The most important branch of cultural industries worldwide is the computer game industry. The production of computer games brought France in 2012 a turnover of 3 billion euros. By comparison, cinema had a turnover of only 1.3 billion euros in the same year. Internationally, France is the country that produces the most computer games today, after the US.
A market with more and more consumers
Since the 1990s, fans of computer games around the world have multiplied. There are more than a billion players today. In order to deliver new games to these discerning consumers, numerous companies have emerged in France, as well as many media agencies and competition clusters. On the territory, 300 companies were registered, employing more than 5,000 people. The computer games are very diverse: some companies bring out traditional games, others focus on mobile games. These latter products have been in high demand since the 2000s. These are computer games that you can play without a game console on a computer, tablet PC or smartphone.
A talent factory
In order to develop the high-quality games, the companies invest more than 500 million euros of their budget annually. Many new companies are founded in this dynamic sector: 32% of companies were created less than two years ago. JulienVilledieu, representative of the National Computer Games Union, explains the reasons for the exponential growth in this area: “France has been known around the world for its creativity since the 1980s – France is a talent pool.” Apart from this good international reputation France is also offered by the quality of continuing education offered to engineers and artists in the field of game graphics. In addition, there are numerous companies among the world market leaders. For example, Activision-Blizzard, a subsidiary of Vivendi and Ubisoft, is one of the world’s five largest publishers of computer games. This computer game giant has released the famous action game Call of Duty, the last part of the series “Black Ops” was in early 2013 in France and the United States at No. 1 on the sales list.
Look at the successes
“The computer game” made in France “claims to be sold abroad as well; 80% of the games produced in France are destined for export, “explains JulienVilledieu. This goal was also pursued by the companies that produced Just Dance and Rayman Origins. These games were sold millions of times in a few months. Dishonored, produced by Arkane Studios in Lyon, broke sales records when it appeared in October 2012. The critically acclaimed game sold more than 1.5 million copies in two months! Arkane Studios manager Romuald Capron attributes this success to the unique nature of the game: “It was so received with enthusiasm by the players as it was a novelty in a market flooded with sequels. Above all, the players like the freedom they have in the game experience.
Mobile Games – an emerging sector
Just like this 100% game that can be downloaded on the internet, the future of computer games “made in France” is playing out in the field of mobile games. The fans play more and more in social networks, from a smartphone or tablet PC. Therefore, 93% of companies are currently working on these games. Against the background of this growth and this specialization of the market, the Webgame Conference will take place in Paris in June. For more than three years, more than 800 mobile games specialists have been meeting every year at this European conference.