COMMONS

Committee takes evidence from games-maker King and industry figures

26 June 2019

The DCMS Committee will take evidence from the games company King, the makers of the Candy Crush Saga in a public session on Wednesday 26th June

Witnesses

Wednesday 26 June, Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 2.30pm

  • Alex Dale, Senior Vice President, Head of Portfolio and New Games, King
  • Adam Mitton, VP for Legal, King  

At 4pm (approx.):

  • Chester King, Chief Executive, British Esports Association
  • Ian Rice, Director General, Video Standards Council
  • Dr Jo Twist OBE, Chief Executive, Ukie
  • Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive, TIGA 

About the session

King is a leading developer of mobile free-to-play games, with the Candy Crush Saga generating huge amounts of revenue through microtransactions. Topics for this session will include how design mechanics borrowed from the gambling industry are aimed at engaging players in longer or more frequent periods of play or spending.

In a second panel the Committee will ask representatives from games industry bodies for their views on the direction of the industry. In May 2019, the World Health Organisation officially adopted the term ’gaming disorder’; however, industry representatives giving evidence to the inquiry have consistently argued against categorising this as ‘addiction’.

For example, Matthew Weissinger from Epic Games, the company that makes Fortnite, told the Committee last week that “We do not think our game is addictive […] I think the use of “addiction” unfortunately masks the passion that our players have and the joy that they get from playing our game.”

Following the WHO’s decision, Ukie’s Dr Jo Twist OBE (giving evidence) wrote an article stating that the industry must champion the positive role it plays in addressing mental health concerns; however, she also acknowledged that: “It is therefore right for the industry to take a step back, watch carefully how the use of the term evolves within the scientific community, and adapt its response as the evidence base is established.”

Further information

Image: Unsplash.

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