STATEMENT ON EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTE ON REPORT “CONSUMER PROTECTION IN ONLINE VIDEO GAMES – A EUROPEAN SINGLE MARKET APPROACH”
18 January 2023
ISFE and EGDF note the report’s recognition of the many benefits that video games provide to consumers, including on mental health, as well as the industry’s contribution to technological innovation and its importance to the EU’s cultural and creative sector. We are concerned by calls for stricter regulation of all in-game purchases which will impact the ability of all video game companies – small and large – to fund their creations for the benefit of Europe’s players and may keep many European games from being freely available to European players. European consumer protection laws are extensive and flexible to cover and sanction practices that are deemed misleading, unfair, or aggressive. As recognised by several studies, the problem lies with insufficient enforcement, which undermines the effectiveness of the legal framework. We trust that the upcoming European Commission review of these topics will be evidence-based and will carefully balance the right to access cultural products with a high level of European consumer protection.
ISFE and EGDF said: “Our industry is committed to a fair and transparent consumer experience when playing videogames. European players have more choice of amazing games than ever, thanks to the increased variety of business models the industry has developed. Regulators should guard the right to access these cultural products while keeping Europe’s high level of consumer protection.”
Europe’s video game industry is committed to minor and consumer protection and responsible play and welcomes the report’s recognition that most parents use control tools that allow them to limit screen time, limit or disable spending, manage online interaction and manage access to age-appropriate games. We are also pleased that the report acknowledges a high level of awareness of PEGI, the long-standing co-regulatory pan-European age-rating and content description system, which helps parents select appropriate games for their children.
We welcome further dialogue with policymakers and enforcement authorities throughout Europe on all issues concerning Europe’s video game players.
 The Behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment (Publications Office of the EU) notes as one of its conclusions that the effectiveness of the existing EU legal framework may be undermined by insufficient public and private enforcement.
Jari-Pekka Kaleva, tel: +358 40 716 3640
Managing Director, European Games Developer Federation (EGDF)
Senior Policy Analyst, Neogames Finland ry.
Contact for ISFE:
Heidi Lambert, tel: +44 7932 141291