Cal. Litig. 2020, Volume 33, Number 2

Intellectual Property Litigation and Other Updates in the Video Game Industry as of April 2020

By Yen-Shyang Tseng

Yen-Shyang Tseng is an appellate attorney at Horvitz & Levy LLP in Burbank. Among other games, Yen currently enjoys playing VALORANT, Teamfight Tactics, Legends of Runeterra, and Final Fantasy XIV.

In just the first four months of this year, the video game and esports industries have already gotten off to an exciting start. Activision Blizzard launched the Call of Duty League and followed up with the release of Call of Duty: Warzone. Riot Games launched the closed beta of VALORANT and the live version of Legends of Runeterra — and also announced the first global esports tournament for Teamfight Tactics. Other popular game releases during this time include Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake.

These industries saw a mixed impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sony Interactive Entertainment delayed the release of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR, Amazon Gaming Studios delayed the release of New World, and Nintendo canceled the 2020 Play! Pokemon Championship Series. The economic impact of COVID-19 has also caused some esports companies and teams to lay off staff and players.

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