Emmanuel Macron, star of social networks. Macron, herald of start-ups. Macron, the uberizer of politics. Macron, media and poll star. And now, Macron star of a video game. An Android and iOS application at 1.99 euros has been offering since mid-December to embody the leader of En Marche! in his presidential quest. Everything goes there: relations with journalists, management of travel, strategy or funding with advisers, short sentences to opponents as well as management of “the very private coach” of Emmanuel Macron, namely his wife Brigitte Trogneux.
In fact, you can choose – only through text messages with various personalities – to opt for Russia rather than Germany when traveling, to go to see Trump in Washington with or without passing a head to Hillary Clinton. And you will need to find funding: lobby, MEDEF or major donation campaign? Up to you. How to manage the debate with the winner of the left primary or even Mélenchon? It will all depend on your strategy.
Behind this marketing coup, a French start-up with 3 Celestory employees. “We chose Emmanuel Macron because he is the person who benefits from the most articles in the press today in France is justified Pierre Lacombe, co-founder of the start-up. We wanted to show how a candidate can campaign today. The main interest of his candidacy is that he is a real challenger and a hero in the sense of the story. It is new, does not really have a party, nor concrete measures. This would have been impossible to achieve with Marine Le Pen or Jean-Luc Mélenchon for example ”.
An inexhaustible source of inspiration for followers of political fiction according to the co-founder of Celestory. “He is mysterious, young, has links with the private sector that raise a lot of questions. And since he wants to be neither right nor left, everyone is wondering what he is. The player can thus choose to approach one side or the other. ” The start-up repeats over and over again that it is totally independent and unrelated to En Marche! and Emmanuel Macron.
The game works like the books in which you are the hero. Moreover, the start-up called on Gabriel Féraud, a former history professor and novelist who wrote books in which you are the hero. “A fact-checking approach was needed for this to be realistic,” says Pierre Lacombe. You had to weigh all the possible scenarios and your chances of going to the end by choosing the right positions. ” Fun fact: the start-up had to redo the game 3 times after the unexpected victory of Fillon, the renunciation of Holland and the presentation of Valls to the primary of the left.
“Poujadism of a counter dressed in trendy digital clothes”
On the side of Macron’s team, this game is not greeted with enthusiasm. Sylvain Fort, communication advisor to the presidential candidate, who appears constantly in the game, judges that “this app prides itself on being political fiction, we prefer to devote ourselves to real politics”. Not very tender with the approach, he finds the app “quite vulgar: it is poujadism of the counter dressed in trendy digital clothes. No interest.”
Celestory had already tried to create a buzz by creating a game around Trump. “We imagined the start of Trump’s presidency,” says Pierre Lacombe. With the potential to do anything creating diplomatic crises. We didn’t think he would be elected at all. We have played a cartoonish game and the crises are starting to point their noses in reality. This schoolboy game was intended to show that thoughtless campaign promises could have disastrous consequences once elected ”. A point of view that we can easily understand while at the end of our game Brigitte finally leaves with … Sylvain Fort to the detriment of Emmanuel Macron too busy in his campaign.
So far without ads, the game has been downloaded tens of thousands of times. The training start-up created this game to accelerate its growth and gain a low-cost spotlight. Created in 2016, Celestory won an innovation prize from TF1 and received a grant from the CNC. A priori according to his campaign team, Emmanuel Macron has not yet played the game of which he is the hero.