Vincenzo Giuffrè

DLA Piper eSports law booklet

The eSports market has grown at a tremendous pace over the past few years becoming a half billion dollar industry and it is quickly seducing an increasing number of fans, operators and investors. Beside the huge growth, the industry is rapidly evolving, going from content consumed largely through streaming platforms to network-backed streaming services.

The eSports law booklet from the Italian IPT team of DLA Piper covers a number of current and upcoming legal issues of eSports and how to deal with them in order to help companies operating in the market to better understand the issues that are arising and to which the eSports industry in some cases does not still have a good answer.

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Loot boxes and its regulatory implications

Loot box regulation is a hot topic in a variety of regions. The attention over loot boxes began when a number of video games started to incorporate gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items within the game.

Previously, video games were sold as a stand-alone product and the interaction between players and the developers of the game existed only and to the extent players would have bought a sequel or an expansion pack of the video game.

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How do you spell e-Stadium?

The majority of legal analysis concerning the raise of e-Sports tends to coagulate around the main stakeholders, i.e. the IP owners, the broadcasters, the sponsors and the e-athletes and teams, focusing on the appropriate way to discipline their relationships, possibly against a regulated background capable of dealing with gambling, e-doping and, more generally, with the requirements and rules set by laws, sport authorities and similar bodies.

There is however a missing piece in this picture: the audience, i.e. the increasing crowd interested to see the e-games, possibly attending live events, with the opportunity to meet their idols and see them play live.

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Top 3 predictions for eSports in 2019

The eSports industry is in a period of rapid growth, but the growth of a market often leads to legal issues and obstacles that need to be overcome in order to achieve its potentials.

There is at the moment a range of legal and business issues where eSports need a more comprehensive approach involving learnt lessons from the sports and the gambling sectors.

Below are our top 3 predictions on the legal issues that will affect the eSports industry in 2019.

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Loot boxes reviewed by the US Federal Trade Commission and in Australia

The Australian Senate Environment and Communications References Committee advised the Australian Government to undertake a comprehensive review of loot boxes within video games. The report published by Australian Authorities noted that loot boxes are “not a homogeneous entity” and there are many different iterations of the mechanic.However, a range of stakeholders, including regulatory agencies and academics, referred to the committee that loot boxes should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In this respect, it should be considered that there are a number of types of loot boxes available in video games.

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