As reported in Polygon, representations for Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive argued that the White House wasn’t doing what was best for the U.S. game industry during a panel discussion at the 2017 Games for Change Festival held on 1 August 2017.
On the topic of immigration, a central concern for President Trump, the panelists discussed the review of the H-1B visa program, which issues special work visas for workers in fields like science and technology, including video game development. It was reported that the review signalled an intent to overhaul the program to protect American workers, which could resist the number of visas issued.
“There is a constant shortage of qualified, high-skilled labor within our industry,” said Craig Hagen, global head of government affairs at Electronic Arts. He also added that companies such as his were increasingly in need for “higher-end skills” in areas such as AI and data analysis.
“Immigration continues to be a significant issue for companies like ours and the industry at large,” said Alan Lewis, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Take-Two. He also revealed that immigrants were less interested in coming to the U.S. to work because of the current political climate, and that companies were having more trouble keeping immigrants in the country.