I myself have been gaming since about 1980, when I got my first Atari from my parents. Later I turned my hobby into a profession. I have been in the games industry since 1998 and have learned a lot and made a lot of contacts.
First I worked for portals like Krawall.de and then I built up my own computer games magazine with Looki.de (formerly JustGamers). After I left Looki.de by selling my shares to the investors, I helped build Ad2Games and later ran the largest advertising network for computer games for over 8 years. On the side, I founded OnLegends, a license trading company for computer games, and was active a lot in Asia and South America as well as at all major conferences worldwide.
You can find my full resume on LinkedIn.
As an attorney, I have always had a focus on serving computer game developers.
As a computer game developer, especially an indie developer, it is currently becoming increasingly difficult to actually make money from your creations. This is also true given the availability of some indie platforms like Itch.io or the Epic Store’s attempt to attract indie developers. Care is often needed when deciding to market a game through a publisher. Publisher contracts can contain numerous stumbling blocks involving subsequent compensation, funding, division of duties, and more. With over 10 years of experience in the games industry, I can effectively offer the drafting or review of such contracts, including in English of course.
Through my work for OnLegends GmbH, which specializes in brokering game licenses from Asia to Europe and from Europe to South America, I have been able to gain a wealth of experience with publishing and licensing agreements worldwide, so that I can not only offer pure legal advice, but also help optimize negotiation results for developers.
Licensing agreements are likely to be part of the toolkit of most media companies, and thus also of game developers and publishers.
They are needed to publish editorial content, use graphics, but of course also to offer third party works, e.g. as a publisher, publisher or software vendor. As a rule, license agreements are also required for the production of one’s own works, for example if code components or other third-party works are to be produced and used in one’s own work. Due to my more than 10 years of experience as a lawyer, I am able to draft written contracts for the IT and media industry in a legally secure manner. Through my entrepreneurial activities as a license broker with OnLegends GmbH, I have also gained the experience of what fair conditions for license agreements look like and also have extensive contacts and experience in the Asian and South American markets.
My extensive legal experience in German and international copyright law enables me to review license agreements of all kinds in a legally correct manner and to draft new agreements. In doing so, I always keep an eye on the budget and the interests of the client and, of course, contribute my many years of experience as an entrepreneur.
If you publish your game yourself, you usually need general terms and conditions. Due to the very extensive, diverse and complicated case law, the need to educate consumers and the ever-present danger of warning letters, professional preparation should be considered. Unlike standard online stores, the use of generators is usually not possible for game publishers or browser games, as the legal issues are too specific. In the past, I have gained a lot of experience with the combination of drafting GTCs and consulting in order to neither have to create artificial legal texts nor to complicate the clients’ daily business.
The same applies to the preparation of data protection declarations. Although there are already good sample texts here as well, these should be skimmed over – at least briefly. In special cases or if you as a company/freelancer see the need to implement data protection in your everyday business, I can effectively combine the creation of legal texts with the sensitization of employees and the optimization of operational processes.
I specialize in assisting companies in the start-up phase. This is especially true for game developers, many of whom I have assisted in matters of corporate form, funding, investments, or publishing contracts.
The path to self-employment usually begins with business planning, in which I discuss the various options with my clients, weigh up the pros and cons and discuss the necessary steps. In the actual start-up phase, I help with communication with authorities, drafting shareholder agreements and other documents such as employment contracts or other standard documents. I’m also no stranger to investment consulting or fancy things like slicing pie agreements. I accompany my clients every step of the way, and it goes without saying that I always address costs and alternatives fairly and openly.
There are many aspects to consider when starting a business. Due to my many years of experience as an entrepreneur, I am able to assist clients not only in legal matters, but also in a wide range of business development issues. In doing so, I always perceive the client as a whole, weigh up the pros and cons in discussions, and thus deliver unsurpassed added value. I am able to do this because I not only have almost 20 years of experience in the media industry and am very well networked internationally, but also have a great personal interest in the IT and media industry. Extensive experience with publishing platforms such as Steam, the PlayStore, GoG or the Epic Store also help me to pave a legally secure and successful path for game developers and publishers.
So my advantages are not only that I can create contracts and documents without having to have a lot of technical terms explained to me. Rather, I can proactively point out risks and issues and share my experience in the games industry, which allows me to be more effective than other law firms in this space.