Video Game Market: from the leisure industry to augmented business

For several years now, video games have taken its place in the household. From the legendary Atari Console to recent handheld consoles, kids around the world have discovered unlikely games. Games that have evolved over the years, with improved graphics, complex and diversified scenarios, innovative technologies… The French video game market is benefiting from the success of home consoles, with an 18% growth in sales (1). Over the past decade, video games have seen a relatively rapid democratization in society.

Video games, a growing market

Every year announces a new record for video games. As a way, the sector’s global revenue jumped by 13% between 2017 and 2018. It then reached $120 billion. In France, turnover also increased by 15% to a value of €5 billion. (1) In 2020, the global turnover even reached 126.6 billion dollars.

market video game superdata infographic
Infographic of the video game market, from the SuperData study (1)

In 2017, total hardware sales (physical hardware including PCs, consoles, accessories and games) reached an all-time high with a turnover of €4.3 billion compared to €2.87 billion in 2015 (2). Console sales jumped 31% in 2017, totaling around €784 million. It is mainly the craze around new consoles that is at the origin of the rise of the sector. Nintendo Switch, PS4 then PS5 (Sony), Xbox One X (Microsoft)…

There is a very good health of the hardware (hardware) with a renewed offer that pulls the rest of the market.

Julie Chalmette, President of SELL

Video game market and Covid-19: a new way to consume gaming

The health crisis and the lockdown will have finally had an impact on the way video games are consumed. Players then abandoned hardware to turn to the purchase of dematerialized games and services.

Also, if Sony Interactive Entertainment loses 22% on sales of consoles and physical games, it catches up on the dematerialized. Sales of games and cloud services rose 83%. That’s a profit of $3.72 billion. In total, the PlayStation division’s revenue grew by 36% compared to the same period in 2019. A first for the company. In addition, the release of the PS5 also explodes sales records.

Despite the lockdown limiting production, the PS5 sold more than 1 million copies in the first week of its release in November 2020. For comparison, the 706,948 PS4 sold out during its launch week in 2013.

But the sale of hardware is certainly not the major cause of the rise of this market. Indeed, if we see so much enthusiasm around this now unavoidable hobby, it is mainly thanks to its capacity for innovation.

Bordeaux Business gaming controllers

From e-sports to virtual reality

E-sport is also an area to follow carefully since it participates in the expansion of the video game market. Also called “Electronic Sport”, it is undoubtedly part of the trendy activities on the Internet. In France, in the 3rd quarter of 2017, 3.8 million Internet users aged 15 and over had already watched an E-sport competition. In 2020, 6.5 million of them follow the competitions. (5)

Esports is not an unknown field for the city of Bordeaux. Indeed, every year the Bordeaux Geek Festival (BGF), a show focused on the video game world, is organized around June. This event offers video game competitions such as League of Legends, Counter Strike, Hearthstone or Overwatch…

We can take here the example of virtual reality or augmented reality (VR). Which attract the curiosity of the general public because of their ingenious and innovative concept.

HTV Vive, Occulus Rift and Playstation VR are at the heart of these digital revolutions. They aim to change our vision of video games over the next ten years. With a starting price of 350 €, the prices remain for the moment too high to allow a real democratization. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the development of start-ups interested in the field.

Covid-19, a brake on the development of esports

However, the Covid-19 crisis has put a strain on esports. According to estimates by the French Agency for Video Games (AFJV), esports in France is expected to lose about 9% of its revenues. This is due to the cancellation of physical competitions and the sudden drop in advertising. However, with the resumption of activity, the AFJV expects a rebound of 19% in 2021 (to 25 million euros). Then by 20% in 2022 (to 30 million). (6)

The Bordeaux video game ecosystem: the 2nd largest in France

Currently, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is the second French region in the sector, after Ile-de-France.

Bordeaux attracts large video game companies and the ecosystem is becoming denser around independent studios. The Region combines reliable and consistent know-how with quality training. The ambition is clear and is projected towards the future of digital and IHM.

Ubisoft and Asobo are the pillars of the sector. They are surrounded by dozens of independent studios such as Motion Twin, Solidanim, Shiro Games or Nova Box…

It is therefore an ecosystem in constant motion and wishing to participate in the development of new technologies. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality,cloud gaming…

A welcoming territory for the giants of video games

The Bordeaux metropolis has been building the video game economy since the early 90s with major players such as Kalisto, which went public in 1999, and In-Fusio in 1998, specialized in video games for mobile phones.

In 2007, the Bordeaux ecosystem of video game professionals was structured with the creation of Bordeaux Games, an association of gaming professionals in New Aquitaine. The pioneers were Asobo Studio, BeTomorrow, SolidGame, AtOne Technologies, SC2X / Mad Monkey Studio. A little more than 10 years later, it brings together no less than 40 players in the sector in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Motion twin, Shiro games, Nova Box…

Despite the large number of players in the South-West of France, the Region, and more particularly the Bordeaux metropolis, continues to attract new companies. Thus, after the arrival of the giant Ubisoft in Bordeaux in September 2017, it is the Lille leader in serious games, CCCP, which announced at the end of May 2018, the opening of a secondary school… in Bordeaux, again leading to its share of recruitments. (7)

In Bordeaux, it’s also time for serious games

Beyond entertainment, Bordeaux has a number of actors working on video games adapted to the professional world.

In terms of serious games for training, the Aquitaine Red Cross Regional Institute for Health and Social Training won a few years ago the call for projects “Strategic Partnership” Erasmus+ to develop Pethra (Physiotherapy E-Training Re-Habilitation. It is a European serious game and MOOC for the training of physiotherapy students.

European in scope, the project involved the town hall of Bègles, the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (Portugal), the Public University of Navarre (Spain), the European Network of Physiotherapists (ENPHE), as well as SimforHealth, an expert in digital simulation for health training based in Bordeaux.

In October 2017, the European Petrha Cup was also held in the metropolis.

Marketing games, video games for an augmented business

In addition to the national aid scheme for CIJV financing and other R&D aid, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region also offers its own. It amounts to a maximum of €150,000 per project (8).

Aware of the impact of video games on a particularly wide audience, marketing professionals were quick to seize this opportunity offered by this new medium. Since then, the concept of marketing games has been an integral part of branded content strategies.

The principle? Use the video game to convey the brand’s message. During a video game game, the player is particularly emotionally receptive. In addition to being very attentive to what is happening on the screen. A boon for brands who see it as an opportunity to create emotion, attachment to increase the capital sympathy, animate a community and work its notoriety.

In Bordeaux, the Gamifyagency, a specialist in gamification and experiential marketing, or Apperture,creators of interactive experiences in virtual or augmented reality, operate in this segment at the service of companies.

More than ever, the experience and innovation resulting from video games lead to an increased and immersive corporate universe at the service of the business, facilitating brand membership and commercial transmission.

Bordeaux, Ubisoft exceeds the 150 jobs mark and is already looking for new premises

Barely a year after its installation in Bordeaux, the Ubisoft Bordeaux studio was already planning to offer itself as a gift a future move. Opened on October 19, 2017 in the Bassins district of Flot, the French video game giant and the world’s third largest operator in this sector wants to invest new premises by 2021-2022. This would be to reach the right bank and the new Bastide-Niel district. The company’s goal is to create a AAA studio, that is, a studio capable of designing Ubisoft’s future blockbusters.

Ubisoft Bordeaux is the first studio created in France in 20 years, and its development is meteoric. When it opened, the Bordeaux studio employed 37 people. It already exceeds the 150-person mark. The new premises should make it possible to welcome hundreds of new employees in the coming years. To do this, the company works with many schools in the Bordeaux region and wants to attract international profiles.

Asobo continues to grow and diversify its business

2018 was an important year for Asobo Studio. This independent publisher has recruited nearly 40 people in this year alone, mainly for the development of its products but also to power Holoforge,its BtoB division.

Specializing in mixed and augmented reality applications, Holoforge has made a name for itself and now has many partners. It was in 2016 that Holoforge became the first studio to publish holographic video games in partnership with Microsoft and its Hololens headset. From the studio equips for example the suits of Areva NP, the Naval Group, the drug manufacturer UPSA, the CNRS … Holoforge also works with Exelus, a Bordeaux startup specializing in connected health.

Augmented reality and e-health are markets to be seized and Asobo understands this. In addition, the division was selected by New Aquitaine to participate in the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

On the entertainment video game side, the Bordeaux studio is also doing miracles. “A Plague Tale: Innocence” won 6 Pegasus on the occasion of the first edition of the Pegasus of the video game in March 2020.

Video game market: innovative schools, from animation to digital

Ecosysteme video game Bordeaux Business

The development of animation and digital schools is accelerating in Bordeaux and the demand for post-bac orientation for future bachelors has intensified. These schools such as Ynov, ESMI (Higher School of Image Trades), ESCEN, Digital Campus or ECV Digital, participate in the creation of highly sought-after profiles. They offer training up to bac + 5.

Some of these trainings can be funded by the New Aquitaine region because they are part of a national plan to combat unemployment. This is the “500,000 training” plan. In this context, the region offers 26,000 additional routes.

This plan makes it possible to step up the training effort in favour of long-term jobseekers and the most fragile territories but also to experiment with new training, particularly in digital professions.

Mathieu Hazouard, Regional Councillor for Very High Speed broadband and the digital economy

In 2016, the Region launched the Ecole Régionale du Numérique, promoting 697 offers of individual training courses offered to job seekers (9). These 21 qualifications lead to professional level III to V titles such as development and integration, network administration, it management, IT maintenance and support, web design and webmarketing and even film trades.

CES Las Vegas 2019, neo-Aquitaine start-ups selected

For four days, every year, the Consumer Electronic Show is a truly must-see and high-profile event in Las Vegas. This event brings together companies from all over the world. 27 companies from Nouvelle-Aquitaine were present for the 2019 edition under the banner of French Tech. Almost as much also in 2020. Of these 27 companies, 14 young startups were selected according to criteria specific to the CES and the regional community.

The selected companies come to provide a wide variety of solutions. It should be noted, however, that many are based on video games, serious games or augmented reality. Thereby making the video game market a market where borders are increasingly porous.

Connected everyday life for optimal comfort

Domalys (connected lamp), Facil’iti (adaptation of web pages for people with disabilities), Flovea (management of the hydraulic network of a home), Icohup (connected sensor aimed at reducing exposure to radioactivity), Silent Space (connected solution limiting noise in open-space), Ullo (therapeutic approaches to taking care of cognitive disorders) and Ureflect (tactile mirror).

Human-Machine Interactions (HMI) at the Dawn of Industry 4.0

1A3i (solution giving life to unstructured files and documents), AIO (smart sensor around health), Holoforge Interactive (mixed reality and professional applications), Hu&Co (solution around the security of goods and people, objects and connected home), Meshroom VR (3D project visualization solution), Thinkdeep.ai (augmented reality headset).

The evolution of man in the connected world

Bytheware (surfboard analysis tool, skateboard…), Bziiit (web platform for communication optimization), Coleen (electric bikes), Stars (augmented reality for promoting the wine industry on social networks), Pragma Industries (electric bikes), Simob (gyropods and short-distance mobility), Preacor (score attestation web app for a mortgage), Go4iot (solution for monitoring machines and professional vehicles), ID1 (medical record to carry with you), Simforhealth (training platform for medical staff).

Sources

  1. Video game revenue in 2019: $120.1 billion,AFJV, January 6, 2020
  2. Figures 2017 according to the SELL (Syndicat des éditeurs de logiciels de loisirs)
  3. “PlayStation 4: the COVID-19 crisis has exploded sales of dematerialized games”,01net, Aymeric Simeon, August 4, 2020
  4. PS5: the console is a hit in Europe, here are the sales figures , JeuxActu, December 2, 2020
  5. France Esports Barometer – Results of the 2020 edition, France esport, 19 November 2020
  6. E-sports in France, a market in the structuring phase,AFJV, 2 July 2020
  7. Video games: the CCCP studio arrives in Bordeaux!, Invest in Bordeaux, published on 29 May 2018, updated on 3 February 2020
  8. Aid and financing in the video game sector,Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region
  9. Training in digital professions,Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region
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