Spotlight on gaming: Key takeaways from Gamescom and Devcom

September 01, 2023

This content originally appeared on NRF Connections.

The gaming industry has always been an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) and we are already seeing how it enhances virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) gaming experiences. Virtual characters, interactions between characters and players, narrative developments, and even scenic backgrounds depend on AI to create and maintain realism in games. The EU already has plans to regulate AI systems and other countries are exploring the future of AU regulation, so the industry will need to understand what they need to do to comply with any changes.

Much of the legal and regulatory discussions at the conferences regarding AI centred on copyright infringement and protection. While this is clearly a big piece of the picture for game developers, the industry needs to have a broader discussion, including the potential impact of the new EU digital regulations (including the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Services Act, the Data Act and the upcoming AI Act) and increasing interest of antitrust authorities in data, algorithms and AI. I was surprised there was little debate about these new EU regulations, and how they may benefit mobile app developers and have a significant impact on key aspects of mobile gaming. These new regulations are intended to ensure contestability of digital markets (by regulating gatekeepers, very large online platforms etc), and to ensure a safe, transparent and accountable online environment whilst fostering inclusion and competitiveness.

For mobile gaming apps this means better access to app stores, FRAND conditions of access, access to data to be able to measure the impact and return on investment in advertising, and restrictions on gatekeeper use of data generated by gamers using developers’ apps (among other things). Find out more about some of the key provisions of the DMA and DSA in our latest video series "State of play".