The video game industry is an important part of the French economy and culture and is gradually entering the daily life of French society. According to French public opinion survey institution TNS-Sofres’ research, video games have become a popular way of entertainment among Europe’s consumers, 81% of parents said that they are willing to play video games with their kids, and statistics show that more than half of French families play video games, which means there are at least 2 people playing video games in each family.
However, the development of the French localization of video market has slowed down a little since 2009; let’s take a look at the following statistics:
French Video Game Market:
2000: 1.3 Billion Euros
2005: 1.8 Billion Euros
2007: 2.96 Billion Euros
2008: 3 Billion Euros (the year of the global financial crisis)
2009: about 2.7 Billion Euros
I believe the slow down is the rational adjustment after an incredible boom of this market since 2000. Despite the little slowdown over the past two years, the future of the French video games industry is still looking very good, and France still remains the world’s fourth-largest video game market.
To see why the French video games market still has a very good future, let’s first of all take a look at French game developer Ubisoft and their upcoming projects for 2011:
Dance Juniors Wii April 2nd
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood PC 1Q
Child of Eden Xbox360, PS3 1Q
Might & Magic 6 Heroes PC (to be confirmed)
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Xbox360/Kinect, PS3 (to be confirmed)
Splinter Cell 5: Conviction Mac
Driver: San Francisco
PC, Xbox360, PS3, Wii FY 11/12(to be confirmed)
Ghost Recon 4: Future Soldier
Xbox360, PS3 FY 11/12 (to be confirmed)
Ubisoft’s 2011 French projects show us their strong confidence in the French video game market in 2011.
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Second: Supporting Policies from the Government
As mentioned before: the video games industry is an important part of the French economy. The French Government has been support this industry since 2002, a set of supporting policies has been laid out and will be made functional very soon.
In November 2002, a government officer visited a video game studio and asked for a set of video game industry developing proposals and gave his feedback in spring 2003.
The set of video game policies was first laid out from April 2003 to May 2005.
In April 2003, a school dedicated to the education of game development executives and project managers was set up to fuel the development of the video game industry.
In 2007, all major presidential candidates pledged to support the video game industry.
In December 2007, the French Government submitted an application to the European Commission, asking for a 4 years’ tax incentive. This application was formally approved in June 2008. This tax incentive policy availed French local video game developers to cut cost down by 20% during game development.
With the accelerated internationalization of the games industry, the challenges for the French localisation games industry are getting tougher: French companies have to deal with Japan’s Sony Corporation and powerful US competitor Microsoft. The emerging Canadian, British and South Korean game companies are also gradually eroding the international market shares once held by French game companies.
Opportunity for Foreign game companies
As the French video game market remains the world’s 4th largest, there is a huge potential market for foreign game companies.
How to set foot in the French market and how to gain a good market share?
Do you want to expand your user base?
Game localization to meet the target market is an excellent approach.
Take a look at how we helped our client by localizing their project for the French language. Click here to read the complete case study