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Quantic Dream boss takes EGDF chair

Tue 19 May 2009 12:01pm GMT / 8:01am EDT / 5:01am PDT

Guillaume de Fondaumiere outlines three key issues to tackle in Europe

Guillaume de Fondaumiere has been appointed as the new chair of the European Games Developer Federation, taking over the role from outgoing chair Fred Hasson at a presentation during the Nordic Game conference today.

de Fondaumiere, who is the co-CEO and executive producer of Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream, told GamesIndustry.biz that he sees three main challenges ahead for the organisation.

"We all know that education will be the number one subject in the years to come - we all know that it costs an awful lot of money. In Great Britain there are a number of universities offering specific programmes for videogames - it's the same in France, a little bit in Germany, a little bit here and there.

"But what we need as developers is education of excellence - we need to reach excellence in many different subjects. You have to educate people on programming, biophysics, animation, real-time graphics... there are so many subjects, and this is a typical example of where we need to have a European policy, to talk to each other and see where the better skills are.

"The second point is the rules and regulations at European level - we've seen the debate on violence, we're starting to see the debate on online gaming addiction... all those subjects where rules and regulations are made at European level have consequences on our local country developers.

"This is something the EGDF has started to cover, and will become more and more important I think, to follow it up and defend the interests of developers.

"Lastly the financial aspect of videogame development - what we did in France with the tax breaks is one opening, and we need to make sure that we, as European developers, don't suffer from distortion of competition by other countries.

"We know we don't have cheap labour, we know we have to be more creative, more productive, but sometimes the burden is simply too big. It's difficult to run a marathon with a 14kg rucksack on your back..."

de Fondaumiere added that he felt the UK development community had been "particularly brave" in recent years due to the very strong Pound, but cast doubt on the ability of European companies to compete with lower wages found elsewhere in the world.

"I think the EGDF is of paramount importance to get the message across, to negotiate with the European Commission, and make sure that we're at the same level as other competitive countries in our ability to develop games."

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