- EU needs a long-term vision for vide ogames and esports
- Boost EU productions via EU and national support
- "Chronic shortage" of EU talents
- Videogames to be considered European cultural heritage
- Calls to prevent doping and match-fixing in professional gaming
MEPs ask to develop an EU video game strategy, in order to consolidate European game ecosystem, boost EU investments and retain EU talents.
In a resolution adopted on Thursday by 560 votes in favour, 34 against and 16 abstentions MEPs call on the Commission and the Council to acknowledge the value of the video game “ecosystem” in the EU and its potential for growth and innovation, by coming up with a long-term European video game strategy.
By refering to the “current dependence on imports” they urge to “maximise game creation opportunities” throughout the Member States and increase the number of European productions. They argue that funding criteria in Creative Europe and Horizon Europe programmes are not always fit for the needs of small and medium studios and ask to encourage national support for local video game development via exemptions from EU State aid rules.
MEPs point that the European game industry is “struggling with a chronic shortage of talent” and ask to solve that by greater EU and national investment.
They also address competitive gaming and ask to prevent match-fixing, illegal gambling and doping. Just like off-screen sports, also e-sports in the EU must promote fair play, non-discrimination, antiracism and gender equality, they say.
MEPs also ask to consider video games a part of Europe’s cultural heritage and provide support for preserving “the most culturally significant European video games” and ensure their playability in the future.
"Videogames are the most dynamic area of our cultural economy and the only sector that experienced growth during the COVID crisis. Gaming has become a vital part of cultural life for a half of Europeans. Yet, we still don't have an European vision for the industry. Today, in the European Parliament, we formally call to develop an European videogames strategy", said the rapporteur Laurence Farreng (FR, Renew) in the plenary debate before the vote.
She also stressed the need to protect European games, studios and publishing houses, e.g. by an European videogame label, and pointed to the problem of prospective enterprises “being bought up from abroad”, due to the lack of European investment.
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. The average age of a video game player in Europe is 31.3 year.
In 2020 the video game industry in Europe employed approximately 98 000 people.