On November 9th, 2022, a debate took place in the European Parliament based on a report on Esports and video games. All speakers attested the report a universally positive rating. Today, the resolution was passed by the European Parliament by a huge margin, with 560 voting in favor, 34 voting against and 16 abstentions. This marks a historic milestone at the end of a 12-month process, but it’s only the beginning of the real work. In the following months, it is now up to the European legislator to follow the words of the Parliament with actions in order to support a healthy and successful development of Esports in Europe.
EU legislators will now decide what and how to implement the Parliament’s resolution, which will then form the EU’s strategy on Esports and video gaming going forward. While free to decide how it’s implemented, legislators tend to follow the proposals put forward by Parliament.
The successful passage of the resolution is a major win for the European Esports and video gaming industries, both in terms of legitimacy, and financially. Companies will likely have access to EU funding and support once a strategy is devised. The EU has previously provided only limited support for domestic video game production. Some funding was available through the Creative Europe and Horizon Europe programs, but the resolution itself criticized these existing funding efforts as insufficient.
The text of the resolution affirmed the EU’s position that Esports and sports are different sectors, primarily due to the fact that Esports titles are owned by private entities with intellectual property rights. However, it recognizes the commercial value and potential for growth and innovation in the Esports and gaming industries. The text asks the Commission to develop a charter to promote European values in Esports competitions, consider the creation of a Schengen-wide Esports visa, and touts the benefits of Esports for education and wellbeing.