Can I copy the EULA from another game?

It’s hard to get a video game off the ground. Game development includes cat wrangling and herding artists, designers, developers, business people and more and getting everyone on the same page. There’s testing to make sure as few bugs go out as possible and then there’s more testing after a game is released into the wild. All of this tends to be the priority and legal efforts to protect a game tend to fall by the wayside.

If an organization is considering copying the EULA from another game to save time, energy and money: don’t do it. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Why not?

Unless the game an organization is making is a clone of another game (which is unwise) or the organization has thoroughly read and understood every single word of an EULA, odds are the differences in the game operations necessitate changes to the EULA.

Differentiators might include:

  • Game purchases
  • In-game currency
  • Social tie-ins
  • Online play
  • Music licensing/assets
  • User generated content
  • Disciplinary action for cheating
  • Esports
  • Advertising

Think about it: no game or business is ever going to have identical features or need identical legal protection.

What if the games are truly similar?

EULAs, believe it or not, are copyrighted works of the firm that creates them. Copying or heavily borrowing from an existing EULA is copyright infringement.

It is in the best interest of an organization to have an attorney prepare a EULA (or TOS or SLA) specific to business at hand. Copying and pasting contracts, in general, is a bad idea.