coffee from the small local roaster Kavos Broliai. This year, attendees get coffee that comes from Colombia (grown by Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia in Finca Montenlanco/Huila), roasted here in Vilnius on April 25, 2019. https://t.co/GaIz557DaX
The beans were picked up in Colombia by Arnas at Kavos Broliai (who personally knows each of the farmers that he buys the beans from) and roasted here in Vilnius just 4 days ago. Arnas and his cousin Mindaugas will also operate the specialty coffee corner during the two days of the Summit.
We've got 6x6 chargers for the conference hall
GamesLawSummit
As in 2018, this year we will have 6 chargers placed throughout the conference room, each with 6 ports (supporting lightning, micro USB and USB-C). Feel free to use them to keep your mobiles at 100%! https://t.co/YB30OsGYps
We've got stickers
GamesLawSummit
By popular demand we brought back the stickers: both the red wolf and the year-specific Summit designs. If you, like us, are into decorating your Mac Books covers – you will find those in your attendee boxes (or just ask Alma). https://t.co/5nFDB5rWLz
SAS is on strike, your flight may be affected
Bloomberg
SAS is canceling more flights on Monday and Tuesday because of the ongoing pilot strike, the airline revealed https://t.co/kLnMtDdl46
A few of you have struggled today to rebook your flights through Stockholm due to the pilot strike, so if you’re also taking SAS this week, you may want to check with them about the status of those flights. The good news so far: the Stockholm-Vilnius route is not affected, but just experiences overflow from other cancellations.
CHUCHEL and Summit 2019
CHUCHEL is the original videogame created by Amanita Design, released a bit over a year ago on PC and then on mobile platforms.
Amanita Design are some of my most favourite people in the games industry because they represent the best qualities of an independent creative team: they are the sort of dreamers who get things done.
With a team that’s less than ten people working out of a small office in Prague, they manage to consistently produce highly rated original cross-platform videogames that sell millions of copies across the globe; and not only that, but they are also able to produce plush toys and t-shirts and vinyl soundtracks and all sorts of other merchandise based on their IPs – and ship it worldwide!
On top of this, Amanita Design also displays an incredible integrity when it comes to ethics: some time after CHUCHEL was released as a character with a black body color, a number of users felt that this image is too close to “blackface” and found it disturbing. The response of the studio? They have re-drawn the whole game, changing the color of the main character to the current orange one, and re-done all of their marketing materials, as well as the plush toys. And when hundreds of users on Steam gave the updated game negative reviews for that, saying that they find Amanita’s position"weak", the studio held strong and remained committed to their original decision.
For all of the above reasons, we chose CHUCHEL as this year’s Summit Mascot, representing the following:

  • that a small team of game developers can continuously create original properties that sell millions of copies;
  • that such a team, based in Prague (and not Los Angeles, or London, or Montreal) can create games that successfully sell all over the world;
  • that such a team can produce in-house, and directly ship cross-platform products;
  • that such a team can successfully collaborate with a wealth of outside talent – musicians, artists, game designers – in a model that is fair to both parties and builds strong and lasting relationships;
  • that such a team can successfully run operations – producing merchandise and setting up a direct store as well as handling communications;
  • that such a team can start and grow without external investment, bootstrapping itself on the back of its founders and their commitment to stay focused throughout the years;
  • that such a team can, despite its strict work ethics, remain a family-friendly place with everyone having kids and having the time to take care of them properly rather than lay their personal lives on the altar of the creative aspiration;
  • and, finally, that such a team can remain finely attuned to the needs & feelings of its international user base to the degree where the studio would re-do the whole game to address a possible discomfort.
The example set by Amanita Design represents, in my opinion, the ideal client of any law firm: you know that by helping the studio get stronger and grow with your specific expertise, you are enabling a fair and sustainable creative model that enriches the cultural space of the videogames industry. And indeed, it is possible to bootstrap a studio out of a non-major location and produce top-quality content without compromising one’s integrity!
If you’re a member of this year’s Judge Panel, you’re getting your very own plush CHUCHEL as a little thank-you for the time you’ve spent helping run the Legal Challenge.
If you’re one of the semifinalists of the Challenge, you’re also getting your own plush CHUCHEL as a reminder of the possibilities to succeed in the games industry – if you stay focused and remain true to your self.
And if you’re none of the above, but still would like to get it – the plush toy is available at the studio’s store (€22.50, here), while the game is sold on Steam (€9.99, here, Win/Mac), App Store ($4.99, here, iPhone/iPad) or Google Play ($4.99, here).
"If you're black, go back!"
Unbelievably, the above is a quote from Estonia’s new finance minister, who says that “the number of negroes exploded in Tallinn”. With the inclusion of the far-right party in Estonia’s government, things look pretty dim for the country previously known for their excellent e-residency program.
How do you feel about this quote from one of the members of this party?
“In my eyes, fascism is an ideology that consists of quite a few positive and necessary nuances to preserve the nation state”
Given that 27% of the people employed by the neighbouring Finnish games industry are coming from outside of Finland, I wonder how Estonia plans to compete in this segment? E-residency and digital ID cards are all great tools, but for any global games company the pitch to open an office in a location that has a racism problem (on top of $200-billion money-laundering problem) is going to be a no-go.
–––
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