Legal services for the video games industry

We are legal experts to the video games industry.

Award-winning specialist legal services for the video games industry

Eaton Smith has had a long association with the video games industry and has for many years acted for Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest video games publishers and developers. We are also proud to be members of Ukie and TIGA, trade associations representing the UK's games industry and proud to contribute to their efforts. Closer to home, we are also members of Game Republic, the industry-led games business network for Yorkshire and Northern England. We were very pleased to win the award for the Best Legal Services Supplier at the TIGA Awards 2020.

Whether you are a video games publisher, developer or freelancer, or are a licensor or prospective licensee of a property or are involved in the video games industry in some other way, we understand the game development environment and pressures under which you operate. If you need legal assistance with your projects, we can help. We don’t want you and your business to have to grind to make progress, we want to help you level up as quickly as possible. So, if you need legal assistance on your next game development project you might open a loot box (without taking a gamble!) and gain some helpful XP by speaking to us.

We work hard to stay on top of what’s going on in the open world of the video games industry and you’ll often find us chatting to developers and publishers at EGX and at other UK video games events or actively taking part in #gamedev and #indiedev discussions on Twitter. We understand what a games development studio goes through to launch a game, from prototype and pre-production stages through to polish and release. We can help with and represent you in documenting an investment being made by investors or drafting any intellectual property licences or transfers being considered or any other contracts that you may need at any time. We can also assist and advise on the legals for any marketing initiatives that you may have planned for the run up to the release of your game.

As part of our wider commercial law services that we provide, we are able to prepare game development contracts and provide advice and assistance on issues concerning, amongst other things:

  • Confidentiality and Confidentiality Agreements
  • Intellectual Property licences and transfers
  • Development Agreements
  • Investment Agreements and associated deal documentation
  • Physical products Distribution Agreements
  • End User Licence Agreements
  • Rules connected with prize promotions to market and promote upcoming releases

As well as preparing contracts, we can also review and advise upon agreements that you may have been presented with by a publisher, developer or a licensor.

Looking at the wider picture, it is not just advice and assistance regarding games development that Eaton Smith is able to provide. Our other services which complement this creative area include employment law, dispute resolution and mediation (in real life, avoiding boss fights, beat ‘em ups and permadeath of a studio is always advisable). We can also provide corporate assistance for any changes you may need to make within your studio or regarding equity investment. You may want to speak to our commercial property colleagues for advice regarding any premises move that you may be planning. Finally, we know how important cashflow is to any business – if you are owed money, a discussion with our dispute resolution or debt recovery colleagues may be needed. These are areas that may be needed by a business at any time during its lifecycle.

Please note that we do not give any advice relating to gambling or games relating to gambling. 

Examples of our work include:

  • Setting up studios and advising on initial paperwork useful to operations
  • Creation of employment contracts and handbook and providing ongoing employment advice
  • Advising on investments from investors and preparation and negotiation of paperwork
  • Preparation of development sub-contracts
  • Prepared many CAP Code compliant terms of entry for prize promotions, including open air events, internet-based competitions and in-store promotions (including using smart phone QR and NFC capabilities)
  • Advising on legalities connected with marketing campaigns, including preparation of social media influencer agreements
  • Reviewing, advising on and negotiating publishing and development agreements, tools and materials licences and similar
  • Documenting responsibilities on esports tournament, as between IP holder and operator
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Privacy Policies
  • Assisting on naming of games and DLC through trade mark and general IP-related searches
  • Premises lease advice

For a discussion as to your needs, please contact Chris Taylor by email or on 01484 821411. You can also follow Chris on Twitter @HolmfirthLawyer

Team for Business – Video Games Industry

T: 01484 821411
Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
T: 01484 821405
Philip Clarke
Philip Clarke
T: 01484 821 415
Lewis Holroyd
Lewis Holroyd


“Yet another example of why Chris Taylor at Eaton Smith is a great set of eyeballs on our company activity. The intentions of Chris are always impeccable and appreciated.  He has provided unsolicited advice and continues to look after our interests and has expressed an availability to act should we need to instruct further. I rarely get the opportunity to commend someone for their input to our daily business but thought that this should be mentioned.  I am extremely pleased to be dealing with Chris on such matters.”


“The moment we realised that we’d need someone to prepare a legal document for us, there was no real argument as to who. We’ve both seen how proactive you are in our industry and how willing you are to help at times of need, so you were literally our first logical choice.”


Let’s face it, deciding on a solicitor is a bit of a gamble, but fortunately, we found Chris.

Understanding the legal landscape is daunting, and I would not have secured our deal without him. He is a fountain of legal knowledge that goes well beyond the black and white mentality you often find. I discovered very early on that Chris is first and foremost a genuine person, who also happens to be an incredible solicitor. Chris has a unique way of getting results, by delivering practical information, combined with strategic moves and overall empathy. His style is subtle, focused and precise, which genuinely helped us carve out a deal with little to no resistance.

I can’t emphasise how important this is, as Chris never lost sight of our needs, and he always had a sense of momentum with a constant view of completion in mind. Chris is top of his game and is a rare breed of AAA solicitor who also goes that extra mile for you. It’s honestly been a pleasure, and I will continue to collaborate with Chris for all our company affairs.  

A Client

I can whole heartedly recommend Chris and the rest of the team at Eaton Smith, absolute pleasure to have our legal needs met with such a thorough and conscientious mindset.

J. Merritt, Binary Spiders