Friday, June 24, 2016

How UK leaving EU Can Affect Creative Gaming Culture

If you haven't turned on any news station or morning show over the past month, then let me quickly catch you up on the hailstorm of damage that is the Brexit. A catchy title regarding an important vote among the people of the United Kingdom on whether or not they should stay in the European Union (EU). The EU dictates trade practices, and some people in jolly-ol' England decided they wanted to split up and work out their own rules. Yesterday was voting day and by a narrow 51%, the UK is going to leave the EU. Stocks have been going nutty. The value of the Pound is down. There are growing fears by many immigrants that countries in the UK will begin to close their borders. And even Scotland, who was overwhelming against leaving the EU, is bringing up calls for independence once more. It's a pretty big damn deal.

And even gaming companies are having to weigh in on the matter. TIGA, the network for game developers and publishers in the UK, issued a press release this morning commenting on the need to ensure the future success of the growing gaming economy. Following the EU referendum, TIGA outlined 4 things that will affect game developers, including access to finances and rights to intellectual property. The latter is an issue since the UK is a member of the EU's Trade Mark regime. Rights to a product designated by the EU may be removed once the exit is finalized, and vice-versa. I.E. a game that once had rights associated with it by the EU may no longer be valid, and any person or some other company could claim the product as their work. It also puts more burden on game developers to get multiple copyright and trademark patents throughout Europe instead of the 1 needed covered by the EU. These are just a few examples, but the press release goes more in-depth on how the exit will do a number of the development field.

Given that this is all taking place overseas, and most of you, my dear readers, are in the U.S., this probably doesn't matter. Right? Well keep in mind that Rockstar North, the kingpins behind Grand Theft Auto, are based in Scotland. Leaving the EU will affect how they do business, the talent they can hire, and trademark agreements.


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