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5 Trends to Watch: 2024 Video Games & Esports

  1. Generative AI Disrupts the Video Game Industry – The monumental advancements in generative artificial intelligence (AI), a technology well suited for use in video game development, will transform the industry. The legal challenges are significant, but the efficiencies the technology brings to coding and game design will force the development of an acceptable legal framework for the use of generative AI in video game development.

  2. Saudi Arabia takes Center Stage – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has established itself as an esports and gaming powerhouse. This past year, the Saudi Esports Federation announced the launch of the largest esports tournament in the world – The Esports World Cup. On the acquisitions and investments front, a large mobile developer was acquired, and a significant investment was made in an Asian tournament operator and esports company. These transactions build on past acquisitions and investments in leading video game publishers and developers. With the growth of local companies, and with significant funds earmarked toward future investment in the industry, the trend will likely continue.

  3. The Introduction of Esports into the Olympic Movement – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken significant steps to support the development of esports within the Olympic movement. The IOC’s latest strategic roadmap recommends that the Olympic Movement grow digital engagement, encourage the development of esports, and engage with the vast—and young—community of video game players and fans. The IOC hopes to leverage the popularity of esports to promote the Olympic Movement and sports participation to the next generation. 2023 saw the introduction of the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore and discussions are underway for Paris to host the next Olympic Esports Week in 2024 in parallel with the 2024 Olympic Games. The IOC’s strategic roadmap also contemplates the possible addition of esports to future Olympic Games.

  4. The Growth of Indie Studios – Indie studios have always been an important source of industry innovation. Recent industry mega-mergers, and the reliance by large publishers on existing game franchises, have given indie studios a unique opportunity to stand-out with original game-play and story lines. New publishing platforms and use of generative AI also enable indie studios, constrained by limited budgets, to produce high-quality games that can challenge larger studios with well-established development processes and publishing channels. 

  5. The Growth of Video Game Design and Esports Programs in Universities – The popularity of video games and esports amongst college students, combined with the industry being among the fastest growing segments in the entertainment business, have led many universities to add video game design and esports programs to their curricula. The programs are often an extension of existing departments and offer classes in computer science, art and graphic design, business, and sports and marketing. Students with a passion for gaming can gain skills that will lead to lucrative careers in the exciting industry of video games and esports, as well as within the broader technology and entertainment sectors.

About the Practice:

Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Video Games & Esports Group handles matters in the rapidly converging worlds of video games, esports, virtual and augmented reality, entertainment, mobile media, music, and social networking. Our team of attorneys works together with the firm’s Global Gaming Practice and Sports Law Practice to provide creative and innovative strategies for clients designed to evolve with the industry. We leverage deep industry knowledge with legal capabilities in many diverse areas including information technology, intellectual property, data protection, corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, labor and employment, regulatory/compliance, and others. With our vast resources and focused knowledge, we help video game studios, esports teams, publishers, content and rights owners, hardware developers, broadcasters, advertisers, and other industry actors address virtually all legal aspects in this exciting industry sector.