The Finance Committee of the German Bundestag has earmarked €50m per year “to promote computer game development in Germany”.
“The securing of games funding is a clear signal for Germany as a games location,” said Felix Falk, managing director of game, the German Games Industry Association. “The Finance Committee of the German Bundestag provides important planning security by fixing the budget for the coming years.
“The decision as well as the broad consensus display the intent across party lines to make Germany a more vital player internationally in the field of computer game development. Now we are awaiting the successful notification of the funding directive by the European Union so that the numerous new projects in Germany can be put into action. As [the] games industry, we are waiting in the wings.”
The funding has been introduced to “reduce Germany’s major competitive disadvantages in computer game development” when compared to other countries such as France, the UK, and Canada, “which have been funding their local games industries for many years”. As it stands, development in Germany is thought to be around 30 per cent more expensive, so consequently “the share of German game productions in the domestic market has been falling for years, despite the strong growth of the games market”.
“This funding commitment by the German Bundestag shows important recognition of the potential for Europe’s exciting video games sector to drive innovation and economic progress,” added ISFE CEO, Simon Little. “Video games represent one of Europe’s most compelling economic success stories, and a rapidly growing segment of its creative industries.
“Europe’s games ecosystem has spawned generations of technological and creative talent that continues to set new standards in innovation, artistry and immersive storytelling. No other form of creative expression so uniquely combines technical and artistic disciplines in ways that allow audiences to actively participate in the story as that of video games.
“The industry’s track record for pushing boundaries continues to redefine entertainment, generate new business models, and deliver technologies with wide-ranging cross-over potential. Games deliver experiences that enrich the everyday cultural lives of more than half of all Europeans, and inspire new ways of understanding and interacting with the world around us.”
While this is only half of what the UK’s Video Game Tax Relief paid out last year, it’ll be interesting to see how this new fund impacts EU development, particularly that of a post-Brexit UK.