The European Parliament gaming resolution – a harbinger of the increase in the public funding for video game production in Poland and the EU?
The European Parliament resolution on e-sports and video games, adopted with a huge majority, calls upon particular institutions to take measures to develop the EU gaming sector. From the point of view of launching or conducting business activity in this sector (or even investing in gaming studios), the specific proposals made in the resolution, regarding public funding for video game production, are especially interesting.
Above all, the resolution calls for a General Block Exemption Regulation under which restrictions on state aid will not apply to funding provided by Member States for the video game production sector, especially SMEs. If enacted, this legislative proposal would make it considerably easier for Member States to establish funding programs for video game producers, because the programs would not require EC consent.
The resolution also calls for increased funding for video game production under EU-level programs. To date, funding programs in this regard were conducted under the EC initiative Creative Europe (Video games and immersive content development) and Horizon Europe. Gaming sector co-financing under these programs in 2022 only came to around EUR 50 m, of which a portion was designated for programs not specifically concerning but alluding to game production, such as the program Enhanced fight against the abuse of online gaming culture by extremists. The European Parliament resolution calls for greater commitment to this issue, especially on the part of the European Commission.
For ease of comparison, under the four funding programs conducted to date in Poland for the video game sector (GameInn), co-financing has been provided in excess of PLN 500 000 000. The GameInn programs are run by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR). Moreover, funding is also available for video game producers under other NCBiR programs.
In view of the proposals made in the European Parliament resolution and the fact that the director of the NCBiR is a person associated with the gaming industry, the number of programs under which funding is available for video game production in Poland can be expected to increase in the next few years. Obtaining funding means monitoring the current offer of the funding programs, and TKP can help with this.