Electronic Commerce in the Gaming Industry. The Applicability of Consumer Protection Framework and Legal Challenges
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The present research examined the existing regulatory and contractual approach toward player versus gaming platform legal relationships both on the stage of the game acquisition and in-game transactions. The author analyses applicable regulations on the European Union level as well as existing contractual arrangements in the game industry in order to determine whether, considering the specifics of the digital products and business models offered, the current status can ensure consumer protection and, at the same time, facilitate innovation and business growth. The research focuses on gaps in existing legal procedures regulating gaming platform access, virtual transactions, consumers’ counter-performance under “free” subscription contracts as well as intellectual property rights of parties. Within the course of the present work, the author stresses the necessity of new legal models’ application in the gaming industry and underlines the importance of amendments to the current European leg-islation with the focus on video games’ commoditization in order to protect consumer rights, free movement of digital goods and to secure Digital Single Market Strategy of the Europe-an Union.