It’s hard to believe this is our final blog post of 2021 already. Somehow it feels like this year actually didn’t take place, just moments lost in time between vaccines, COVID-testing and consultation committees. However, looking back at everything that’s happened for this retrospective, it’s been a pretty good year for FLEGA and our sector after all.
While 2021 presented itself as the year of freedom, there wasn’t enough rope yet to make up for the unified BelgianGames GDC booth that fell through in 2020. Physical events slowly started to make a comeback after the summer (it felt great meeting everyone again at Unwrap!), but we took no risk and together with our partners set up a unique virtual Belgian Game Awards show. While this was a fun experiment, here’s hoping we get to do a live one when the BGA’s return in 2022.
A lot of big things happened for FLEGA near the end of the year. Signing a nice partnership with FIT was an important step in our history. It gives us the means to do even more and better things in the future. We also expanded our team with some awesome girl power starting in January.
So what are we doing for you in 2022?
Preparations for a new videogame action plan are in full swing. There’s no details yet, but we’re looking at a plan 2.0 that builds on the foundations of what we have now and it will evolve along with our ecosystem. We expect news on this from Minister of Media Dalle in March.
We continue to lobby on a national level (together with WALGA, gamesbrussels and VGFB) as well as an international level (together with EGDF and ISFE) to get more recognition and support for our sector and to raise our voice in different subject matters. For next year in particular, we’re consulting with our legal counsel on several important legal developments, such as the transposition of the European Copyright Directive and Digital Content Directive into national laws. We also closely monitor the proposed changes to the fiscal copyright remuneration system. These legal dossiers could have a massive impact on our sector.
It’s been a quiet year for tax shelter, but we keep pushing. So where are we at? We’re waiting for a new assembly of the Federal Commission of Finance to finally vote on the legal amendments required by Europe. Simultaneously, regional and federal governments are finalising the required cooperation agreement. When all this has been done, the law can come into effect, but (there’s always another but) there’s still some practical stuff to be figured out: who’ll take care of the submissions at the Department of Media, an info session needs to be set up to explain you how the system exactly works etc. We know this is taking long, but please, bear with us.
There’s better news from our friends at VAF|GAME. Our continued request for more structural VAF|GAME financing has paid off. In 2022, their budget will rise to €2,9 million (one year only as a result of European COVID relaunch measures) and from 2023 onwards, the budget will be structurally augmented from €1,7 million to €2,7 million. That’s great news and we urge all our Flemish and Brussels studios to submit their most ambitious projects to date. The next submission deadline is 25th of January. There will also be four calls this year instead of the regular three, with an extra call in March (more information to follow).
Finally, there are some wild plans on our 2022 sector roadmap that we can’t share with you just yet. Think of it as a holiday present that you just can’t open yet!
We’re fast approaching the magical number of 1000 blog posts, which we’ll reach somewhere next year. After all this time, we still take great pride in what we do and get tremendous satisfaction out of seeing our local game sector flourish. Even though we’re not directly involved with game creation, every success story, no matter how small or big, makes us feel like we were able to help out in some way. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.
While it wasn’t exactly the carefree year we all hoped to be and there’s cause for concern with omikron looming on the horizon, we hope 2022 isn’t a copy of the 2 previous years. We have a BelgianGames booth at GDC22 to get to, virus! In any case, we hope you all spend some quality and *deep sigh* safe holiday time with the people you love.
We’ll be sure to do the same and we’ll see you back on January 7th.