Fred Hasson will make opening remarks at the opening of the GCDC conference in Leipzig on Monday 20th August. Asked to welcome delegates in his capacity as Chairman of the European Games Development Forum (EGDF), Hasson will outline the challenges facing the European development community in remaining competitive in a global market, and emphasise the need for the development community to support the work of the EGDF members who have an important job to do in persuading and informing governments and the European Commission in particular.
“The sector is experiencing a boom time with the recent proliferation of consoles and platforms and with other media and non traditional investors wanting to get in on the action. However there are underlying trends that need to be addressed: first the independent sector that is currently thriving needs investment in order to specialise and to expand their operations and secondly we need to find solutions to the major problem facing publisher and independent owned studios which is the increasing relative costs of labour and level of skills in Europe.
“Governments and the EU still hold negative perceptions of the industry, and publisher lead organisations across Europe have largely failed to change this. Its now time for the creative side of the industry to take responsibility for representing the potential and importance of the industry and to tackle these negative perceptions.
“If developers want the creative voice of the industry across Europe to be heard, this means they have to join and support their trade associations and their role in the EGDF,” says Hasson.
The most important challenges Hasson will cite are:
1. remaining cost effective in the face of lower cost territories and Canadian Tax breaks which are distorting the market unfairly;
2. finding ways of working that will improve the cost effectiveness of European studios such as improving the skills base;
3. being prepared to diversify into other growing and emerging markets outside the traditional‘boxed product’ market.
Over the last 1-2 years the EGDF has:
- produced background briefing papers to the European Commission,
- met with the different departments to discuss these,
- submitted evidence to the enquiry on proposed French subventions (supporting them) to the games industry, and
- has successfully lobbied the media + programme to include video games funding (up to e100,000� is now available for games development and prototypes)
EGDF Members are:
GAME– German speaking territories in Europe
Neo Games– Finland
Together these organisations represent 17,000 developers working in almost 500 companies.
Fred Hasson is CEO of Tiga and Chairman of EGDF.
For further information please call +44 7788 563 723