A recent survey by Game, the German Games Industry Association, asked domestic publishers and studios to rate the international competitiveness of Germany as a video games economy. 56 percent of the respondents rated the country “rather bad,” with 14 percent rating it “bad.” Only 30 percent chose the answer “rather good.” Zero companies answered “very good.”
The biggest criticism concerns the “tax burden” which is “very high” compared to other countries, Games Wirtschaft reports.
To be fair, Germany has multiple provisions to nurture the domestic game development. For example, the German Government established the German Games Fund comprising an initial €50 million in total funding. The Fund is an expenditure-based incentive and provides funding of 25% to 50% of total game development expenses, with 50% provided for prototypes and smaller productions, and 25% provided to projects valued at over €8 million.
The German Games Industry Association further notes that in total the country’s industry receives €250 million in taxpayer money each year. Moreover, the developers get to keep the money regardless of commercial success.
At the same time, publishers and studios want “faster” and less bureaucratic procedures.
If Germany is to become more competitive as a video games economy, the government needs to work towards the following goals outlined by the Association:
- Less bureaucracy, more predictability and more transparency in game development funding
- Raising awareness about the industry in school, increasing media literacy
- Better education and training opportunities in game development, making it easier for skilled workers to move from abroad
- Better infrastructure offering high-speed Internet access
- Better conditions for e-sports including the non-profit status for e-sports clubs