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Session Name:

Things I Wish I Knew About Development Contracts When I Started My Studio: Current Legal and Business Challenges for Independent Game Developers


Succeeding in the video and computer game industry requires more than a thorough understanding of legal and business issues. The traditional model of developing work-for-hire games for console and for retail packaged sale is no longer viable for most independent developers. And the contracts for games being developed for emerging digital platforms, such as the casual PC downloadable/MMO, iPhone/iPad, Facebook, and even the console companies own digital storefronts still look like the contracts of the good old days. And then there are the rituals that developers still must observe when negotiating contracts with publishers. The typical business management handbook tells you to consult with a lawyer when negotiating the fine print of a development contract, but doesnt tell you why. A panel of games industry lawyers will answer questions from the CEO of an independent development studio and from the audience about how to negotiate agreements with publishers, how to make sure the contract conforms with your business practices and needs of your employees, and how to deal with publishers once the agreement is signed.

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