From March 18 to March 22, 2019 Game Connection America and Game Developers Conference welcomed the first delegation of French developers, publishers, retailers and service providers during GDC, the world's largest professional game industry event.
This delegation, organized by Business France, Connection Events and the Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo, gathered 23 French companies and fostered unity within the French gaming community. Under the label French Tech, they embodied the French savoir-faire and expertise.
France was under the spotlight during GDC with the annoucement of the partnership between Google and Ubisoft on Stadia - Google's cloud gaming plateform. This partnership and Stadia's trailblazing technology testify to the role French companies have to play in this highly competitive market.
And indeed, the French video game industry has been flourishing exponentially. In 2018 video games generated a 4.9 billion turnover in France. 1,200 games are currently being produced, a figure which represents a 43% increase for 2019. 2/3 of them will be new intellectual properties. Regarding the workforce, 59% of the companies will be recruiting in 2019.
Many cultural initiatives are taking place in and outside of France to highlight the growth and development of the industry. For instance, the Institut Français' exhibition "S'il vous Play!" displayed in Paris as well as in the network of French multimedia libraries, focused on independent French productions. The Institut Français will also launch a new website on July 1, 2019 – culturegamer.fr – which will promote French independent games. In the USA, the program French Immersion, supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in collaboration with Unifrance, the CNC, the Institut Francais and Air France, helps with the diffusion of French games in the largest American festivals.
Among the ten countries deemed most attractive for video games, France is in second position with 46% of the votes and the USA are leading with 51% of the votes. Financial initiatives such as the game tax credit, the CNC funding, the European and regional subventions are essential tools to maintain this attractivity. Especially so, when more and more companies resort to public aids: 56% of studios used them in 2016 and 62% in 2018.
Congratulations therefore to everyone involved in bringing this delegation to life and see you at GDC 2020!
Figures come from France's Annual Video Game Industry Barometer, Edition 2018 by the SNJV and L'essentiel du jeu video, Février 2018 by the SELL.