Video Game Publishing and Licensing in the US and China
September 24, 2020
7:00PM - 8:15 PM, PDT
Course Description (CLE Credit Pending Approval)
Video games represent a multibillion-dollar industry in the Pacific Northwest. Greater Seattle alone is the home of some of the biggest names in the gaming industry: Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios, Valve Corporation (Steam), Nintendo, and the Pokemon Company. Seattle also has a vibrant community of indie and independent video game developers and is the home to some of the greatest independently developed games in the last decade. This course will introduce you to the fundamental relationship between publishers and developers and the key legal issues that often surface in a video game publishing deal.
The United States and China are the two biggest gaming markets in the world. Evolving tensions between these two countries and different regulatory systems have directly impacted the video game industry. Since July, Apple has removed thousands of foreign games from its Chinese App store. The recent executive orders banning Tencent (WeChat) and Bytedance (TikTok) have directly impacted the ability of these two Chinese tech giants to continue investing in video games in the US.
This course will also introduce the video game publishing regulatory framework in China and compare it with publishing in the US. The speakers will discuss an important component of publishing — content review — and explore the differences between the US model (ESRB rating) and the Chinese model (NPPA approval and licensing).
Benjamin Premack is the co-founder and managing partner of Premack Rogers P.C., the Pacific Northwest's leading interactive entertainment law firm with more than 35 years of industry experience. Benjamin has handled and advised on numerous domestic and international video game publishing and licensing deals. Benjamin also serves as a member of the board of advisors in International Game Developers Association (“IGDA”) Seattle Chapter. He is a guest lecturer at The Game Studio at Champlain College where he teaches intellectual property management and licensing.