In recent years, digital gaming distinctively became one of the fastest-growing and highly lucrative sectors globally, principally competing with the film and music industry. Digital Gaming is also the most grossing intellectual property
sector. Prominently, the debut of mobile gaming coupled with social gaming has elevated the concept of digital gaming to a new dimension due to easy access and mobility. In conjunction, social networking sites have served as a popular platform which makes digital gaming ever more attractive to the general public, irrespective of the different age groups or social positions. The varied genres of a video / digital game, including lifelike games, horror-themes games, role-playing games and so on, augment the possibility that people’s attention be diverted towards the sector through the stimulation of interactivity and creativity.
Digital gaming, analogous to other forms of entertainment, exists as a cross-disciplinary field encompassing programmers and developers; game designers; sound designers; producers as well as other technical experts or specialists employed within the sector. The rapid advancement and expansion of the digital gaming industry is attracting further segments/professions which originally were not included, such as musicians and artists.
Digital Games in Malta
Whilst generally, at European level, the regulatory process is embryonic in relation to the legal strategies which companies and businesses may foster to protect themselves but also flourish in the digital gaming industry, Malr. The growth experienced in the Malta digital gaming industry is a result of an increase in investment in digital games but also a maturity in the legal and industrial environment that Malta offers to this industry.
Indeed, Malta, as the European iGaming hub, has experienced a substantial development in the industry of digital games, to an extent that in the year 2009, the industry in Malta surpassed both the film and music industry. It is established that due to the fact that the gaming industry in general permits a diverse spectrum of platforms, for instance box-sales, PC, console games, smart phones and tablet devices, further growth may take place expeditiously.
From a legal and practical point of view, Malta enjoys the potentiality to provide a positively successful experience to companies and businesses specialising in digital games which are already established in Malta, as well as to prospective digital gaming investors given the state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, geographically strategic position together with favourable tax rates along with tax credits for expenditures which might be incurred through the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets and for research and development purposes. Furthermore, assistance is likewise granted for the financing of new Malta digital gaming start-ups and enterprises engaged in the digital games 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.
Digital Games in Malta: Our Digital Gaming Law Team
Established in a country which stands out as a hub for the iGaming industry
, our firm has sought to participate in the digital gaming sector, which indubitably has grown in one of the most beneficial and flourishing sectors. Our clientele encompasses a far-reaching spectrum 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 entails lawyers, accountants, IT consultants and tax advisers with expertise in corporate law, gaming law, entertainment law, IT law, international, intellectual property law and employment law. The multi-disciplinary nature of the team ensures that all aspects of the business are taken care of. Being one of the first firms to practice in the digital games sector, Chetcuti Cauchi’s Digital Gaming Law team members enjoy a legacy of specialized expertise which they apply to the particular needs of the client, providing practical solutions.
Chetcuti Cauchi, with pleasure, provides numerous services in this dynamic and expeditious digital games sector comprising legal advice and assistance in relation to:
- application for and attainment of fiscal benefits available to the Malta digital gaming industry
- 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