Last month, fast-growing Los Angeles firm Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weatherwax LLP launched a practice group focused specifically on video games. It didn’t hire any specialists in video game law and has yet to sign a video game client, but in an era when “Grand Theft Auto V” grosses $1 billion in three days while costing just $275 million to make, the firm saw a chance to capitalize on a niche practice area, said founding partner Nathan Lowenstein.
“If you take a look at the legal market in Los Angeles, you can’t walk out of your door without tripping over a dozen entertainment attorneys," Lowenstein said. "Relatively speaking, there are fewer video game attorneys."
Other, bigger firms have explored similar ideas. Over the past decade, a number of large firms have sought to grab a piece of the pie by creating video game practices and industry groups. Many video game attorneys moved from their small, specialized shops to help form and lead the new groups.
But now the market is seeing a swing in the opposite direction. Increasingly, established video game attorneys are opting to return to solo practice, boutiques or in-house spots to work more closely with clients - shifting the landscape of firms that cater to the video game industry. At about 35 attorneys, for example,Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weatherwax sees itself as the "Goldilocks" of the video game legal space: not too big, not too small...