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Shoosmiths advises video game developer Firesprite on exclusive PlayStation VR deal for The Persistence

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The Intellectual Property & Creative Industries team at Shoosmiths has advised leading video game development studio Firesprite Ltd on an exclusive license and distribution agreement with global interactive entertainment giant Sony.

Headed by partner Laura Harper, Shoosmiths’ IP & Creative Industries experts have advised Firesprite on a major licensing and worldwide digital and disc distribution deal for its new virtual reality game The Persistence.

The team also provided advice on brand protection and trade mark registrations.

The deal will see Sony take exclusive ownership over the license and global distribution of The Persistence on PlayStation VR (PSVR), which has already received a raft of praise in reviews from across the games community.

Liverpool-based Firesprite have previously collaborated with some of the games industry’s biggest names including Sony PlayStation’s Japan Studio.

Graeme Ankers, CEO at Firesprite, said: “Whilst we are very much an established AAA games developer, because of the confidential nature of the work that we do, we’ve never really shouted too much about ourselves before, our work has generally been in the background, like collaborating with Japan Studio on new hardware projects.

“We’ve delivered a lot of incredible projects, but The Persistence is really the first time we are talking about our work because it’s our own Intellectual Property (IP). It’s been a labour of love that we’ve worked on for three years and we feel that we’re ready to really talk about that now for the first time.

“Laura and her team at Shoosmiths worked with us on this project and have handled all of our legal and business affairs and IP over the last five years. They have provided specialist contractual and intellectual property support for The Persistence and importantly, helped to negotiate our agreement with Sony”.

Laura Harper added: “It was a delight to work on this project with Graeme and continue to provide support for the growth of Firesprite as a leading game development studio. In particular, we have enjoyed working with the company to negotiate this major deal with Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and Sony Interactive Entertainment America for one of Firesprite’s own VR titles.

“Firesprite’s latest game is already drawing great excitement from across the games industry and we’re pleased to have been able to support the team on this significant deal for the PSVR platform.

“Shoosmiths specialise in advising games studios and our experts negotiate development, licensing and publishing deals for our clients and work with accountants to draft tax structures which assist developers to maximise their VGTR and R&D relief. We are committed to maintaining and growing our leading reputation for working with businesses across the UK’s vibrant and diverse creative and digital sector and supporting the growing demand for high-quality, accessible legal expertise across the north west region and beyond.

“Our IP & Creative Industries team is enjoying a fantastic period of growth and this has been fuelled in part by the growth of the UK games sector, particularly in the North. We’re looking forward to the future as we continue to expand the practice and our offering even further.”

Shoosmiths’ IP & Creative experts are set to have doubled the team’s 2016/2017 turnover by the end of this financial year, having advised a broad range of clients including technology companies, games developers, fashion and retail brands, communications and design agencies, arts organisations, television production companies and music businesses. The team also acts for many of the country’s leading consumer and retail brands.