Paris Games Week 2023: "The Île-de-France is boosting the French video game industry"estimates the organizer – France 3 Régions

While Île-de-France is one of the most attractive regions in Europe for foreign investors, our region is also the one that hosts the largest concentration of video game publishers in the French territory, with more than 40% of video game players.

In 2018, the Île-de-France region established one of the first regional aid funds for video game developers, after the Hauts-de-France region. Today it is a heavyweight in the French industry with almost 43.4% of players in the video games sector, that is, developers, technology suppliers and service providers, publishers and distributors, according to the latest barometer from the National Video Game Union (SNJV). .

However, for almost thirteen years, the Île-de-France has hosted Paris Games Week, the largest French video game fair at the initiative of the Union of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL). France 3 Paris Île-de-France asked James Rebours, its president and organizer of Paris Games Week, three questions.

→ Read: Paris Games Week 2023: program, new features… the French video game show is thinking big plans for its return

After two pandemic-related cancellations and a reduced edition in a single hall, Paris Games Week is returning in format this year "Next level" in three halls at the Porte de Versailles.

After two pandemic-related cancellations and a reduced edition in a single hall, Paris Games Week returns this year in a “Next Level” format in three halls at the Porte de Versailles. • © EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

James Rebours: The Île-de-France hosts more than 300 companies on its territory. They employ 4,000 people, often in highly skilled positions with very specific technical or creative profiles. This corresponds to a turnover of more than one and a half billion in the Île-de-France alone. We see a real dynamic that affects the entire Ile-de-France region. It is the leading region in France in this sector and boosts the entire French video game industry.

“Île-de-France is the leading region in France in this sector and stimulates the entire French video game industry.”

James Rebours

Organizer of the PGW and President of SELL

As part of Paris Games Week, we created spaces linked to training and schools in Paris and the region that offer training in video games. More than eleven schools will be present. If you look at young people who are passionate about video games, it is more than 40% [des 18-24 ans selon une étude SELL / Médiamétrie réalisée en 2022, ndlr] are interested in making this their future career.

What we are trying to do at the SELL level and with the regions is to strengthen this training ecosystem, whether public or private schools. There is a real need for the training of new talents, which we find in the field of technological innovation or in the field of artistic creation.

→ The video game training network brings together around twenty schools, including the Bellecour School in Lyon (private), the CEPE-IAE at the University of Poitiers (public), the National Game School and Interactive Digital Media in Angoulême (public) or the ISART Digital School in Paris (private), editor’s note.

“The idea is to apply [à l’Olympic Esports Week] and this is of interest to all political actors in the Ile-de-France region.”

James Rebours

Organizer of the PGW and President of SELL

One of the biggest pillars of this edition of Paris Games Week is e-sports, which is part of a dimension linked to sports. As the Olympic phase approaches, France is ensuring that it can also host the Olympic Esports Week [une semaine de compétitions d’esport organisée par la Comité international olympique Nous [la SELL] I hope to take part in this as a continuation of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. The idea is to apply and compete. This is of interest to all political actors in the Ile-de-France region.

Spectators watch as participants take part in a cycling race during the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore, June 23, 2023.

Spectators watch as participants take part in a cycling event during the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore, June 23, 2023. • © ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP

James Rebours: In terms of usage, video games are the number one leisure activity for the French. Today, almost 7 out of 10 French people play video games, whether young people or seniors. The important point is that when it comes to diversity, 49% of players in France are female players.

We had a structural trend towards increasing use of video games among the French and European populations, which accelerated with the pandemic. The children then found themselves with their parents and were almost forced to share passionate moments around the use of video games. This has been a big accelerator during the pandemic.

→ In 2022, the average age of the French gamer is 39 years old, according to the latest video game report from the Union of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL), editor’s note.

Monique Carreau (70 years old) and Marcel Bonomo (95 years old), bowling champions on Wii Sports.

Monique Carreau (70 years old) and Marcel Bonomo (95 years old), bowling champions on Wii Sports. • © DAVID BRUNET / MAXPPP

James Rebours: And now we also have an approach where certain young children are placed with their grandparents for a weekend. They’ve almost introduced them to video games to make it a real intergenerational social pastime.

→ Read: E-sports. The Breton seniors secure their place for Paris Games Week

“The SilverGeek Association is the absolute example of how video games have become cross-generational.”

James Rebours

Organizer of the PGW and President of SELL

James Rebours: As part of SELL – Leisure Software Publishers Union, we want to support associations like SilverGeek, which is the absolute example of how video games have become cross-generational. This is not intended for use by young children.

James Rebours: In France the industry is worth 5.5 billion euros. It is the leading cultural industry ahead of cinema, music and even books. This is an important point taken into account by institutions and many players in the French market.

“More than a third of our visitors come from outside Île-de-France. The Ile-de-France region has a real attraction effect.”

James Rebours

Organizer of the PGW and President of SELL

During Paris Games Week 2022, we had the opportunity to welcome Minister of Culture Rima Abdul-Malak. She is now convinced of the growth of video games. The State Secretary for Digital Affairs, Jean-Noël Barrot, also came. This year this will be reiterated, particularly to the Minister of Sports [et des Jeux olympiques et paralympiques, ndlr] Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who will also be present.

Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak and Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-Noël Barrot attend the Paris Games Week on November 3, 2022 in Paris.

Culture Minister Rima Abdul-Malak and Minister Delegate for Digital Jean-Noël Barrot attend the Paris Games Week on November 3, 2022 in Paris. • © BRUNO LEVESQUE / MAXPPP

Furthermore, even though we have the name “Paris” Games Week, it remains a very national event, with more than a third of our visitors coming from outside Île-de-France. This event has a real attraction for the Ile-de-France region.