Video Games & Esports
With an estimated 2.6bn people now playing video games globally across all devices and consoles, and annual revenues of the industry now exceeding USD $100bn, gaming is now the world’s largest entertainment industry by revenue.
The strong growth of the video game market in recent years has seen the prolific emergence of esports - competitive gaming at a professional level, which now holds its own as a mainstream form of both sport and entertainment. Esports is fast-growing and insatiably popular, with vast prize pots for tournaments and sky-high audience viewing figures presenting hugely exciting opportunities for players, teams, investors and sponsors alike.
Lewis Silkin’s market leading team are recognised experts in the fields of both video games and esports. Having advised in this area ever since the days of the Sega Mega Drive, today Lewis Silkin advises some of the biggest names in the games industry on some of the most cutting-edge legal and technological issues.
Our recognised expertise in traditional sports and sponsorship rights, coupled with a deep knowledge of the latest regulatory and industry issues impacting both the gaming and esports markets, allows us to identify and interpret market trends ahead of the curve.
Our multi-disciplinary team can bring their experience to all matters relating to this sector, including:
- Game development and publishing agreements;
- Sponsorship and licensing arrangements;
- Intellectual property – copyright, trade mark and patent issues;
- Brand and reputation management;
- Broadcasting and digital rights;
- Programmatic advertising;
- Data and privacy;
- Technology - blockchain, AI and VR technology;
- Event management, venue hire and ticketing;
- Consumer law;
- Content acquisition, production and funding arrangements;
- Investment and shareholder agreements;
- Esports player, team and agency contracts;
- Esports/gaming ordinances, regulations and tournament rules.
"market leader… they have real strength in depth." - Chambers & Partners 2019
You can view our latest blog posts below and our full blog here.
Sports Q&A - How are esports regulated?28 January 2021
It’s impossible to answer this question without taking a closer look at the esports ecosystem. Although there are certain parallels to draw with traditional sports (with professional players, teams, leagues and championships) there are also significant differences. In particular, the international and national federation structure as seen in traditional sports is generally absent in esports.
Subscriptions: When are auto-renewals fair game?06 January 2020
As the CMA investigates the use of subscriptions in video games, James Gill, JJ Shaw and Mark Hersey comment on best practices.
The Esports Gold Rush – What Do ‘Traditional Sports’ Need to Consider?29 November 2019
Everybody wants a piece of the esports pie, and the International Cycling Union (ICU) is the latest to make its move. The world governing body of cycling has teamed up with Zwift - the innovative online platform which allows riders to compete against each other in a virtual world - to host the world’s very first ‘cycling esport world championships’ in 2020.
Oliver Fairhurst and JJ Shaw write for LawInSport: Cheating in video games – lessons from Blizzard’s successful case against cheat and bot developer27 August 2019
Oliver Fairhurst and JJ Shaw have written an article for LawInSport. The article discusses the claim that was recently won against a developer of cheat software by Blizzard, the video game developer and publisher behind hugely successful games such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Overwatch.
Artificial Intelligence: The New Driving Force Behind Sports Performance and Entertainment13 February 2019
If I was to raise the topic of “artificial intelligence” in football, you’d be forgiven for thinking I was referring to Joey Barton’s decision to enrol as a philosophy student at Roehampton University back in 2013. But not so – last month it was announced that London-based non-league club, Wingate & Finchley FC, have employed football’s very first ‘AI coach’.
Lewis Silkin advises on sale of Games Warehouse to Blueprint Gaming31 January 2018
Lewis Silkin has advised its client on the sale of omni-channel gaming provider Games Warehouse to Blueprint Gaming, part of the Gauselmann Group.
What game creators need to know about protecting their brands30 March 2017
We have written an article for GamesIndustry.biz, one of the leading websites for news and information about the global video games industry. The article comments on a recent kart racing suit filed by Nintendo and offers advice for game companies.