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EA backs German govt decision over videogame policies

Bundestag rejects idea of new legislation banning certain games; move is "welcome" says Intat

The German government has decided against updating legislation that could have led to the banning of violent videogames in the country, preferring instead to promote media literacy initiatives.

Electronic Arts, Europe's biggest publisher in 2009, has welcomed the comments from Parliamentary State Secretary Dr Hermann Kues - from the Ministry of Family Affairs - as it continues to back wider public education (including the PEGI ratings system) to encourage the protection of minors against inappropriate content.

"The decision of the federal government supports our belief that banning videogames is not an efficient way to monitor content," EA senior VP Dr Jens Uwe Intat told GamesIndustry.biz. "The German decision is a very welcome step as we encourage policy makers to better understand the reality of today's videogame market and give games the same respect as books, films or music."

While the publisher-backed PEGI system has been accepted by several countries across Europe - including the UK, where it was part of the recently-passed Digital Economy Bill - Germany currently operates its own system of regulation, called USK.

While a number of high profile adult games, mostly shooters, are unable to be sold in the country, the threat of a ban on the creation of violent content - which could have seen key companies such as Crytek forced to relocate elsewhere in Europe - seems to have receded.

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