Remedy: pan-European threat to development freedom
"A lot of the problems we face are from Brussels" says Myllyrinne in censorship discussion
The issue of game censorship may soon become a pan-European rather than per-territory problem, according to Remedy Entertainment's Matias Myllyrinne.
Speaking as part of a GDC Europe panel discussion on how the games industry can fight back against censorious treatment by the political old-guard, Myllyrinne claimed that "a lot of the problems we face are from Brussels."
G.A.M.E.'s Stephan Reichart agreed, claiming the industry needed to think on a similar level. "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 towards games was a major talking point for the panel. Although planned legislation for a heightened ban on violent games has been overturned, Reichart felt that politicians remained resistant to the medium.
"More than 70,000 voters signed a petition against banning computer games - the biggest one we ever had in Germany," he claimed. "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?'"
However, he felt that gamers accustomed to internet discussion would not be prepared to do this, and that they were demotivated by the lack of response to their online protests.
Also speaking was Crytek's Avni Yerli, who claimed the Crysis developer was trying to actively educate local politicians about games. Studio visits were resulting in more positive attitudes, he claimed.
"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. That is the most important thing is to show what they are talking about and not just show a screenshot out of context."
The importance of GDC Europe's host nation on a global stage was also highlighted, with Myllyrinne claiming: "What happens in Germany affects all European developers. If you take away a significant market that's going to have a huge impact."
The Alan Wake developer had previously decided against releasing a toned-down version of Max Payne 2 in Germany for artistic reasons, he revealed.