Digital Gaming

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In recent years, the digital gaming industry has experienced a substantive boom and is now becoming one of the fastest-growing industries and highly fruitful sectors globally, contending with the film and music industry. Digital gaming is also the most grossing intellectual property sector. Moreover, the introduction of mobile gaming paired with social gaming has exalted the concept of digital gaming to a new dimension due to easy access and mobility. In addition, social networking sites have become an increasingly popular platform which has considerably increased the lure of digital gaming to the general public of different ages and social positions. With several genres of video/digital games, from life-like teams to horror-themed games and role-playing games, there are more than enough genres to suit the many tastes of different individuals through the stimulation of interactivity and creativity.

Akin to other forms of entertainment, digital gaming exits as an interdisciplinary field, encompassing programmers and developers, game designers, sound designers, sound designers, producers and other technical experts or specialists employed within the sector. Moreover, the digital gaming industry continues to attract further segments/professions which originally were not included, such as musicians and artists, making it a truly multi-faceted industry. 

The Malta Digital Gaming Industry

It is very common for a dynamic industry such as this one to rush ahead of the legislator. Generally, at a European level, one finds a widely undeveloped regulatory process in relation to the legal strategies which companies and businesses may employ in order to protect themselves and flourish in this dynamic industry. However, Malta stands as an exception to the rule and has shown a commendable level of maturity in the legal and industrial environment that Malta offers to the digital gaming industry. A sound and flexible regulatory framework, coupled with an increase in the incoming digital gaming investment, account for the substantive growth which Malta has experienced in this industry.

In point of fact, in 2009, Malta’s digital gaming industry outperformed the film and music industry, making Malta a truly premier European i-gaming hub. It was established that due to the multi-faceted nature of the gaming industry which generally allows for a large variety of platforms, such as box-sales, PC, console games, smart phones and tablet devices, further growth may take place expeditiously. 

Legally and practically, Malta’s past success in this industry has paved the way for an even brighter future. Malta’s current position allows it to provide a positively successful experience to digital gaming companies and businesses which are already established in Malta, as well as to prospective digital gaming investors that may benefit from Malta's state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, its central position in the Mediterranean and an advantageous tax regime, coupled with tax credits for expenditures which might be incurred through the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets, as well as for research and development purposes. In addition, assistance is provided for the financing of new Malta digital gaming start-ups and enterprises engaged in the sector for the acquisition of new technologies and services which expose a promising future for job creation combined with a possibility to enjoy the privilege of co-financing employees’ wages and the leasing of equipment and amenities.

Our Digital Gaming Law team

Our firm is fully aware of the importance of the digital gaming industry in Malta which has established itself as one of the most beneficial and flourishing sectors in Malta, accrediting the jurisdiction as a European hub for the i-gaming industry. Our clientele is comprised of a wide variety of clients, including; software companies setting up gaming platforms, game designers, game developers, programmers and operators offering digital gaming services to players. 

Our Digital Gaming Law team is made up of lawyers, accountants, IT consultants and tax advisers with expertise in Maltese and Cypriot, as well as international corporate law, gaming law, entertainment law, intellectual property law and employment law. Our interdisciplinary team offer comprehensive advice, thus ensures that all aspects of the business are catered for.

As a pioneer practicing in the digital gaming sector, out firm’s Digital Gaming team is in a position to provide seasoned advice through their specialised expertise which is applied to the specific needs of the client, providing practical solutions.

Chetcuti Cauchi proudly provides a multitude of services in this fast-paced and expeditious sector, offering legal advice and assistance in relation to:

  • application for and attainment of fiscal benefits available to the Maltese and Cypriot digital gaming industries
  • corporate structure planning and the development or expansion of any company in the digital gaming sector;
  • gambling licensing exemptions in case of boarder-line game models;
  • compliance with the national laws and regulations; 
  • drafting of EULA (End-of-User Licence Agreement or End-of-User Software Agreement) and terms of service;
  • registration of trademarks both at national level and at the European Union level;
  • copyright, particularly in relation to copyright infringements and consequent investigation, prosecution and consequent copyright infringement proceedings through the pursuit of cyber squatters;
  • protection of intellectual property rights like software codes; platform names; game names; character names and images and so on;
  • digital rights management systems;
  • the creation of licensing, merchandising and distribution agreements;
  • the handling of any employment issues arising in a digital game scenario; 
  • advertising and marketing contracts drafting/review

 



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