A new EU proposal could force video games developers to provide a 2-year guarantee on their games. Commissioners Viviane Reding and Meglena Kuneva want to extend the reach of the EU Sales and Guarantees Directive.

However, games publishers have reacted angrily against the proposals, with Dr Richard Wilson, head of the video games developers' association Tiga, saying: "If there is an onus on developers to have software that is 'near perfect' then it could stifle new ideas as people could end up just playing it safe".

A warranty would force retailers to give a refund if a game has a show-stopping bug that prevents the user completing it. Consumers would have a right to get a product "that works with fair commercial conditions".

The Business Software Alliance points out that: "Digital content is not a tangible good and should not be subject to the same liability rules as toasters. It is contractually licensed to consumers and not sold".

EU commissioners describe that licensing system as "unsatisfactory", as it exempts the developers from "a minimum 2-year guarantee on tangible movable consumer goods" that's currently guaranteed by European law.