The situation

The entire industry of computer game developers in Germany is certainly pleased that the Federal Government has decided to continue to invest 50 million euros in the promotion of computer games in the next few years.

I, too, currently advise a number of developers on the preparation of new games or in setting up companies in order to be more professional. Unfortunately, in many conversations over the last few months, I also have the feeling that computer game developers who dare or find it right to hire a lawyer are in the minority. Many are trying to “get through” or are afraid they can’t afford a lawyer.

However, this is a fatal attitude and I say this not only because I live off the advice.

The industry in duty

The Federal Government, even though it was a lot of work of the associations, has done its job. Moreover, if the CDU really manages to create a digital ministry, this too could be a good sign. However, I am convinced that it is now up to the industry to show that the money supply is not just fizzling out and is being invested, for example, in the development of products that never really have a realistic chance on the market. This would be fatal, because if the effect of economic development in the next few years is very marginal, there will certainly be no further support in the future and perhaps even further local activities on the same level as the Länder will be called into question. Be.

It is essential to prevent this, and it is therefore important for the industry to continue to professionalise and to strike the balance between the creative industries and entrepreneurship.

To this end, it is necessary for many young game developers, talented graduates of universities or other educational institutions to remember that, in addition to creativity, entrepreneurial thinking is also required. This includes knowledge of accounting, law, taxes, financial planning, but also knowledge of dealing with employees, negotiating skills with partners, project planning and many other areas.

The opportunity to start a successful company in the industry is currently very high. Combining this with further funding opportunities of the federal states, with prototype funding or other consultations, the chances of being able to live on the development of computer games in the future increase significantly.

However, the risk should not be underestimated either. If you don’t consider entrepreneurial virtues, it will happen quickly that you have to “rest” on the promotion and get a living from it at first, but fail to build a company that is prepared for the future and has long-term planning. Serves.

As a result, a developer who has just not planned calmly, in the event of the elimination of a grant, will have major problems that he has never managed to gather know-how and build structures.

Opportunities and risks of each developer

In my many years in the industry, and especially in the more than 10 years as a lawyer with a focus on computer games, I have noticed that the self-image of game developers, to be an artist, and the need to be an entrepreneur, unfortunately, often Ways stand.

This is a pity, because it unfortunately leads to high turnover, unnecessary insolvency and, ultimately, often to a low wage level, especially among computer game developers.

I can absolutely understand if you see yourself as an artist and with the right entrepreneurial planning, niche markets can also be addressed and products for niche target groups can be developed and successfully marketed. However, I cannot understand if you then do not get professional help to cover the areas of which one does not understand or which one simply does not want. This applies, of course, to business administration issues as well as legal advice.

And With the latter I can help. This starts with the planning of the creation of corporations, from the establishment of employee reward systems to publishing contracts. The relevance of good legal advice is often underestimated. It is simply necessary to say that contracts, whether the partnership agreement for the own GmbH or the publishing contract with a sales partner, are the basis for one’s own future. Why save money if the costs could now even be claimed in the context of support?


Never before has there been such a great chance to be a successful computer game developer, as current and possibly even to be able to finance his livelihood. But the risk of doing things wrong, confusing planning for the future, and jeopardizing its own future with ill-conceived financial planning, false market analysis, and unfair contracts has never been greater than it is.

My offer

Since legal advice is always a matter of trust and I am aware that the doubts are great, I offer to any game developer, and especially to those who have currently applied for funding or are planning to apply for funding next year, to me absolutely non-binding contact them. I offer that we also make absolutely non-binding and no costs, talk about the need and usefulness of professional legal advice, skype, e-mail, talk about Discord or otherwise exchange ideas.

Take advantage of the opportunity that the Federal Republic of Germany is now offering you!

Marian Härtel ist spezialisiert auf die Rechtsgebiete Wettbewerbsrecht, Urheberrecht und IT/IP Recht und hat seinen Schwerpunkt im Bereich Computerspiele, Esport, Marketing und Streamer/Influencer. Er betreut Startups im Aufbau, begleitet diese bei sämtlichen Rechtsproblemen und unterstützt sie im Business Development.

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