During participation in a GDC Europe panel on how the industry can combat censorship by the government, Remedy Entertainment's Matias Myllyrinne said that a lot of the problems that European game developers face are coming "from Brussels." G.A.M.E.'s Stephan Reichart agreed with that sentiment, saying that an international effort to fight against government censorship is needed: "We need to build up international structures in the games industry. If we do have a discussion in Germany it's really important to reach European developers, we have to organise a European game voice. In a few years nearly every important decision will be made in Brussels."
Germany's attitude was a major sticking point with panelists who are worried that a renewed effort to ban violent videogames could rise again. Though legislation for a ban on violent games has been overturned, Reichart felt that politicians remained resistant to the medium - a concern that seemed to be shared by all in the discussion. Remedy added that it decided against releasing a watered-down version of Alan Wake in Germany.
"More than 70,000 voters signed a petition against banning computer games - the biggest one we ever had in Germany," he said. "But a lot of politicians said to me 'yes, but it's only online. It's not real.'
"That's a problem we have here in Germany, we are still not accepting the modern way of communication... You still need the people to go on the street in Berlin. If there are 70000 people on the street every politicians says 'Oh my God, what's happening here?'"
But he also had concern that gamers would not be prepared to do this because they are "accustomed to internet discussion" and might have lost motivation because the lack of response to the online petition in the real world.
Crytek's Avni Yerli also spoke about government consorship during the panel. He claimed that his company was trying to educate local politicians about games and that studio visits were resulting in more positive attitudes.
"When they go out their opinion is very different and they speak to other colleagues who ask if they can come or if they can host an event," said Yerli. "That is the most important thing is to show what they are talking about and not just show a screenshot out of context."
"What happens in Germany affects all European developers, added Myllyrinne. "If you take away a significant market that's going to have a huge impact."