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.

Alan Wake

Remedy decided against releasing a watered-down version of Alan Wake in Germany.

"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.

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Latest comments (3)

Andrew Crystall Designer 7 years ago
I'd ask them for examples. Because the rhetoric I see against games is coming from national governments.

Arts funding for games is also very spotty, and I know we have a few champions of that on an EU-level as well, which is more than most of said national governments, etc.
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Funny, we just got word our game got banned from GamesCom's show floor because of German restrictions (and despite violence pictured as cartoons). A Germany-only law killing our international publicity, how I wish the event was hosted somewhere else now...
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Christian Kramer Managing Director, Digitalmindsoft7 years ago
@Philippe Rapin
I'm sorry to hear that you aren't allowed to show your game, but I don't think this has anything to do with "German restrictions". Your game has to be checked by the USK in advance (similar to PEGI) if you want to show your game publicly. If your game gets an 18+ rating which is already quite hard to achieve, than you can still show the game in a closed environment to people proving they are at least 18. However if you failed to get a USK rating for your game which is either because it's ultra violent (manhunt?) or you simply didn't send in your game, than your game will be banned and that's simply your managements fault.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christian Kramer on 17th August 2010 2:09am

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