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Speaking specifically on that market, EA CEO John Riccitiello said that many policy makers in the region hold an outdated view of the industry that focuses on developing content for children.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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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
NeenekoI think what tends to make discussing sexism in games difficult is scale, the issues tend to be systemic in nature, but bite sized examples are not... and the systemic part ties into a lot of dry academic stuff requiring domain knowledge not everyone has.11/20/2014 - 3:16pm
Wonderkarpand I jumped for joy when the Cogs went multigendered in GOW. but I also like male protagonists like Kratos or Nathan Drake or Link.11/20/2014 - 2:58pm
Wonderkarp..it needs female options. thats why I prefer biowares games. My Shepard was female(Jennifer Hale <3) and my skyrim player was female. I prefer female characters. But I dont think its a sexism issue. More and more females are coming.11/20/2014 - 2:55pm
WonderkarpMonte, I would argue that with Tomb Raiders sales....remember me though....personally I like games with character customization. I was one of those people miffed at ACUnity over no female assassins. if you give us customization, unless its a sports game..11/20/2014 - 2:53pm
 

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