Downloadable Content Without Downloading End User License Issues


Let's start with the basics. When someone purchases a video game, an end-user license agreement (EULA) details the rights the purchaser has to play and use the game. Additionally, users can often buy optional downloadable content such as map-packs, mini-expansions and the like. Users may also elect to purchase small add-ons to games (such as power-ups, new costumes, or equipment fully capable of being taken off sweet jumps) via microtransactions For ease of reference, we'll call both categories "DLC" (but we recognize some distinction may be drawn between the two). Purchasing DLC is typically handled in three ways: integrating the transaction into the video game itself, conducting the transaction externally via a game platform, such as video game platform, or through a third-party provider such as LiveGamer or Paypal. When the transaction relies on a third party, there may be a terms of sale (apart from the game developer's EULA) that governs a user's purchase of the DLC. Two distinct legal agreements from two separate companies relating to the same game content creates the potential for conflict. For example, the third party's terms of sale governing the purchase of DLC may be silent on the topic of content ownership or may even conflict with the EULA.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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