Updated May 5
This post contains useful information, tips and support measures regarding the coronacrisis, the effects on the #BelgianGamesIndustry and on the games industry events and deadlines calendar. We’ll update this post regularly to reflect the most recent and relevant information.
Our European parent association, EGDF, wants to help studios around Europe with the Devs4Devs match making project (initiated by EGDF and Games Bavaria Munich with the logistical support of RCP). Devs4Devs matches studios that have extra hands to spare with studios looking for support in these trying times.
If you have extra hands to spare, fill in your contact details and description of services. Afterwards check out all studios looking for support.
If you’re looking for support yourself, fill in your contact details and job description. Afterwards check out all studios offering their services to others.
In light of the ongoing crisis VAF/GAME made changes to their support directives and guidelines (link in Dutch), providing our local studios more time and flexibility until the end of this year.
They are also polling financial and economic impact on our sector. Please do contact them if you encounter difficulties and could use support from them.
General support measures
VLAIO lists all existing support measures that are in effect (links in Dutch) with additional information on how to proceed.
Here are some direct links to a few support measures that can be of help to your business.
- There is a compensation of €3.000 for any entrepreneur or company losing at least 60% of income these past few weeks due to the coronacrisis.
- If you’re self-employed and you decide to suspend your activities (link in Dutch) for at least 30 days, you can get up to € 1624 per month (with a max. of 12 months). If there’s no way you can make use of your employees, there’s also special ruling concerning temporary unemployment (link in Dutch).
- You’re allowed to request a delay or remission of payment for social contributions (link in Dutch) for yourself, a co-working partner, or your employees (link in Dutch).
- Business affected by the coronacrisis can request special payment plans for their taxes (link in Dutch). On top of that property tax (link in Dutch) won’t be collected before autumn.
- Some cities and municipalities (link in Dutch) are offering special subsidies and payment breaks to local businesses.
- The terms of certain allocated VLAIO subsidies and PMV loans will be altered.
These measures were announced in waves, on March 6 the government launched 10 measures, on March 20 a second package of measures was launched. On March 22, the Cabinet of Finance together with our national banks announced financial guarantees for a total amount of €50 billion. And more recently, the government decided that VAT repayments will be processed faster (all links in Dutch).
Support from other organizations
FlandersDC keeps track of creative ways to battle the virus (link in Dutch), including some local videogame initiatives we also reported on. FlandersDC also boasts an overview of all temporary measures, neatly summed up in Dutch.
Cultuurloket offers advice and support for the cultural sector (link in Dutch).
FIT published information on their approach (link in Dutch) and also compiled a dossier with best practices regarding international entrepreneurship (link in Dutch) during the coronacrisis.
PMV provides support measures (link in Dutch) to help cope companies with loan payments and to offer companies broader loan garantees.
Legal firm Sirius boasts an extensive corona dossier (link in Dutch) featuring useful legal information concerning impact of crisis.
Unity offers complimentary access to Unity Learn Premium for 3 months (March 19 through June 20). Get exclusive access to Unity experts, live interactive sessions, on-demand learning resources and more.
Sony PlayStation will soon provide more details (such as participation criteria) about their recently launched $10M indie developer fund.
Creative Europe hosts the Creatives Unites hub to connect and share Covid-related information and responses among cultural and creative sectors. The platform offers a common European space about cultural and creative sector initiatives responding to the corona crisis.
Events and deadlines
There’s a lot of game events and deadlines that have been axed, postponed or turned into digital only happenings. And new online events have popped up. Calendar Man continuously updates our event calendar. Check it out or better yet, subscribe to stay up to date.
- gamescom (GER) will be digital only. Same goes for devcom (GER).
- E3 2020 (US) has been cancelled.
- EGX Rezzed (UK) has been cancelled.
- Quo Vadis (GER) has been postponed and will now run next to EGX Berlin, October 29-30.
- A MAZE (GER) will be digital only, July 22-25.
- Most events are replacing their physical happenings with digital ones and there’s also completely new virtual events.
- Check out all event and deadline information in our regularly updated calendar.
Polling financial impact
Of course we wish our beautiful industry will be spared for the most part, but #BelgianGamesIndustry is impacted by this enormous health crisis. At a later time, we will be polling you about the exact financial impact of COVID-19 on your business. The more data we have, the better chance of getting even better support. In the meantime don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have specific questions.
Your mental health
Video games mental health charity, Safe In Our World, recently opened up a platform for videogame industry professionals providing information and advice on how to cope with the mental effects of the corona crisis. This dedicated corona hub offers advice on stress management, coping with isolation, relaxation and exercise techniques.
Work from home
One of the most important things you can do is follow the government guidelines (link in Dutch). Limit your human interactions, and work from home if possible. A lot of Belgian studios are working from home already.
This may get more complicated if you have small children that don’t go to school (we are currently writing this with a toddler humming in the background), but try to work out a schedule so you can still get some work done.
Looking for inspiration? Check out how our members LuGus Studios (Hasselt) and Happy Volcano (Leuven) apply #WFH principles.
Stay safe and help others
Our industry has always been known for its close-knit community. We’re always willing and able to help each other out and that’s a trait we will need more than ever in the coming weeks. So apart from all the economics, it’s perhaps even more important to look out for each other and care for one another. We can only beat this beast with our most fierce power: being human. Stay safe, everyone!