Ukie has partnered with Sheridans to provide free legal advice for video games industry companies trying to get to grips with the implications of the growing COVID-19 pandemic.
From today, Tuesday March 17th until Friday 20th, a free support service staffed by experts from Sheridans will be available from 10am until 5pm. To access support, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your query and the experts will get back to you.
“The Covid-19 outbreak is presenting some serious challenges to games businesses,” said a statement on the Ukie website. “With events being cancelled, financial problems rearing its head and some tough times ahead for contractors, it’s important to get good legal advice to help you through the challenges. That’s why we’re pleased to be able to team up with Sheridans to open an emergency contract hotline to help your games business out.
“Importantly, the hotline is completely free of charge to ensure that companies of all sizes are able to get the support they need right now.”
Less than a week ago, organisers of E3 – the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – insisted it was continuing to “plan for a safe and successful” show later this year whilst “actively assessing” the coronavirus outbreak. Now E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, GDC, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events.
Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. BAFTA has also confirmed it’s revising the format on its upcoming Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too.
A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC.