The SGDA becomes part of the EGDF, the European Game Developers Federation, and is thus a new member of the strong network of all European game associations. The aim of the Swiss Game Developers Association is to ensure that Switzerland is integrated into the European game landscape in order to create the same conditions for Swiss and European game developers. In a difficult political climate between the EU and Switzerland, the SGDA deepens relations between Switzerland and Europe in the games industry. Such strong networking is essential for the future success of the industry.
The development of games is international. The difficult political climate between the EU and Switzerland is therefore hitting the Swiss game development studios all the harder. Solutions are needed now so that the games industry can continue to develop vigorously and bring Switzerland full benefits in the digital transformation.
Strenghten cooperation with Europe
The deadlock in EU politics hit Swiss game developers twice. Swiss game productions have been excluded from European game funding since 2014 and cannot apply for funds there to finance new projects. Therefore, Swiss game developers are not attractive partners for international co-productions. Before the ban, co-productions were the only way for game studios to gain access to one of the largest and most important funding formats in Europe. The lack of access is seen by the SGDA as one of the major growth inhibitors for the Swiss games industry. A further complication is that the federal government does not provide any substitution for the blocked funds. The SGDA is urgently demanding substitution measures from the federal government until access to EU funds is given again.
With the EGDF membership of the SGDA, the Swiss Association of Game Developers can now take its demands to Brussels on a European level and campaign for Swiss games as a cultural and economic factor on the international stage.
With the membership of the SGDA in the EGDF, the concrete demands of the SGDA are reinforced nationally and internationally:
- Ensuring rapid entry into the MEDIA program from «Creative Europe. Since 2014. Swiss game developers have been excluded from one of the most important funding bodies in Europe.
- “MEDIA” substitution measures for Swiss game developments until re-entry: Substitution measures are needed for Swiss games, just as has been the case for Swiss films since 2014. Like films, Swiss games tell stories, create worlds and convey values. Such substitution measures compensate for the lost funds and can counteract one of the most important obstacles to growth in Switzerland. Swiss film receives around 4.5 million annually through compensation measures from the Federal Office of Culture. The SGDA demands CHF 2.5 million annually as substitution measures for Swiss games.
Importance of the game development industry for Switzerland
We are already living in an age that is strongly influenced by digitisation. Everything indicates that this will intensify further. Games are at the center when it comes to the development and use of new digital technologies. Games as early adopters offer an ideal playground to deal with this development. The medium games thus contributes to the development of the country in the digital space. Resolute political action is needed to exploit the potential.
Games have a great social benefit and are suitable for dealing with complex topics. They enable the transfer of knowledge, are used for training purposes and successfully used in art and culture mediation. The medium of games also allows people with disabilities to participate in public, digital life.
Games are a central element of the entertainment landscape. Games are used to tell stories, create worlds and convey values. The art and culture form of games can look back on a recent but all the more impressive development. As a digital medium, games offer endless possibilities for a wide variety of forms of expression and distribution channels. This is what makes games attractive to gamers who come from all ages and social groups.
Swiss game creation is about to take the next major development step. It has evolved over the past decade from the original microstructures: today there is a dynamic ecosystem of established studios in Switzerland that create high-quality games. The next development step is now pending. In order for this to succeed, the government needs an overarching strategy, professionalization of the structures and their targeted strengthening and accelerated expansion within the framework of the required substitution measures.
“Membership in the European Games Developer Federation EGDF is a milestone for the Swiss Game Developers Association SGDA. The SGDA would like to assume its responsibility in international matters in this unique network and can henceforth contribute to finding solutions with its know-how in policy projects at European level.”Matthias Sala, President SGDA
“Games industry is one of the rare borderless industries. Securing the free movement of talent, capital, data and knowledge across the EU borders is one of the main EGDF priorities. We are pleased to strengthen our cooperation with SGDA to ensure that Switzerland returns to all games industry relevant EU cooperation programs and to tackle any emerging political barriers hindering the collaboration between Swiss and EU game developers.“Jari-Pekka Kaleva, Director EGDF
“Game development is international and Switzerland is an important player that needs to be quickly integrated into the European landscape. Until then, it must also be ensured that the missing funds are compensated by the Swiss Confederation with alternative measures.”Matthias Sala, President SGDA
EGDF, through its 20 trade associations, represents more than 2500 European game developers studios on a European level, helping to build up policies that support the growth of the European game developer studios and foster the development of the entire digital ecosystem in Europe. The European Games Developer Federation is committed to the stimulation and development of a stable, vibrant and creative European games development sector that is competitive globally and recognized culturally.