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  • Writer's pictureAriunzayat Yunren

The European Union considered that "eSports is not a sport". But...

The Committee for Culture and Education of the European Union (CULT) unanimously approved the draft resolution "On the development of a long-term strategy for the development of video games" of the European Union. This will fundamentally change the future of Europe's video game and e-sports industry.

According to the draft resolution:

  • CULT is asking the European Union to scale up and increase funding to increase the number of video game industries in Europe. In 2022, within the framework of the Creative Europe project, 6 million euros have been allocated to finance the production of video games, but CULT says that this is not enough.

  • Although funding is being discussed, it is unclear whether the EU will offer tax breaks to gaming companies based in the territory. As other countries such as Australia and Canada have precedents for tax incentives, it is clear to everyone that those companies will be able to move to other areas unless more favorable conditions are created.

  • CULT “Since video game development is based on fast innovation, the gaming industry, both in Europe and worldwide, lacks talent and expertise. Therefore, video games should be studied and developed not only as games but also as teaching and knowledge tools," the resolution said.

Covid has shown EU MEPs that the video game industry is economically valuable. Video games were arguably the only creative and cultural sector that flourished in Europe during the Depression. This growth in development and high innovation potential demand more government support, regulation and attention to this sector.

With the global economy uncertain, EPGs see a need for more policy support for video games to create jobs and increase GDP. Video games are soft power.

CULT MEPs, including French committee rapporteur Laurence Farreng, pointed out that both video games and sports could "contribute to the EU's soft power". This resolution reflects the values, history and diversity of many European countries

store, display, and promote; A number of initiatives were supported, such as connecting the young generation, training and developing them, improving intergenerational ties, understanding each nation, and respecting each other.

Some of these include the establishment of a European Video Game Data Center to provide unified information and recommendations to decision-makers, the archiving of multi-culturally significant games, the European Video Games label to support game developers and consumers in EU countries. including creation.

E-sports is not a sport...

However, for many years, members of the European Union Parliament answered the question of whether e-sports is a sport or not.

Members of the Parliament of the European Union believe that "game developers owning electronic sports on their own, developing them for commercial interests, turning them into digital products, and making them more profitable for IP owners, do not meet the definition of SPORT." Although the content is contradictory, the European Union in its resolution called for "regulating the employment of professional players by law, improving the flexible system, facilitating the process of granting new types of visas to experienced players, and further cooperation on doping and match-fixing issues.

While the EU resolution may not be in our favor in some respects, it does show that governing bodies and decision-makers recognize the economic, social, and cultural value of the video game industry. Recently, Saudi Arabia announced that it will become an e-sports center and is investing $38 billion,

Canada's budget allocation for eSports is a big step forward for the industry.

The European Parliament will vote on the CULT resolution on November 9-10.

For your interest, lawyer, and e-sports legal consultant who worked in the project team Nepomuk Nothelfer on your Linkedin page, if you write about it regularly:

Since last year, the EU has started the process of solving the problem of video games and esports, conducted a study, published a draft report in April this year, and discussed it in parliament. Anyway, after 10 months, the EU issued a report and unanimously approved to discussion this issue. In draft reports and resolutions

  • Defining eSports: players + video games + competition

  • Develop a long-term video game strategy (including esports) for Europe.

  • Develop rules for promoting European values in sports competitions

  • Although the digital nature of eSports differs from traditional sports (complementing, learning, and promoting similar positive values and skills)

  • Issue coherent and comprehensive guidelines on the status of professional e-sports players based on culture and sports visas in Schengen countries and issue visas for other personnel.

  • It calls for the development of interdisciplinary research in sports and the creation of a European Video Games Observatory.

  • Esports can also be incorporated into education and contribute to the acquisition of digital skills and competencies (it is argued that esports can be a "valuable teaching tool").

  • In Europe, there is a need to develop leading educational programs, especially in public institutions and universities

  • Cities have made suggestions that support sports and play an essential role in access to video games.

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