Streaming platforms such as Google Stadia are set to be game changers in the coming years, especially when combined with subscription-based, flat-rate business models. For developers and publishers, they are yet another way to bring games to a bigger audience. But they also bring new legal issues, especially those relating to licensing agreements. In this article, I will be highlighting some of the more important points.
Scope of the IP license

First and foremost, the scope of the license might need to be revisited. Publishers licensing a game from a developer, for example, will want to make sure the scope of the license covers streaming and related business models. In the case that the contract provides for a "rights buyout," publishers seem to be covered -- but many legal systems, especially continental European legal systems, do not allow for a "buyout" of copyright. Which means that a publisher using a "buyout" clause when contracting with a developer in such a country might end up without sufficient rights.
This also means that any license agreements drafted for legal systems in which a "buyout" is not possible typically have a long list of the rights that are granted, often in an annex -- will "streaming" be among the permitted uses in such an annex?