The Games Developer Conference (GDC) 2024 is upon us; here are four key legal and commercial trends we think will be especially salient this year.

  1. Keeping AI in Check. Like so many other sectors, AI is quickly reshaping the games industry—offering significant promise and potential risk. At the same time, governments across the globe are racing to adopt legislation that reigns in possible harm. We expect the regulatory wheels to accelerate this year, as lawmakers and standards bodies play catchup. Companies should pay close attention to regulatory developments and establish or revisit policies pertaining to internal use of generative AI tools.
  2. Antitrust Under the Microscope. Antitrust issues loomed large over the games industry last year in the United States and abroad. The attention to Microsoft's acquisition of Activision-Blizzard and observations and complaints regarding Google's Play Store practices suggest regulatory and judicial focus and we expect that will continue this year.
  3. Extending Reality. 2024 sets the stage for continued virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) interest. New VR/AR hardware has entered the consumer foray, with the release of the Meta Quest 3 late last year and the Apple Vision Pro earlier this year. Companies continue to push the development of haptic devices to offer greater extended reality immersive experiences and we expect to see developments in this area at GDC and beyond.
  4. The Transmedia Boom. While videogame transmedia has long existed, 2024 is shaping up to be an especially strong year for more content. Videogame transmedia works have proven they can transcend genres and stand among the best, and given recent successes, more high-profile media crossovers are likely in 2024. Last year, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, based on CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk game won Crunchyroll's Anime of the Year award. Meanwhile, Arcane, which is set in Riot Game's League of Legends universe and which won an Emmy in 2022 for Outstanding Animated Program, is set for a Season 2 release this year.

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