Back in November of 2018, it was announced that Germany would be announcing a German gaming fund in order to close the development gap between Germany’s game development scene and the development scenes of other countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. However, it appears that the fund’s job is already done.
A recent statement from the fund, named the Verband der deutschen Games-Branche e.V., or “Association of the German Games Industry”, said that the German government sees no need to invest public money into video gaming by giving the development industry tax breaks.
Other countries like the United Kingdom do do that for their own development scenes, and allowing that makes it roughly 30 percent cheaper to develop games in those countries than to do it in Germany. That fund would have allowed German developers to be more economically competitive, though several companies have still opened new branches in the country.
Despite the government’s commitment back in 2018 for such a fund, however, the federal budget for 2020, which was presented on Wednesday, did not include the requisite amount for the German gaming fund. Felix Falk, the CEO of the GAME, expressed his disappointment, saying that the government’s long-term cooperation was necessary to make true progress.
There has been a bit of progress over the past few years getting past Germany’s strict anti-violence laws in games, with the biggest one being that Nazi symbols, including swastikas, are now allowed to be depicted in games.
The German government’s statement on the decision was that the 50 million euros that would have been allocated to the AGGI were an “expenditure test” that likely was intended to make sure that a possible new area of investment was actually worth getting into, and that the initial funding was only estimated once. Apparently, the GAME didn’t make the cut.
This leaves the future of further German video game development in question, along with the further development of the German video game development scene. Without the German game fund that allowed the GAME to exist in the first place, who knows if any games in the near future will be developed in that country? Even with the last few studios that have opened branches in Germany, there’s no telling how many will still be coming later.
While this may not be the final word on the subject, for now, thinks aren’t necessarily looking good.