Sheppard Mullin GamesLaw Scores with EA, LucasArts, MTV, PlayFirst, Glu

13May09

Last night it was all fun and games at the Commonwealth Club as the Sheppard Mullin Digital Media Law Forum delivered a highly informative and entertaining GamesLaw evening with JoAnn Covington of Electronic Arts, Nell O’Donnell of LucasArts, Victoria Libin of MTV Nickelodeon Games, Brad Simon of PlayFirst, Kevin Chou of Glu Mobile and Marc Sockol of Sheppard Mullin.  Rarely do so many in-house games counsel get together on-stage so the brain exchange was particularly compelling as the panel packed into one short hour their respective business models, properties, distribution, audience size, demographics and challenges that arise when licensing games from minors, monetizing those that download but dont buy, microtransactions, virtual goods, the outlook for E3 (casual mmorpgs, flashback mania), and the console/mobile app marketplace. Kevin Chou of Glu delivered a fantastic overview of carrier requirements when asked why it was necessary to develop for all handsets and in turn demystified much of why the iPhone app economy.  I walked away with a tremendous appreciation for Glu’s unmatched ability to port to 25,000 skus and an understanding that the best is yet to come.  The program ended with questions about games saving TV (Bruckheimer), music (Guitar Hero, Rock Band), and possibly MySpace, to which an audience member from Fox replied, “Games will save music, music will save MySpace.”  Then EA chimed in, “And games will save  the world!”

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