2017 record year in France amidst social tensions

2017 record year in France amidst social tensions

                            
                    If the figures for 2017 are very good for the video game industry in France according to the latest indicators provided by the Union of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL), recent surveys have revealed questionable working conditions in some studios. The general delegate of the union takes stock.
                
            
            The Union of software publishers of recreation unveiled Monday, February 26th its report of the video game industry in France for 2017: "The Essentiel of the video game". The organization representing the big names in the sector can rub their hands. The figures for 2017 are good, very good even. And little novelty, they take more account of dematerialized sales. A mini-revolution within the union that has changed methodology and provider (exit GfK!). Emmanuel Martin, the general delegate of SELL, reports on Les Numériques on this exceptional year, and on hot news for the sector.

Emmanuel Martin, General Delegate of SELL. © SELL

Digital
Why change the calculation method this year?

Emmanuel Martin: We wanted to refine our vision of digital and mobile in the video game industry. For this we have addressed three organizations: GSD [Games Sales Data, un projet qui résulte d’une démarche européenne menée par l’ISFE ou Interactive Software Federation of Europe pour unifier la collecte des données de ventes, physiques et dématérialisées, NDLR]Gametrack [pour le marché digital et mobile, NDLR] and App Annie [pour les données mobiles]. All these panels are also fed by the data collected by the publishers. We are starting to have an exact vision of the digital market. Before, we were more in the estimation [jusqu’à l’année dernière, GfK était partenaire du SELL pour le recueil de données, NDLR]. And of course we keep the same level of precision on the physical market as before.

It is nevertheless still difficult for you to draw up a top of dematerialized sales …

Effectively. We can not for the simple reason that it is the publishers who provide the data. But they do not give all access to their numbers. As much on the physical, we have the outlets crates, as much on the digital, it is more complicated without their cooperation.

However you provide for the first time a mobile top …

Yes, thanks to App Annie, we are offering for the first time a Top 10 mobile games in value [sous forme de classement uniquement, sans donner le montant exact des ventes par titres en valeur et en volume, NDLR].

Top sales of mobile games in value. (Annie / Gametrack Source App)

The balance sheet that you draw for 2017 is good, with a turnover of 4.3 billion euros, an increase of 18% over one year. How do you explain this good health found?

2017 is a record year for the French video game industry. We ticked all the boxes, thanks to dynamic and very important console outputs [l’écosystème des consoles pèse 2,4 milliards d’euros : 784 millions d’euros pour le hardware, 1,345 milliards pour le software et 272 millions d’euros pour les accessoires, NDLR]. The console remains the heart of the ecosystem, even if the PC shows a significant increase [+6 %]. As for the mobile ecosystem, it is growing by 22% and now accounts for 18% of total revenue. Like Nintendo who released mobile games, all the big players end up coming.

    
        
    
    

        
                            Nintendo Switch
                    

        
                            
            
                            
                
            
            

    
                
            
            
                    
                        
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                            Microsoft Xbox One X
                    

        
                            
            
                            
                
            
            

    
                
            
            
                    
                        
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What are the prospects for 2018? Will virtual reality make its comeback?

Virtual reality is gaining momentum and materializing. The technology is now in focus. And then the development studios will better control the settings of the new consoles. E3 [le salon international du jeu vidéo de Los Angeles qui se tient en juin, NDLR] is going to have a lot of announcements in this direction. We are therefore expecting a great year. 2017 was the year of the consoles. The games will take over in 2018. When we reach peaks like in 2017, we know that the games and accessories will respond present the following year. We therefore expect a good increase in overall turnover. We will have more precision at the time of Idef [le salon dédié à la distribution fin juin, NDLR].

© SELL

There is a newcomer to France, Play by Pax, another video game show to be held at La Villette in Paris in April. Is this good news for SELL and its Paris Games Week?

This is very good news for us. Any new appointment is a good thing for the video game. With PGW, we seek to be as unifying as possible. The Play show seems to want to address a more targeted audience.

MP Denis Masséglia launched a study group on video games in the National Assembly. Will you participate?

We will participate of course. That's excellent news. Denis Masséglia, the president of this new group, has listed a number of issues on which we will be delighted to work [rendre l’industrie plus compétitive, augmenter la place de la femme, développer l’e-sport en France et travailler sur l’addiction au jeu vidéo, NDLR]. I meet him this week to discuss it.

Several surveys of poor working conditions in industry have caused a stir recently. A Union of Video Game Workers, STJV, has also been created. What is SELL's position on this social issue that is breaking through?

I think that anything that moves the dialogue forward is a good thing if it's done positively. Regarding surveys on social conditions, it is the studios to enforce labor law. We are a young industry, but we must respect working conditions.

In your brochure, the president of the union, Julie Chalmette finishes on the place of women in the video game industry by touting the mix. Again, there is a way to go, right?

It is indeed pretty cruel to see that we only have 14% of women in the studios when the players are almost equal [53 % sont des joueurs et 47 % sont des joueuses, NDLR]. We come to games made by men and for men. This gives "phallocentric" communities!

© SELL

What is important is the creation of the association Women in Games that will be able to change things [cette association professionnelle œuvre pour la mixité dans l’industrie du jeu vidéo en France ; sa cofondatrice n’est autre que Julie Chalmette, la présidente du SELL, NDLR]. The fight against sexism is an important theme for us. We are reflecting within SELL to ensure that we do not ignore these issues.

        

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