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Koch: Subsidies not the answer

Subsidies, sponsorships and other forms of public funding for videogames developers is not a good solution to increasing development costs, according to Dr Klemens Kundratitz, managing director of Koch Media.

Subsidies, sponsorships and other forms of public funding for videogames developers is not a good solution to increasing development costs, according to Dr Klemens Kundratitz, managing director of Koch Media.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz he is worried about the uneven playing field that countries such as Canada create, but believes that public funding would lead to games for the sake of culture, rather than for the sake of the customer.

"I don't believe in sponsorship, public funding and subsidies at all, because I think that those systems will lead to games being produced for reasons that are not what the consumer demands, but because people think they should be for cultural reasons.

"It takes the attention away from what the customer wants, and if we create great entertainment then the customer will buy it and I'd rather not have everybody focused on how to get subsidies from various places.

"Certainly it's very concerning to us when you see that big publishers put their development resources into Canada, and that Europe is being disadvantaged as a place for development in general - that concerns me, but I don't think the answer is that we should lobby in each individual company for subsidies."

Dr Kundratitz also discussed the issue of censorship, and stated his belief that a single set of rules to cover all territories was no good.

"I think that as an industry we need to respect the cultural environments that we find ourselves in - and that environment is different in each country.

"I don't believe the standards that are being applied in the UK - qualitative or quantitative, and I mean I'm talking about violence against bare skin, language - all these things are weighted differently in different countries, and I think that needs to be recognised when we talk about age ratings."

He went on to say that publishers should take more responsibility for the content of their games.

"As a community of publishers, we have to be more responsible. So it cannot be that we create games which include violence for the sake of violence, and make it available to the general mainstream public.

"I would point to the film industry, where yes - there are definitely also some very specific films being produced, but they're not made available to the mainstream public. And we need to not just fight against the critics, but work with them and act responsibly.

"I'm not advocating not making violent games, but I'm saying implement the right systems so that only adults can play and have access to them."

The full interview with Dr Klemens Kundratitz is available here.

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