Video Games: The New Ambitions Of Paris Games Week

The show organized by the French video game industry opens its doors to the general public on Thursday. The opportunity for the industry to roll out mechanics at a time when virtual reality and e-sport are becoming issues of the future.

The video game industry has traditionally made a sacred union during Paris Games Week. The large Parisian salon, which has taken place at Porte de Versailles for seven years, opens its doors to the public on Thursday, October 27 for five days. The opportunity for consumers to discover the new game consoles and the new games that they can order from Santa Claus! A real showcase for the sector which puts small dishes in the big ones for the occasion.

With always the same madness of grandeur: 80,000 m2 this year against 14,000 m2 for its first edition, 166 exhibitors, 132 games and more than 300,000 visitors claimed at the Porte de Versailles. A figure questioned by Le Monde which disputes its veracity, document in support, advancing a figure of paying entries much less brilliant of 196,000 people. “We are very clear on the figures, defends Jean-Claude Ghinozzi, president of the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers, organizer of the event. We cannot compare paid admissions and a visitor base, the figure we use. Exhibitors have thousands of free entry. In addition, there are private parties, the media… This explains the difference ”.

Become the leading European trade fair

Beyond this quarrel of numbers, it is an old ambition which points its nose. That of becoming an international benchmark by tickling Gamescom, the leading European video game show organized in August in Cologne, and E3, the trade show par excellence which takes place in June in Los Angeles. In 2015, Jean-Claude Ghinozzi told Challenges that “If Paris Games Week is not a negotiating room like E3 and Gamescom, it can nevertheless become an advertising room”. At the time, Sony had chosen to organize its international conference within the framework of the PGW. A world-renowned event which met the ambitions of SELL. This year, none of that. The union is keeping a low profile. “The objective is not turnover or visitors. The B to B event has never been a priority objective. The PGW comes at a time that is not important in the B to B calendar. It is more of a showcase and a grip of the games. We are no longer on quantity but on quality ”. And blow for the PGW, this year, Nintendo, third world manufacturer will ignore the event.

However, SELL has not lost hope of promoting PGW internationally. “The presence of Youtube at the show is a very important recognition for us”. The famous video social network will broadcast live the events of the show.

Virtual reality in the spotlight

And the stakes are high at the end of the year. In terms of hardware, Sony and Microsoft are marketing new home consoles, with the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S. It is also the great launch of the PlayStation VR, the virtual reality headset of the Japanese giant which renews the gaming experience. by immersing the player in a 360 degree world. And e-sport is more present than ever this year, with 22,000 m² dedicated to competitions. Video game competitions have even become a national issue through the law for a digital republic which sets a framework for the development of this booming activity. In terms of Software, now is the perfect time for publishers to make money. Almost 70% of sales are made in the last three months of the year. And this year, it does not look too bad. The turnover of the industry was 2.87 billion euros in France in 2015. The SELL expects for 2016 a growth in value of 3%, to 3.4 billion euros, that is to say a similar level to that of 2008-2009, the best years so far ever recorded.

And last but not least, some policies will make the trip. The Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay and the Secretary of State for Digital and Innovation, Axelle Lemaire, will be present during the opening evening this Wednesday. Some presidential candidates will also come to confront the world of gamers. The SELL awaits Arnaud Montebourg and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan in particular. We could have hoped for better with the presence of all the candidates for the primary right and left. Proof that video games still have a long way to go to establish themselves as a sector of creation and innovation in its own right. A major stake for the representatives of the second leisure of the French behind reading.