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Turning France into a major player of esport

31 January 2023 Careers
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Turning France into the host country for major international esport events is one of the objectives of the meeting held on 16 January with the French ministers of sports, digital transition and culture, and all players of the esport environment to define a national strategy in electronic sports. The strategy, planned for the next three years, implements several important decisions to give France a major role in the industry.

In the context of international context of deep professionalisation and structuration of electronic sports practice, the Maison de l’Esport (House of Esports), a platform of innovation and development dedicated to esport, has hosted this interministerial meeting which aimed at drawing up an action plan dedicated to giving a boost to the esport strategy and turn competition videogames into a strong asset of attractiveness for France.

A series of guidelines

As the government information website explains, the action plan results from discussions with about 30 stakeholders since several weeks, including representatives organisations of esports such as France Esports, esport teams, the Paris 2024 Organisation Committee and the government services and local authorities.

 

These preparatory works resulted in a series of guidelines for the development of esport in France including:

  • the launch of a test mission for a “structure designed to implement the esport national strategy” that will encourage the development of the practice, the training of stakeholders and its economic development;
  • the supervision and development of the practice, with “an atlas of stakeholders, the implementation of regional esport centres and the responsible promotion of esport to promote its assets” and avoid the risks of an addictive practice;
  • the development of France’s vigor, represented by its competitions and videogames companies, which contribute to its international attractiveness;
  • the preparation of the Olympic Esports Week in France in late 2024, a form of virtual sports Olympic Games, an international event organised by the IOC and held in the wake of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024.

Regarding this last point, in order to improve the activity of France and contribute to its international attractiveness, the French government considers the “publication of an interministerial instruction to allow the use of the international scale talent passport” for high-level international esports players.

A buoyant sector

A study about esports, Market Analysis and Prospects for the Esports Sector, commissioned by the French government as early as 2021, provides quantitative and qualitative data to assess the economic landscape of the sector of videogames competitions.

 

And on a worldwide market valued at 2.96 billion euros, France shows “a modest but encouraging activity level”. For example, even though the industry is recent, it relies in France “on a passionate and dynamic ecosystem” boasting hundreds of jobs and thousands of professional players.

 

The study also stresses the fact that France, third videogame producer worldwide, relies on “one of the most dynamic videogames industries in Europe and the world”. To reach this goal and develop, the esports industry “can rely on the know-how and innovation capacity of French videogame studios with international reputation”.

 

In addition, the France Esports Association has just released a national study, a barometer published every three years to “identify and understand better the behaviours of esports players and viewers in France”. Several highly precise key figures may be taken into account regarding the practice of esports. According to the association, there is in France about 11 million electronic sports consumers or players, i.e. 22% of web users over 14 years old. They include 2 million amateur esports players, confrontation video games players, with rankings and competitions, of which 58% are aged 15-24 years old, and 37% 25-34 years old.

 

With continuously growing trends, these figures show if need be that esports is a buoyant sector in full bloom!

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