Looks like we made it! Congratulations on surviving a peculiar and wretched year. Before officially booting 2020 out of the window, we’d like to thank our community for getting through this challenging period together. If you like what we do and want to (keep) enjoy(ing) the many advantages and discounts we offer our FLEGA family members, we’d love to welcome you (back) next year.
We know you’re really here for the puns and wonderful ballad recommendations, but let’s give you a couple of other reasons to keep supporting what we do for our local games industry. Here are some of the important things we helped accomplish in this crazy year:
- One of our most important missions this year was helping our studios navigate the plethora of COVID-19 pitfalls. Not only did we help out our entire community by providing updated access to the latest support measures. We also updated our event calendar to oblivion in order to continually point out the most interesting online events, webinars, deadlines and calls. This took a lot of effort but we wanted to ensure our local industry always had options to wither the pandemic storm. We also received a € 100.000 VAF support fund for the videogames sector. Thank you Cabinet of Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle!
- Together with our Flemish partners VAF, FIT and FlandersDC, we actively participated in setting up coronaproof events such as EGBG and devcom.
- Our members were also able to get discounts on different online events such as GameLab Barcelona Live, Nordic Game, 1UP Conference, Indie Game Business, Meet2Match, Games for Society and much more! Our international colleagues like us a lot, so we expect to keep this up in 2021.
- We continue to lobby on a national (together with WALGA and screenbrussels) and international (as part of EGDF) level to get more government support for our sector and to raise our voice in different subject matters such as Copyright Directives that can have a massive impact on our industry. More on that in 2021.
- Quick update on tax shelter for videogames. Last year we said 2020 could be the year for this long overdue incentive, but corona decided otherwise. However, we keep working behind the scenes and things are looking up. The legislative changes Europe asked for are taking form. After that, federal and regional governments need to sign a cooperation agreement and start making preparations, such as setting up a desk to submit applications. Studios who are anxiously awaiting this tax incentive can hit us up to get access to a draft Excel-tool that lets you make some pre-calculations. A big thank you to all partners who are currently helping out with this – you know who you are!
- Together with our Walloon and Brussels friends we continue our one voice movement, in which we speak up as one market and set up joint events and activities. In 2021 we will add publishers and platform holders active in Belgium to this one voice which means we will represent the entire Belgian sector together. Talks with eSports federations will be held later.
- The unified BelgianGames GDC booth fell through this year, but before corona hit (yes, there was once a time before COVID), we set up a very nice Belgian Game Awards show. The BGA’s will be back next year, most likely in virtual form.
- Games are more than mere entertainment. This year, we contributed to the action plan of the Flemish Department of Education and Training to better integrate videogames in our classrooms which led to the Game.Learn.Grow toolbox.
- Now more than ever, videogames need to be more inclusive and diverse. We do our best to highlight diversity and participated in Games for Society, but we know there’s more that can be done. Stay tuned!
- In a year where a lot of people and kids have discovered the joy of videogames, we doubled down on our joint BelgianGames consumer website speelhetslim.be (link in Dutch) to promote safe and responsible videogames. The website got a massive content overhaul and the platform now has its own Twitter and Facebook channels.
- They’re still no match for our tweetstorms to our almost 2000 followers though. This year also saw the birth of our monthly recap newsletter, bringing the best of our blog stories directly to your inbox (not this month though as we take a short break). Note from management: thanks Christophe for writing our blogs with so much flair and humor!
We take great pride in what we do and get tremendous satisfaction out of seeing our local games 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. In short: we’ll be there for you.
This was our final post of the year. We’re off to enjoy some socially distanced holidays and hope you do the same. The next post will go up on 6th January and we’d love you to be around to read it.
Happy holidays everyone and – God, we hope we can stop saying this next year – stay safe!