The Game Industry: Legal & Ethics

Regulations & Compliance

Regulations is the restrictions, licences and laws applicable to a certain product or business, imposed by the government.

Compliance is when organisations follow laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications to do with its business. Violations of this can result in legal punishments, including fines.

Certain intellectual property rights include; characters, storylines, code and designs. IP rights legally protect ideas, symbols and creative expression. It can be bought, sold, traded, given away and licensed.

Certain things in my game that would need this array of things is the name of my teams.

Types of protecting IP

Copyrights protect a persons or a groups original expression of the idea into a tangible medium. Copyright protection exists from the moment an author fixes an expression into tangible medium, this means that the moment you save your code to disc or sketch something out for a game, you instantly have copyright protection without having to do anything else.

170px-Copyright.svgMostly all games had copyright laws, as if someone was to steal the idea, you could be sued. Copyrights do not protect the idea or concept, only the actual expression of the idea.

Other symbols include Trademark, Registered and Service mark. Trademarks are identifying symbols, words or devices used to distinguish the trademarked good from other similar goods. Service marks identify services.

My game would need a copyright protection due to the names of the teams and the story based around it, Chinese gangs fighting against each other.

Trademark rights prevent others from using a mark that is in similar. However this does not prevent others from making similar goods and selling them under a different trademark. When creating a trademark, you must be able to tell it apart from others so they are easily distinguished.

Examples of trademarks include:


After registration, you can then switch to ®, or continue using TM, as this does not lose you any rights.


Licensing of video game characters or the use of other IP licenses in video games is very common. A license agreement covers the terms under which the two parties may agree to work together. The license agreement covers points such as duration of the license, how and for which products it may be used and how much is paid in consideration for using the rights.


Regulation games is a very serious subject in the game industry, games have to be reviewed before they can be placed on the shelves, to make sure it suits audiences. They have to have specific ages and certain warnings so players know what to expect when purchasing a game. Many games will not be sold to anyone under the suggested age on the box.

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 10.33.20

These symbols are always on the back of video game boxes, so when viewed by a possible buyer, they aren’t going in blind and it can allow parents to be aware of what their kids are playing.

My game would need this, I would rate my HUD as possibly 12+ due to it having violence and guns involved.


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