Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected at Gamescom in Cologne until the end of the week. Still, the industry is worried as the traffic light government wants to cut funding significantly.
At the start of the Gamescom video game expo, the local industry should continue to worry about funding. Because, according to a proposal from the Federal Ministry of Economy, only 48.7 million euros should flow to gaming companies next year, and therefore less than the 70 million awarded in 2023.
According to the gaming industry association, the funds previously estimated for 2024 were only sufficient to cover requests from already approved applications – new funding applications would not be possible next year.
Industry association calls for increase in funding
Industry association Game considers 125 million euros necessary to meet the demands of companies. Like Reinhard Houben, the FDP parliamentary group gaming policy spokesperson, federal politicians are now reacting cautiously to the demand for more money:
According to Houben, additional funds could likely be released if November’s tax forecast turns out to be positive.
Only four percent of sales come from games in Germany
The computer and video games industry has experienced strong growth because people spent a lot of time at home during the Corona era and immersed themselves in virtual game worlds.
However, only about four percent of the industry’s sales from game and hardware sales can be attributed to domestic developments.
However, subsidies for this are not a panacea in a creative industry. “Money alone does not provide an idea for a good story to be told in a video game.”
Subsidies ran out early in previous years
Bundestag’s Greens member Maik Außendorf and SPD politician Anna Kassautzki are also uncertain about increasing the funds previously planned for 2024. Kassautzki says an evaluation report of the funding program is coming soon “so that we can clarify where adjustments need to be made.”
Kassautzki and Außendorf criticize the suspension of applications in 2022 and early 2023 as budgets run out and some companies are left empty-handed.
“We have to secure long-term planning here,” adds Außendorf (Greens).
The gaming industry seeks tax cuts
The gaming industry is committed not only to subsidies, but also to tax breaks. Liberal Houben sees this aspect positively: Taxing development costs and thereby reducing a company’s tax burden would be a “direct and swift form of support” and worthy of discussion in the Bundestag.
On the other hand, Green Outer Village criticizes tax cuts for the sector as there will be no qualified financing criteria.
Gamescom opens to the public from Thursday
On Tuesday evening Gamescom will open with a stage show in Cologne, the world’s largest trade fair for computer games and video games. Journalists, trade visitors and some game fans are welcome on Wednesday, with the general public allowed Thursday through Sunday. The density is likely to be exhausted already for the fair Saturday.
The offer is bigger than ever, the number of exhibitors from 63 countries has increased from 1,135 to 1,227 and the exhibition area has increased by 10,000 square meters to 230,000 square meters.
I’m Ashley Robinson, a professional writer and journalist. I specialize in news writing and have been working for the past five years with News Unrolled. My main focus is on technology-related topics, though I also write about politics, healthcare, and business from time to time.