A new body calling itself the National Committee for Games Policy has announced its formation as the “video game industry’s first, and de facto, self regulatory organization.”
The NCGP was formed in light of the recent controversies relating to microtransactions. The organization aims to provide industry insight and expertise to government policy makers on matters relating to the regulation of the games industry. It describes itself as being apolitical, but it is working to “collate the information provided by the public and games professionals into a unified political position.” This will be done by leveraging “a coalition of high level industry experts and influencers.”
The NCGP is comprised of two divisions. The ITK (we don’t yet know what this stands for) is described as “a privately funded think tank” that deals with the NCGP’s political and policy making relations. The other division, the SRO (we don’t know what this stands for either), is described as a consumer watchdog with responsibilities including the protection of whistleblowers and the investigation of consumer complaints.
We know nothing of the NCGP beyond what has been stated in its press release and on its website. The latter is surprisingly unprofessional-looking for an organization with such lofty goals. The NCGP has said that its members may remain undisclosed and membership is by invitation only. Of the eight currently disclosed members, none are attached to a high level position in a developer or publisher of AAA games. Rather, they’re associated with a variety of free-to-play online and indie games.
Given how little we know about it, we can’t help but feel skeptical of the NCGP’s hazy long-term goals, but it has, at least, announced an immediate course of action—releasing quarterly reports of consumer complaints and investigations.
We’ve reached out to the NCGP for details on its intentions, including what it will investigate, how it will conduct investigations, and what help it will provide to whistleblowers.