Dr. Hoyer Goes to Redwood Shores

October 20, 2011 -

EA's official news blog chronicles a recent visit by German Deputy Foreign Secretary Dr. Werner Hoyer to the company’s Redwood Shores, California campus. Hoyer, a member of the German parliament stopped by to discuss a variety of topics related to the German games market and EA studio in Cologne, Germany.

Speaking specifically on that market, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that many policy makers in the region hold an outdated view of the industry that focuses on developing content for children. This perspective, says Riccitiello, does not take into account that both the industry and those who consume its products have grown up. While the industry still needs to provide parents with tools they need to protect their children, policy makers must also recognize that video games are very much a part of today’s mainstream culture, and that the majority of modern players are adults, says Riccitiello.

Hoyer acknowledged that some policy makers need to be educated in regards to this shift in demographics, but pointed out that there are also many younger people in government that grew up playing games and who already understand the situation. "All this is changing quickly," said Hoyer.

The two also discussed the relatively small number of development studios in Germany.

"Germany was, at one point, more substantially involved in game development," Riccitiello stated, "Now most of the development is concentrated in Scandinavia and the UK. I think it’s possible to see more of the industry come back to Germany. The country’s gaming sector is surprisingly underdeveloped and it doesn’t necessarily have to be."

The two also discussed game rating systems, most notably Germany’s position as the only EU country that has not adopted the pan-European PEGI system. EA believes that competitive systems are confusing to consumers and inconvenient for developers and publishers who have to make content decisions for each market.

Games that would normally receive an M-rating in the US, or a 17+ in the rest of Europe, face the threat of “indexing” a system that makes it difficult to purchase and play the game. EA believes that indexing forces adults in Germany to purchase games online from other markets, such as Austria and Switzerland, instead of making their purchases locally.

Hoyer said that "negative attitudes about violence will persist in Germany" but said that he believes in the gaming industry. He added that "It's disturbing to have market inequities within the EU” and expressed his intent to probe the ratings issue upon his return.

Overall, EA and Hoyer seemed satisfied with the how the meeting went and hopefully Hoyer can push the issue of Germany’s ratings system among his colleagues.

Source: EA


 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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