Do I need a company or trademark for my first game?

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Post » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:39 pm

I don't plan for my game to become the next big thing. I just want to create and release a simple game first to motivate myself that I can do it, to show it off to my friends/family, and perhaps make a little money from ads.

I'm just unsure about the legal issues and costs. I'm tight on money at the moment, so wondering how necessary trademarks and a company really are.

Would be very helpful to know so I consider even releasing a game in the first place if there's more hassle than expected. Thanks for any help.
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Post » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:50 pm

You don't need a trademark or company to release a game as an indie developer. To earn money from it is an other question. That may vary by country. Btw you game will be protected by copyright from the moment you create it.
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Post » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:35 am

By all means I am not a lawyer, but I have ran an indie studio.

As far as I know you do not need to register a company or LLC in order to sell a game. The only reason you would want to register an LLC is to protect yourself if anyone was to sue you for any reason.

Say for example King comes after you because you are making money off of Candy Rush and it is also a match 3 game. If they decide to sue you and they win then the LLC takes the hit financially. Now if they come at you and win and you do not have an LLC then you take the hit personally.

This is from my own experience and again I am not a lawyer or anything like that so my word is not all knowing lol.
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Post » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:09 pm

Thanks for the information.

So you do recommend registering at least an LLC just to avoid taking a big hit if someone sues? Even if I make a game that doesn't copy anything, it's probably better safe than sorry.
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Post » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:28 am

yamas11 wrote:Thanks for the information.

So you do recommend registering at least an LLC just to avoid taking a big hit if someone sues? Even if I make a game that doesn't copy anything, it's probably better safe than sorry.


If you have an income and are willing to pay the yearly filing fees, then yes. Here in Illinois, it costs me about $1000/year between LLC, attorney, accountant, Apple Developer fee, and C3 license. This does not include web hosting, artwork, equipment, advertising, software, hardware, or any other expenses. I would not be able to cover my costs on app sales alone, but with contract work I am able to pay the bills.

If I did not do contract work, there would be a 100% chance of me losing thousands of dollars because I formed a company, versus a negligible chance that someone would come after me for copyright infringement. The bottom line is that someone would have to actually care enough to sue, and there are millions of people developing things and making almost no money on sales, just like me. If you are planning to do development to support yourself full time, then yes, form a company to protect yourself. Otherwise, you run the risk of incurring lots of yearly expenses that you won't be able to recover in sales.
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