So me and my team are getting close to releasing our game for the android, IOS, etc. Now i’m aware that there are somethings that must be considered as far as legal issues are concerned. i’m looking for help in this regard, figuring out exactly what we need and more knowledge on what exactly cost of these things are going to be before we fully pursue; then i ask myself. Did flappy bird have to go through this? probably.
That’s really something you need to talk to a lawyer about. If your game has intellectual property in it which you do not have permission to use, e.g. the characters Sonic and Mario, you can be sued. If your game title is too similar to another, you can be sued. Realistically, you most likely won’t get sued for anything, the owners of the IP will just contact the stores selling your game and have it taken down.
As for being legally ready to release a game, I would recommend forming a company if you don’t have one, and applying for a trademark on your company name, game name, and logos. All of this is optional, but it will make your case much stronger if someone tries to sue you.
All of the legal minutia will be handled by the lawyer. You can even have them file the incorporation of a company if you’re afraid you’ll muck it up. Also, things such as terms of service and privacy policies may be important. All of this depends on the requirements of the store you’re selling on, the country you’re residing in, and the country you’re selling to. As for rates of lawyers, costs of setting up a business, and costs for filing trademarks, that will certainly very by your country and state/territory, and yes even city.
As a small time hobbyist most of the time you can just completely ignore worrying about any legal aspects. Just pop something on the store under your personal name and start making money.
(edit: personally not at point to incorporate yet, however, look/ask about other states. Nevada for privacy,…)
Talk to a lawyer about LLC or Corp formation to get some basic legal protections in court.
Here are the main features of an LLC:
Limited Personal Liability Like shareholders of a corporation, all LLC owners are protected from personal liability for business debts and claims. This means that if the business itself can’t pay a creditor – such as a supplier, a lender, or a landlord – the creditor cannot legally come after an LLC member’s house, car, or other personal possessions. Because only LLC assets are used to pay off business debts, LLC owners stand to lose only the money that they’ve invested in the LLC. This feature is often called “limited liability.”
Exceptions to Limited Liability While LLC owners enjoy limited personal liability for many of their business transactions, this protection is not absolute. This drawback is not unique to LLCs, however – the same exceptions apply to corporations. An LLC owner can be held personally liable if he or she:
- personally and directly injures someone
- personally guarantees a bank loan or a business debt on which the LLC defaults
- fails to deposit taxes withheld from employees’ wages
- intentionally does something fraudulent, illegal, or reckless that causes harm to the company or to someone else, or
- treats the LLC as an extension of his or her personal affairs, rather than as a separate legal entity.