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Legal concerns for indie team?


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#1 Jovince   Members   -  Reputation: 158

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 02:28 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I would just like to ask what legal concerns I should be aware of when working as part of an indie development team. I am currently working with a friend on a game and we plan to sell the game. There is also the possibility of more people joining in as partners in the future, and we may be hiring some freelancers.

 

Some things that come to mind are how the ownership of the game is decided, and how we split up the money. Can you let me know how to write up a contract to handle these things, along with any other legal issues that a contract should cover? Can you also let me know of any other legal aspects that I should be aware of? Thanks a lot.

 

 

Regards,

 

Josh



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#2 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 603

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:52 AM

If you are starting an actual team where you plan to profit and have expenses I would start by setting up a LLC (preferably) depending where you are located its about 200$ + you have to advertise yourself in some kind of publication for 6 weeks.  In total expect to spend about 1k, from there you can look up some template contracts online and build yours around that to hand to your teammates.



#3 JesseCF   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 12:02 PM

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, just my opinion based on my experience as both an employee in the games industry, and an indie dev with my own company. 

 

If this is your first project, setting up an LLC and what not can be a very daunting task, as well as expensive. I'd honestly stay away from that for now - Your best bet is to have a simple written agreement, in plain English, spelling out how the profits will be split up, and also very importantly - what happens if someone decides to leave the group, or you need to kick someone out if that happens. This will be percieved as a partnership between the members of the group. Also, keep the scope of the game VERY VERY SMALL. That way you can get something done in a few months, and also the mistakes that you inevitably make will have a much smaller impact. 

 

Regards, 

 

Jesse Crafts-Finch



#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9541

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

Read the Collaboration Agreements article (click the link on the front page of this forum).


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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