The European Union this Monday posted a relatively innocuous, but possibly monumental announcement. This was a recommendation by its Culture and Education Committee (CULT) for the EU to develop a long-term video game strategy, including the creation of an EU archive for games as well as a European Video Game Observatory. The resolution is set to be voted on in a mini session scheduled for November the 9th-10th.
CULT’s recommendation could indicate a major shift in how the video game industry is treated in the EU. It may also precipitate over changes worldwide were this resolution to be adopted, and set a precedent for various elements of the gaming industry going forward. Of particular interest to the mobile game industry is how this may relate to consistent financial and business support across the EU.
The recommendation is particularly notable in the following text, “They [Culture and Education Committee] ask to increase the number of European video game productions and point that funding criteria in Creative Europe and Horizon Europe programmes are not always fit for the needs of small and medium enterprises in the sector. They also suggest to boost national support for local video game developments via exemptions in the European state aid rules.”
‘Small and medium enterprises’ could be interpreted as covering many of the mobile game publishers, developers and studios. This could indicate that a common approach and criteria for funding in these programmes will be implemented should the resolution be adopted.
Also of note is that they are, “Calling to promote video games that showcase European values, history and diversity, MEPs stress the potential ‘to contribute to EU soft power’.” This may form an initiative, or possibly a prerequisite for support from EU organisations to developers. Incentives to include elements of European history or other aspects could be the result.
Rapporteur Laurence Farreng was quoted as saying, “Although half of Europeans are gamers, the sector does not benefit from a dedicated strategy at EU level, whether it is to protect intellectual property, channel investment or promote our know-how.”
The vote was adopted unanimously and indicates a clear interest in the EU at a legislative level to further support the video game industry. Given that there has also been pullback in Venture Capital, especially in tech,, government investment will likely become vital for the broader video game industry.