As a business, game development is fraught with legal concerns and issues, especially on copyright, terms of service, and licensing fronts.

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13
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3answers
7k views

Can I legally remove the default Unity splash screen by removing it from the APK?

While using Unity I export an Android game as an APK. When the APK is run, the first thing that is displayed is the Unity splash screen. I worked out that I could replaced that image by opening the ...
7
votes
4answers
959 views

Can I take a finished game based on a licence to the holding company?

Ok so I went through 11 pages on here and have done a decent amount of Google searching, but found nothing specific to my question. I'm working on a game based on a movie. For the purpose of this I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Issues using real names in a soccer player game [duplicate]

Is illegal to use the real player and team names in a game? When I say game could be and desktop, mobile or fantasy game. If is illegal, is ok to change a little bit names? Instead of using Messi ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

Is naming an app similar to another app legal? [closed]

I just finished my first ever app after 1 month of programming it and I'm ready to put it on the app store/google play. I searched the stores to see if the name i wanted to name my app was still ...
0
votes
1answer
192 views

Can I put real people in my game?

When and how can I use the likeness of real people in my game? What are the legal restrictions involved? Real people are rarely found in games because it's hard to present them tastefully, but they ...
60
votes
7answers
6k views

How closely can a game resemble another game without legal problems?

The majority of games build on successes of other games and many are downright clones. So where is the limit of emulating before legal issues come into play? Is it down to literary or graphic work ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Is a warning about IAP in freemium games on iOS required?

When I launch the successful iOS game "Clash of Clans", right in the beginning I get the following message in an iOS info pop-up: "Clash of Clans is free to play, but you can speed up your progress ...
-3
votes
1answer
117 views

Why are payments for a game sometimes called “donations”?

Why are money payments (by SMS, or VISA) sometimes called "donations", and not "payments" or "purchases"? Is it a legal part of monetization (some details will be appreciated in this case), or just a ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Version Not Final, Does Not Represent Actual Game Footage?

Just curious about this. Frequently, a lot of gameplay videos from big studios have small subtitled text at the lower part of the screen, reading something like: Pre-Alpha Gameplay -- Footage not ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Can I use the names or logos of real football teams in my game? [duplicate]

I am developing a football game and I want to know if it is legal to name teams after real football teams. What about their logos?
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Using real football player photo in a trivia quiz game, is it legal? [duplicate]

I don't know whether this question was already been asked before, but my team is currently developing a trivia quiz game about football (soccer not NFL). And we want to put player's images or club ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

How to protect a developed game?

I have developed some small games which are my own creation and each is having different gameplay. Now i want to showcase it using the internet. But I'am a bit worried about the concept getting ...
3
votes
5answers
253 views

What are the legal considerations about making a game with a dynamic age restricted content?

What I mean by this is - is it legal to make a game which asks (or proves) your age during install or on initial load, and then dynamically sets the content to the players age. For example if the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to obtain a license to use real car brands in a game?

We are small team which working on car racing game but we don't know about licensing process for branded cars like Nissan, Lamborghini, Chevrolet and etc. Do we need to buy any licence for using ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Copyright and patents on game design and names?

We all know that each game has elements from another game but when does one cross the line of copyright? I have a view particular questions about this since this "line" is very vague. While looking ...
0
votes
0answers
77 views

Selling Game Apps Online Condition: Export Law

Is it legal to publish and sell Android game apps powered by Unity 3D, regardless if it is a paid app or free app? I found on this terms and conditions or agreements, no. 11 on export law. Is there ...
7
votes
0answers
171 views

How do you fully publish a game under your name, under 18? [closed]

This has been a week of stress in trying to get things done correctly. It's all tied with keeping things legal and making sure I don't lose out on benefits of any kid. I have just recently finished up ...
1
vote
5answers
860 views

Is a programmer liable for copyright infringement in other people's mods to his games?

If a programmer (P) releases a game, and a modder (M) releases a game modification which includes copyrighted content, can P be held liable for the copyright infringement in the mod?
0
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the proper, legal way to make a derivative video game?

I want to make a game derived from an existing game. That game is owned by a live company. How do I go about contacting the rights owners correctly and negotiating for the rights to the content?
0
votes
5answers
2k views

Could I make my own pokemon game without running into a copyright issue?

I've always wanted to make a video game that criticises pokemon. I want to know if I could use pokemon as the characters in the game without running into copy right laws. The game itself will have ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Legal issues around using real players names and team emblems in an open source game

I'm writing a sports management simulation game. Like most sport management games, it makes heavy use of statistics. I would like to use real players, teams and league names. i) Am I running the risk ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

can i publish a pokémon game legally? [duplicate]

I want to publish a Pokémon game, I will acknowledge all that is not mine, that is: registered trademarks, artwork... anything, I don't want any credit for anything related to Pokémon, I just want to ...
7
votes
2answers
429 views

What constitutes satire? [closed]

For business reasons, I would like to know what constitutes satire in a game. Also, is there a better place to ask questions like this on the business side of game development?
1
vote
2answers
186 views

FOSS games using original assets, is it legal?

Can I make a game that uses the assets of another game on the users' computer, without legal issues? For example, I make a game that requires the user have game X installed, and I use the assets of ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Is it legal to use the Source Engine out of Steam?

I would like to create a game that uses the Source Engine on Desura, the problem is that I am afraid that it is illegal to use the Source Engine in other platforms are not managed by Valve
3
votes
1answer
221 views

Is it legal to record music with a synthesizer and use it in my game? [closed]

I want to make music for game on my own because I don't have professional composer hired. I have found some softwares for making music, but most of them cost some money. I have an idea to record ...
-5
votes
3answers
555 views

It is possible to use Pokemon images in a game?

Is it possible to use Pokemon images, names, elements in a game I would like to make? Are they still copyrighted, patented, would I get sued? (Maybe their rights have expired by now, is what I am ...
-1
votes
1answer
246 views

Is it legal to make a game out of a book?

I want to learn what legal constraints are on the copyrighted material. If I want to make a Quidditch (the fictional game in Harry Potter series) game, should I pay some kind of copyright to the ...
7
votes
1answer
522 views

Do I need licensing to use real city names in my game?

I want to allow people to go to real places (Seattle Washington, Portland, Maine, etc.) in my game. Will I need licensing to make those places and use their names?
10
votes
1answer
550 views

Can I use Playstation controller button icons in my game?

I'm currently working on a game that will be released on PC with controller support, and I'm trying to find a way on how to best represent controller icons within the game. I'm assuming I can't ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Game Trailer Reference other Games

I am currently developing a game that pulls in the basic ideas and concepts from 3 other games. I want to make a trailer, and can I put in the trailer something like this: Pulling Game Concepts ...
1
vote
2answers
311 views

How to create a legally valid timestamp of unpublished game artwork

Before publishing promotional material of my first indie game I wanted to mark all my artwork with a legally valid timestamp. There are two ways I know to do this: 1 go to a sollecitor/lawyer and ...
0
votes
3answers
615 views

Is it legal to reuse a 3D model as long as it has a new texture?

If I create a 3D model and texture for a client, say a house. Can I reuse that same 3D model, but apply a new texture and then legally use that in my own game? Is that enough of a difference? ...
6
votes
1answer
411 views

Showing “Please buy” screen to pirates [closed]

I recently saw this and this, and that got me thinking When publishing a commercial game without DRM, would it be a good idea to upload a slightly modified copy of the game that shows a screen like ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Set up indie game studio (UK) - how?

I am UK based and am looking to set up my own game studio - essentially, just myself working from home, looking to build casual game apps. I want to ask you guys what steps or process i need to go ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

How not to break licence laws? [closed]

I have an idea for a game. Also I have almost everything worked out considering coding. What interests me the most is how can I know if that game can be published. As it would be for iOS and ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Using real football (soccer) names from the past?

Is it legal to use really old names in a manager style game? It there an expiration on name license rights?
1
vote
1answer
182 views

Using name of real products in games

My friend and I are creating a Computer Tycoon game. We're using graphics cards and other real CPUs in the game. So can we use names like GeForce_210 in the game without issues? Also, if the above ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Legal issues for a “fangame” of a commercial franchise?

I've played around in the past of the 2D Flash fan-made version of the popular Valve game Portal. It has basically the exact same mechanics, but as a 2D side-view flash game. Lately I've toyed ...
4
votes
2answers
514 views

Is it legal to add a cameo appearance of a known video game character in my game?

If I am not going to name the character and I use my own original art that very closely resembles a well-known video game character that appears in my game for a very brief moment, is it legal to add ...
1
vote
3answers
529 views

What do I need to do legally to protect my game with copyright?

I am in the process of writing a game and I'm wondering what the copyright laws about publishing this game are. I do not (for now) intend to make money from this. The beginning of my code contains a ...
1
vote
2answers
544 views

Pac-Man - Public Domain? [closed]

I've googled this and haven't come up with anything. Can I create a Pac-Man game and not get in trouble with? Like can I sell it, and be able to make money without having to pay someone else ...
3
votes
4answers
346 views

What can I do to get audio into my game legally? [closed]

If making a game of my own, what should or what can I do to get audio in game? I understand that just going on the internet, and finding random tracks and putting in my game may raise a whole load of ...
6
votes
2answers
568 views

Legal issues concerning using superheroes in games

Before proceeding on with the idea of developing a mobile game that involves superhero characters from both Marvel/DC Comics, I am taking a serious dip into looking into things from a legal point of ...
3
votes
4answers
642 views

What revenue models can I use for a non-commercial game [closed]

I don't have any budget to buy commercial licenses but the libraries I use offer non-commercial free licenses. How far can I go in regard to monetizing my game without it being considered commercial ...
4
votes
3answers
559 views

Is Free2Play w/ cash shop “non-commercial”?

I'm new to game development and considered using the Unreal Development Kid for a test game. The website states it is free for non-commercial use. I know that games that can be obtained free of charge ...
-5
votes
1answer
176 views

Can I use Nyancat for my game? [closed]

I tried to find the information regarding the copyright/ownership of the Nyancat but couldn't find anything concrete. Can I use Nyan as part of the name of my game? Can I use the Nyancat graphics ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

What should I do about legal considerations for an indie game?

Apologies if there's a bit too much background information here, not sure what's relevant but figured I needed to outline the financial situation to differentiate this from other questions whose ...
4
votes
1answer
795 views

Google Play 3rd Party Payment Allowed?

Does Google allow 3rd party payment solutions to be enabled in developers' apps (i.e., Paypal, carrier/SMS payment), especially in countries where Google Checkout isn't present? Or does this violate ...
11
votes
3answers
920 views

Releasing a game without really having an officially registered company

I'm thinking of releasing my iOS game without formally registering a company at all. I'm not sure I even want to create a company. ITunes wants to know the copyright holder of my title. I have 2 ...