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  • Foto del escritorThe Corporate Reviews

Andreas Höppel

Head of Legal, SEGA


What are the biggest challenges for the legal team inside SEGA?

It is hard to pinpoint the biggest challenges, as the world in entertainment is constantly shifting and evolving. One day you worry about intellectual property related issues in connection with NFTs and the other day it is the use of AI in programming and game design. All that on top of the daily “routine” work, which needs to be done with the same focus and dedication every day.  Then there are larger projects which require your attention and coordination with other stakeholders. And let’s also not forget that SEGA has overseas subsidiaries as well, so we need to keep communicating with them across the globe not just to provide the best service to our business but also to foster our personal, intercultural relationships within the larger, global SEGA Legal framework.

Could you describe a recent regulation change or legal update that has impacted your work?

In general, I think that compliance related issues are always hot topics. What started with the GDPR in 2018 on privacy related matters, is still evolving with more and more countries coming up with their own frameworks we need to keep in mind and adapt to.  But then there is the world of “gaming” (i.e., gambling) in video games, which started with the loot box controversies a while ago and sees a lot of legislative movement across the globe.  Last but not least, there is also a lot of movement surrounding rules and regulations regarding the protection of children. The UK’s Age Appropriate Design Code (AADC) comes to mind and California’s equivalent. Since many of our customers are children or teenagers, these regulations certainly have an impact on our work.

Given that SEGA is an entertainment company, do you think that your work has a personal interest for you? 

Yes, absolutely. I am a gamer at heart and it’s been a hobby of mine since my childhood. Working for the iconic blue SEGA logo has something surreal about it, and I still need to pinch myself every now and then to make sure I am not in some sort of fantasy, dream world.  But all this knowledge about video games actually helps me a lot in my work.  I can talk with business people on a more technical level, can quickly relate to certain functions in games which makes it easier for all sides to communicate and get the job done.  Being able to do so, gets me closer to my colleagues on a personal level and helps bridging the (imaginary) gaps between corporate and business/development.  Things get done based on skill and knowledge, but personal relationships and mutual understanding are what makes a good job great.  Empathy is key.

How did you feel after being recognized as one of the 100 top In-house lawyers in the Legal 500’s GC Powerlist Japan 2023? 

Wow, good question. I have to admit I was super surprised to have been nominated and elected to the list. Looking at all these fabulous colleagues from all industries who made it, I felt and still feel deeply honored to stand alongside them.  I am not a person that is working or aiming for awards, honors or whatever kind reward there may be.  I simply want to get my job done as best as possible, support my team members with all the input they need, and I can provide them with in order for us, as a team, but also for each single one individually to strive towards excellence.  But if this sort of work gets recognized by others, such as making the Legal 500’s GC Powerlist Japan 2023, then it certainly makes me happy as it also reassures me that what I am doing seems to be quite all right and keeps pushing me further in my work.

How do you think your career has changed since you started working and after being awarded with that recognition?

It’s just been a few months, so there has not been much impact on a company level, yet. However, my professional exposure within the industry and the legal community in Japan but also worldwide has increased quite a bit and I really enjoy the interaction with other professionals.

What do you expect for your career and for the growth of the company?

Being recognized as one of the top 100 in house professionals in Japan hopefully attracts the interest of great talent wanting to work for us so SEGA Legal can continue to be a valuable business partner within the company. As for my career:  I hope that I can continue playing an important role in the legal community in Japan or maybe even beyond.  Coming to Japan as a foreigner was a challenge and a step into the unknown. But making the Powerlist certainly gives me the reassurance to continue on my path. Whatever lies ahead, I am looking forward to it. The glass is always half-full.


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