• ‘Games are especially valuable in this challenging time’
• Existentially threatened companies need fast, unbureaucratic support
• Companies are committing to diverse measures
• Under #stayhomeplaytogether, the games industry is collecting examples of how games are helping in these times
Berlin, 26 March 2020 – During the present corona pandemic, games are providing a welcome diversion for especially large numbers of people at home. At the same time, the situation poses challenges to the games industry itself. In a current member survey by game – the German Games Industry Association, around 8 out of every 10 companies (84 per cent) in the German games industry say they are still coping well with the crisis, and about 9 out of 10 companies (87 per cent) say that their employees are now working from home. However, just under two thirds of companies in the survey (62 per cent) indicate that their business circumstances will worsen in the short term, and an equal number (62 per cent) expect negative or even very negative short-term effects on their business. Ever more companies are also threatened with financial hardship. For this reason, game is calling for especially unbureaucratic and fast implementation of federal assistance and promotional programmes. The current situation is particularly challenging for, among others, service providers, event organisers and the esports sector. The survey points out the urgent need for accelerated access to loans and subsidies. Accordingly, the limits on approving loans without full credit assessments should be raised and the liability of house banks should be assumed by the reconstruction loan corporation, the KfW, so that time-consuming credit checks can be reduced to a minimum or even dropped altogether. In many cases, the planned emergency measures may otherwise fail. The survey further shows that fast and unbureaucratic support from funding bodies at the federal and state levels of government is crucial to games developers and publishers in these times. According to the survey, the early launch of measures of the so-called De-minimis-funding as announced by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure represents a good first step.
‘On the one hand, as digital trailblazers, companies in the games industry have quickly adapted to the new work situation so that they can continue their business operations,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘On the other hand, the corona pandemic is posing an existential threat to more and more companies. While game supports the industry with important information on financing possibilities and legal questions, those responsible for federal support programmes are now called upon to act especially flexibly, quickly and unbureaucratically to enable the affected companies to survive this crisis.’
Strong commitment of the games industry during the crisis: #stayhomeplaytogether
At the same time, the game member survey shows that many companies and institutions in the games industry are taking responsibility in the current crisis and demonstrating a strong social commitment. The website of the foundation Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur, for example, features a list of games with educational potential that can help especially during times of school closure. Many companies are also currently offering games free of charge, while others are utilising their extensive computing capacity for the research project ‘Folding@home’, which is supporting scientists in the fight against the coronavirus. The games developer Nukklear has additionally initiated a game jam under the title ‘Stay Safe!’, in which this coming weekend developers will create games from home in a period of 48 hours. game encourages all who are interested to spread the word about these and other examples under the motto ‘Stay home & play together’ and the associated hashtag #stayhomeplaytogether in social networks. This allows the games industry to point out the diverse forms of help that games can provide in the current crisis situation.
Felix Falk: ‘Games are especially valuable in this challenging time. Playing skat online with the grandparents, building fantasy worlds with the kids or virtually making up for the cancelled football match or Formula One race – these all offer the possibility of escaping the everyday with family and friends, staying in contact and simply having fun together. So it’s good news that in this situation so many companies in the games industry are showing such social commitment through various initiatives, true to the motto: “Stay home, play together”.’
game – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.
game – the German Games Industry Association
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20