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EGDF chases place on PEGI board

Developers need to "take some responsibility" on ratings, says Quantic Dream's de Fondaumiere

The chairman of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) - Quantic Dream co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumiere - has told GamesIndustry.biz exclusively that the regional trade body has asked the publisher trade body, ISFE, for representation at board level with respect to the PEGI ratings system.

The move comes at a time when the support for PEGI across several key territories - especially the UK - is building, but de Fondaumiere, who was responsible for lobbying the EU to obtain cultural tax breaks for developers in France, believes that game creators need to have a voice in the debate.

"Ratings have become, in the past few years, a highly polemic subject - and one that's been debated without, really, taking the developer's perspective into account," he explained. "A lot of people - politicians, publishers - have been kind of playing ping pong in bringing up arguments and talking about basically our creations.

"We've never really heard authors, game creators, speak out on the subject, outside of certain exceptions with people coming forward and expressing some frustration or anger at some points over some games being banned.

"So I think it's high time for us game developers to take some responsibility and to really be at the forefront of this debate. That's why, as the chairman of the EGDF, I asked ISFE in December if we could join the PEGI board and be really involved in crafting the politics of the PEGI ratings system - to be able to discuss how the ratings work."

It's particularly important today, says de Fondaumiere, because of the increasing number of titles being published directly by developers online.

"I know that ISFE has now established PEGI Online, but we developers are absolutely not involved in the PEGI system," he said. "I think it's high time for us to be part of it, so I hope that ISFE is going to accept our proposition for joining the board.

"I think it's a very, very serious matter, and I don't think that as we, as game developers, can be outside certain decisions that affect us, or may affect us, tremendously. We have to take a responsibility - we have to bring forward the arguments, and when there's a debate we have to make sure that any policy that's made takes the creator's vision into account.

He added that the move has been unanimously supported by the EGDF membership, and talks with ISFE's Simon Little have already taken place, although there's no indication yet on whether a decision has been made by the publisher body.

The full exclusive interview with Guillaume de Fondaumiere is available now.

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