- Call to acknowledge value of video games for EU industry
- Boost EU productions via EU funding and state aid
- Effort needed to develop and retain European talents
- EU-produced games should carry EU values
EP's Culture and Education committee asks to develop an EU video game strategy, in order to consolidate European game ecosystem, retain EU talents and increase the EU’s role.
In the text adopted unanimously on Monday, Culture and Education MEPs call on the Commission and the Council to acknowledge the strong growth and innovation potential of the EU video game ecosystem and to develop an European long-term video game strategy.
They 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.
Similarly, the Committee points that the European game industry is “currently struggling with a chronic talent shortage” and asks for solutions to develop and retain European talents.
Calling to promote video games that showcase European values, history and diversity, MEPs stress the potential “to contribute to EU soft power”. Just like off-screen sports, also video games and e-sports must promote values such as fair play, non-discrimination, solidarity, antiracism, social inclusion and gender equality.
"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”, said the rapporteur Laurence Farreng (FR, Renew) after the vote.
“Video games today represent a huge cultural sector, uniting art, technology and interaction. They have great potential in terms of economy, soft power, education and intergenerational connection. Moreover, the European Union is the appropriate level to develop e-sports, with a charter, a mapping and dedicated infrastructures”, she added.
“I am happy with the outcome of this vote, which sends a strong signal in favour of the video games ecosystem”, Farreng concluded.
Other proposals by EP Culture and Education committee include:
* Creating the European Video Game Observatory to provide decision-makers and stakeholders with harmonised data and recommendations to develop the sector.
* Creating an EU archive to preserve the most culturally significant European video games and ensure their playability in the future.
* Use of video games and esports in schools, as means for developing digital literacy, soft skills and creative thinking, in parallel with raising teachers’ awareness of this valuable teaching tool.
* Addressing challenges in the sector, such as doping and match-fixing in professional gaming competitions and esports.
* Warning of health risks by intensive video gaming and esports that can include lack of exercise and high stress levels.
The European Parliament as a whole will vote on the resolution during its November mini-session (9-10 November).
The estimated European market size of video game industry is EUR 23.3 (according to 2021 data). It is one of the few creative sectors that experienced turnover growth during the COVID-19 crisis. Around 98 000 people in Europe were employed in video game sector in 2020.
According to Europe’s video game industry ISFE, a half of all Europeans consider themselves to be video game players, of whom almost half are women, with the average age of a video game player in Europe being 31.3 years.