EFAD welcomes today’s adoption by the Council of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport of conclusions on enhancing the cultural and creative dimension of the European video games sector (here).
Thanks to the impulse of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, and after the resolution of the European Parliament on e-sports and video games prepared by MEP Laurence Farreng, the European video games sector was put in the spotlight of the European Union, with a focus on its cultural and artistic contributions. EFAD and its members actively contributed in the discussions, particularly within the framework of the Conference organised in July in Tenerife (recordings available here).
Film and audiovisual agencies’ support to video games
Acknowledging that video games are cultural works, several EFAD members provide support to the independent creation of this art form. Indeed, over the last years, film and audiovisual agencies have seen their scopes of intervention expanded to encompass a broader range of genres and formats, including virtual reality, immersive content, interactive works and video games. We find selective support to video games provided by the national film and audiovisual agency in: Belgium (by both CCA and VAF), France (CNC), Croatia (HAVC), Denmark (DFI), Norway (NFI) and Ireland (Screen Ireland). Additionally, 6 countries have a tax incentive in place for video games: Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom*.
Taking stock of the recommendations from the Council of the EU, EFAD would like to emphasize the following priorities to help the European video games sector thrive:
- Offering stronger and more structured European funding opportunities for the sector. The EU support remains too limited and dispersed (Media Invest, CCGF, regional funds, Horizon Europe, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Creative Europe…). While the support from Creative Europe - Media is small, it is crucial for the sector. The scheme’s priorities (currently limited to development and prototyping) could be improved, particularly to include the promotion of European video games, such as a European Games Festival and/or Awards to promote and showcase the best of European games and teams.
- Promoting video games as a European cultural asset: on the policy and regulatory front, EFAD calls on the EU to develop a strategic approach regarding video games, stimulating the competitiveness and independence of the sector, and reflecting on the preservation of intellectual property rights by European companies. Regarding State aid, EFAD members consider that more can be done to make the procedures easier and quicker.
- Exchanging best practices and promoting cooperation between funding bodies and industry stakeholders, particularly on how resources for national cultural funding for video games could be expanded in the future. In countries where levies are already in place for the audiovisual sector, the introduction of a video games levy could be explored to leverage more public support.
* More information about national, regional, and local funding schemes for video games can be found on the Creative Europe project Indie Plaza.