Press release: EGDF urges the EU and its member states to take their support for Ukraine to the next level and get ready for a new cold war

May 26th, 2022 – EGDF urges the EU and its member states to take their support for Ukraine to the next level and get ready for a new cold war

The ongoing war is going to be long and EGDF urges everyone to  be careful not to forget it or get too used to it.  In recent weeks a number of Ukrainian game developers have died while defending their country against Putin’s regime. The best way to honour their bravery to fight for freedom is to continue our support for Ukraine. 

EGDF strongly condemns the Putin regime’s ongoing military offence against Ukraine. EGDF calls everyone to continue their support for Ukraine, its people and the Ukrainian game developer community.

Furthermore, during the first cold war radio and TV were some of the few cultural mediums that were able to penetrate the Iron Curtain. Now during the second cold war, memes, viral videos and games are going to play a similarly crucial role in reaching and bringing hope to the people struggling under Putin’s increasingly authoritarian regime.  

EGDF ask the EU and its member states:

1. Continue their support for Ukraine:  EGDF asks the EU and its member states to continue and increase their support for Ukraine to continue their fight against Putin’s forces. In addition, the EU and its member states should:

  • Continue visa-free travel policy: EGDF welcomes the EU decision to give residence and work permits for two years to Ukrainian war refugees and asks the EU to continue the visa-free travel policy with Ukraine. 
  • Support efforts to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure: The EU should support Ukraine in rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed by Putin’s forces. 
  • Fund Ukrainian game developer studios: The EU should introduce equity funding instruments targeted at Ukrainian game developer studios, and SMEs in general, to relaunch their activities.  
  • Opening EU borders for remote work from people located in Ukraine: The EU should create a clear policy framework that allows cross-border remote work from Ukraine to the EU.
  • Support game education in Ukraine: The EU should support the creation of cross-border education platforms targeting emerging industries like the games industry.  These platforms should encourage  collaboration in game development education through remote learning opportunities,
  • Support local professional communities in Ukraine:  The EU support local civil society and industry groups inside Ukraine. Only by supporting grass-root communities like the indie game developer communities, local games industry cluster organisations and their cooperation with their European counterparts, the European Union is able to help Ukraine take a new, sustainable path toward freedom.
  • Encourage cooperation between Ukrainian and European game developer studios:. The EU and its member states need to develop instruments encouraging European game developer studios to join Ukrainian match-making events and, vice versa, support Ukrainian game developers in accessing European industry events. Similarly, the EU should secure that that work done by Ukrainian game developer studios is considered eligible for the national tax credits in the EU in a similar manner to the work done by game developers located in other EU countries. Furthermore, the EU and member states should introduce target funding for co-development projects between Ukrainian game developers and game developers located in the EU. 

2. Not to close their borders to people escaping Putin’s regime: EU member states should not set travel restrictions for ordinary Russians or Belarussians willing to escape Putin’s regime to the EU. 

3. To get ready for the next cold war

  • Protect European infrastructure:  The EU and its member states should protect the electricity infrastructure and telecommunication infrastructure connecting Europe to other continents under all circumstances.
  • Invest in cybersecurity: The EU and its member states should take extra cybersecurity measures to make European financial and public services more resilient to cyber-attacks. 
  • Fight Putin’s trolls: The EU and its member states should fight disinformation and hate spread by Putin’s troll factories.
  • Build remote work friendly digital single market area: The EU and its member states should build a remote work friendly regulatory framework so that companies are able to decentralise their activities through hybrid and remote work. 

4. Invest in the future

  • Invest in games parading European artistic freedom: Games are the main cultural medium and technique of the 21st century. The EU and its member states need to promote European artistic freedom globally. The EU and its member states need a new “Radio free Europe” for indie games parading European artistic diversity.  
  • Invest in risk capital in member states suffering from new geopolitical risks: The EU should use MEDIAinvest instrument to ensure that new geopolitical risks do not hinder access of European game developer studios to risk capital. 
  • Invest in accessing alternative markets: The EU member states should use their new funding instruments built for overcoming sanctions against Putin’s regime on helping game developer studios and publishers to find new markets to replace sales from Russian markets. The EU should target Creative Europe funding for the same purpose. 
  • Invest in integrating neighbouring countries into European civil society : The EU and its member states should support civil society (E.g. trade associations) in the EU neighbouring countries (e.g. Turkey,  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Moldova) to secure that they stay on the European side of the emerging Iron Curtain. 


EGDF board

Hendrik Lesser – President

Andreea Medvedovici-Per – Vice-President

Koopee Hiltunen –  Board Member

David Rabineau – Board Member 


For more information, please contact 

Jari-Pekka Kaleva
Managing Director, EGDF

+358 40 716 3640


About EGDF

The European Games Developer Federation e.f. (EGDF) unites national trade associations representing game developer studios based in 19 European countries:  Austria (PGDA), Belgium (FLEGA), Czechia (GDACZ), Denmark (Producentforeningen), Finland (Suomen pelinkehittäjät), France (SNJV), Germany (GAME), Italy (IIDEA), Lithuania (LZKA), Netherlands (DGA), Norway (Produsentforeningen), Poland (PGA), Romania (RGDA), Serbia (SGA), Spain (DEV), Sweden (Spelplan-ASGD), Slovakia (SGDA), Turkey (TOGED) and the United Kingdom (TIGA). Through its members, EGDF represents more than 2 500 game developer studios, most of them SMEs, employing more than 35 000 people. 

The games industry represents one of Europe’s most compelling economic success stories, relying on a strong IP framework, and is a rapidly growing segment of the creative industries. The European digital single market area is the third-largest market for video games globally. In 2019, Europe’s video games market was worth €21bn, and the industry has registered a growth rate of 55% over the past five years in key European markets. All in all, there are around 5000 game developer studios and publishers in Europe, employing closer to 80 000 people.