April 19, 2018

How Ukrainian games find their way to global online platforms. ILF Project

Game developers face the need to restructure their business when their product starts developing rapidly. This transformation stage presents new challenges and opens up opportunities that used to be beyond their reach.

ILF has a team like that among its clients. Their product is a multi-genre cross-platform game Deuterium Wars. Such massively multiplayer online games have great business potential. Deuterium Wars has been developing steadily, and the creators turned to ILF to clarify legal issues important for further development of both the product and the company as a whole.

First of all, the lawyers shared recommendations on the protection of intellectual property rights for the product. These issues must be addressed right away, not just because of competition in the market, but also for safe interaction with contractors (developers, designers and copywriters). Startups often start working on pure enthusiasm, ignoring these issues. Then someone leaves the team, and no documents get registered. However, when the product starts bringing in profits, negotiating a transfer of intellectual property rights becomes much more difficult and expensive. Moreover, if the rights to the code are not transferred, the author can forbid its use altogether, while his part of the code might be the basis of the whole product.

The online games business is developing rapidly through such global platforms as Steam, App Store, Google Play and others. To place a product on these platforms, it is necessary to have a legal structure that the platform understands. ILF lawyers led by Artem Naumov helped Deuterium Wars get incorporated abroad and open an account with a European bank. In addition, a company in a jurisdiction the investor understands creates the conditions for attracting a strategic investor to the development of the product.

We also helped develop and formalize the legal documents needed for working with online platforms: license agreement, user agreement and confidentiality clause.

If you also plan to structure your IT business for work abroad and don’t know where to begin, take a look at Artem Naumov's recommendations collected in this handbook – here you will find answers to the most frequent questions.