On April 8, 2021, Activision Publishing, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Warzone.com LLC regarding the use of the word marks “Warzone” and “Call of Duty Warzone.”  Activision is the publisher of the Call of Duty series of military-themed “first-person shooter” games.  Warzone.com is the developer of a multiplayer turn-based strategy and negotiation game similar to Hasbro’s Risk.

Continue Reading Activision Files Lawsuit Over the Rights to Use the Word “Warzone” in the Call Of Duty Series

The State of Nevada has taken to the initials steps to create an official commission governing esports with the introduction of Senate Bill 165, and its subsequent discussion in a hearing of the Nevada Senate Judiciary Committee on March 17, 2021. The proposed commission would be tasked with creating regulations overseeing esports competitions within the state. Such a move is the first of its kind in the US, and a major step as esports continues to move into the mainstream.
Continue Reading Nevada Moves to Create Esports Commission

This article was originally published by the International Game Developers Association.

Between the global rise of competitive gaming and esports, the proliferation of mobile and console gaming, and the financial and cultural success of games such as Fortnite and Minecraft, it appears little can stop the growth of the video gaming industry. Having long since overtaken the annual revenues of the film and music industries, the global video game market continues to expand at a rapid pace, with consumer spending on video game products reaching a record $56.9 billion in 2020. With consumers largely being confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that this trend will continue in 2021.
Continue Reading Special Considerations in Video Game M&A Transactions

To date, there are over 1 billion augmented reality (“AR”) users and 171 million virtual reality (“VR”) users worldwide[1], a number that continues to increase as more industries turn to AR and VR to create immersive user experiences. Companies are offering stand-alone experiences that integrate augmented reality and virtual reality at events, such as Samsung and Live Nation’s broadcast of a VR Coldplay concert, as well as through in-store location based applications to encourage a seamless “try before you buy” approach, like Gucci’s AR apparel and accessories try-on app. AR and VR are shaping the future of advertising and influencing our purchasing decisions. As a society with limited attention spans, these immersive experiences may be the answer to cultivating brand awareness and fostering consumer loyalty.
Continue Reading Is it Time to Make AR and VR a Part of Your Reality?

While most patent disputes involving gaming companies are located in district courts, the ITC remains a viable option for at least some gaming disputes, where a patent owner can have the U.S. government bar importation of products found to infringe. While the ITC does not provide monetary damages, it’s extremely fast schedule and willingness to bar importation of infringing products makes it a desirable forum for patent owners.
Continue Reading ITC Threat for Gaming Companies Grows with PTAB Discretionary Denials

The esports ecosystem experienced transcendental growth in 2020 due at least in part to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is poised to act as a spring board for even further growth this year. With traditional sports largely sidelined last year, stadiums closed to fans, and people starving for personal interaction, gamers and spectators alike have turned to esports in record numbers.  According to Newzoo, a prominent esports analytics company, 22% of the internet population participates in esports, and global gaming revenue is expected to hit $159 billion by the end of 2020.[1] Streamers and streaming platforms have exploded in popularity, allowing streamers to earn income from broadcasting their live gameplay, interact with fans and engage with other players.
Continue Reading Esports: What We Should Expect in 2021

When participating in an M&A process involving a video game company, whether you are on the sell-side or the buy-side, there are certain key terms that are included in industry standard commercial agreements that the parties need to keep on their radar. Failure to identify these terms early in the due diligence process can create roadblocks for the parties as they near the finish line, whether that be signing the definitive acquisition agreement or closing the transaction.
Continue Reading Planning for an M&A Transaction: Key commercial terms to look-out for

The streaming landscape has experienced its second major shakeup this year with Huya’s merger with DouYu on October 12, 2020. Huya and DouYu are China’s largest streaming platforms, averaging 169 million and 165 million monthly users respectively, and will combined be worth around $11 Billion USD. The merger positions the new entity as the largest esports platform in China, and makes it the de facto destination for esports eyeballs in the region.
Continue Reading Huya DouYu Merger is a Sign of Things to Come in Esports M&A

With 6 lawsuits, 32 preliminary injunction actions, and over 20 PTAB proceedings, GREE and Supercell have been duking it out in the IP world, with millions of dollars in legal fees being spent in the process.[1] Most recently, the PTAB denied Supercell’s PTAB challenges to GREE patents in early September, while an Eastern District of Texas lawsuit went to verdict and found in favor of GREE on September 18th, awarding $8.5 million dollars in damages to GREE.[2]
Continue Reading Clash of Game Companies: Lessons Learned from GREE and Supercell Dispute