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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introducing and defining the video game market

A video game is an electronic game with which the user, the player, can interact in a playful way. A variety of digital media can be used to play video games:

  • computers ;
  • game consoles ;
  • cell phones and smartphones :
  • tablets ;
  • etc.

The video game market involves several types of players, the main ones being development studios, publishers, distributors and hardware manufacturers. However, the boundaries between these different categories are porous, and a single company can play several roles. Market leaders are generally present at all stages of the value chain.

Over the years, video games have established themselves as a major cultural sector. The market almost doubled in size between 2015 and 2023, and could grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% between 2022 and 2030. Mobile games are booming, and now generate almost half of all sales in this sector.

This dynamic is mirrored in France, where the video game industry is growing in importance year on year, driven by the undeniable success of consoles and the growing importance of mobile games. By 2023, over 70% of the French population will be playing video games, including over 90% of 10-17 year-olds and 87% of 18-34 year-olds.

Video games therefore benefit from a fertile breeding ground for continued growth. It concerns all categories of the population, spreads across a variety of media familiar to consumers, and benefits from constant technological innovation (improved console performance, graphical rendering of games, virtual reality, cloud gaming, etc.).

The diversity of business models in place in the sector, from single-unit sales to subscription services and the microtransactions present in free-to-play or freemium titles, also offers industry players a wide range of options for optimizing their revenues.


1.2 The global market has been growing for many years

The global video game market has been in a clear growth phase since the early ****s. In ****, the Covid-** crisis played in its favor, enabling it to accelerate sharply and settle permanently above the $*** billion mark.

After a slight dip in **** due to the post-Covid downturn and supply difficulties in the ...

1.3 French market to reach record levels in 2023

The French video game market topped * billion euros in sales for the first time in ****, representing growth of *.*% compared to **** and **.*% compared to ****, the last pre-Covid-** year.

However, this significant increase is still linked to a specific post-Covid environment. While the video game market remains buoyant, these impressive results should be ...

1.4 France is a major importer of video game consoles and machines

The figures in this section are taken from the CN* code ********, concerning video game consoles and machines (***). They come from the foreign trade website managed by French customs.

In **** and ****, France imported over €* billion worth of video game consoles and machines, nearing the €*.* billion mark in ****. By comparison, its exports in ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 The French and video games

**.* million French people aged ** and over played video games at least occasionally in ****, representing over **% of the national population. More than half played very often: **% several times a day, **% every day or almost every day.

How often the French play video games France, ****, in Source: ****

All age and gender categories are ...

2.2 French video game purchasing behavior

**% of all French people had bought at least one video game in the last twelve months by ****. The proportion rises to **% among gamers. While the appeal of the game itself and its world remain the main criteria when making a purchase, price and the gamer's entourage are also important factors in ...

2.3 Different assessments of the major video game players

The French are more familiar with console manufacturers than with publishers. The Nintendo, PlayStation (***).

Aided awareness of several major video game companies among French consumers France, ****, in Source: ****

The level of appreciation also differs widely according to gender and age group. Activision, associated in particular with the war title Call of ...

2.4 Favourite genres and best-selling video games in France

Mobile and casual games will top the list of genres most played by the French in ****. Several genres follow close behind, such as role-playing and adventure games, platform games and sports games. Multiplayer games come eighth. On average, a French gamer plays three different game genres.

Most popular video game genres ...

2.5 Stable digital equipment rates

The main media used to play video games are as present as ever among the French. Between **** and ****, the equipment rate for game consoles and computers hardly changed at all, gaining just *.* points for consoles and *.* points for computers. On the other hand, the rate for smartphones has risen by *.* ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain and market organization

The video game market can be broken down into several key players:

Development studios design games. They may be independent or part of a larger group. Publishers are responsible for publishing, distributing and promoting the game. They may also intervene upstream to help finance the game. Some publishers have their own ...

3.2 French studios concentrated in the Paris region

In ****, there were almost *** video game studios in France, representing **% of the total number of companies active in the French video game industry. Most of these are small companies: **% had annual sales of less than ***,*** euros, and only **.*% had sales in excess of ** million euros. [***]

Just under half of all studios ...

3.3 Dynamic publishers in France and around the world

Publishers are the main players in the video game market. Their role is central, and they can also combine the functions of developer and distributor. The biggest publishers generate several billion dollars in sales every year.

To consolidate their position against the competition in this growing market, but also to position ...

3.4 Increasingly paperless distribution

Video game distributors fall into two broad categories: physical and dematerialized. The former have physical sales outlets and sell games, in CD form, as well as consoles and accessories. They also focus on resale and second-hand games, a segment that is still relevant in the video game industry. The latter are ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 A software-dominated offering

The video game market can be divided into two main segments: hardware and software.

Hardware includes :

game consoles, which can be fixed (***) or portable ; computers and smartphones, whether dedicated to gaming or not; accessories (***)

For its part, software refers to :

video games, whether on consoles, PCs or mobiles ; additional content linked ...

4.2 Rising prices for the biggest games

The production price index for French electronic game publishers (***) has been falling sharply since ****. However, this trend seems to be specific to France, where there are more small, lower-cost publishers than large, globally active groups.

evolution of the production price index in electronic game publishing France, ****-****, base *** in **** Source: ****

internationally, ...

4.3 A diversity of business models

Single-unit sales remain central

Single-unit sales of games remain fundamental to the video game industry. Publishers are able to devote an ever-increasing budget to their productions, not only because sales have risen in recent years, but also because they are able to recoup more revenue through digital sales, where costs and ...

4.4 Virtual reality and cloud gaming develop slowly

Virtual reality: still a small segment

Heralded as a major technological development, virtual reality (***) has yet to deliver on all its promises. In video games, the segment still suffers from a lack of major titles, with production remaining stable over the last few years and not increasing. On Steam, the leading ...

4.5 Esport, a tool for attracting newcomers to the video game industry

**.* million people consumed or practiced esports in France in ****. [***]

Sales generated by the French esports sector almost quadrupled between **** and ****, rising from €** million to €*** million, representing average annual growth of **%. Taking into account the adjustment linked to the overall representativeness rate of the players concerned by the study carried out by ...

5 Regulations

5. Regulations

The PEGI rating system

The PEGI (***). It evaluates video games and mobile applications according to their content, then classifies them according to a recommended minimum age for accessing that content:

* years * years old ** years old ** years old ** years

The system also highlights the presence of certain elements:

foul language violence scenes ...

6 Positioning the players

6. Player segmentation

  • Activision Blizzard
  • Nintendo
  • Electronic Arts
  • Gameloft
  • Focus Entertainment
  • Ankama Games
  • Quantic Dream
  • Arkane Studios
  • Homa Games
  • Voodoo
  • Plug In Digital
  • Ubisoft
  • Gamecash
  • Gamestream
  • Micromania-Zing
  • Motion Twin
  • Nacon (Bigben Interactive)
  • Microids
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Take-Two Interactive
  • Tencent Games
  • NetEase Games
  • Valve
  • Epic Games
  • Capcom
  • Riot Games
  • Shadow

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Sales trends in the global video game market
  • Breakdown of video game sales by type of platform
  • Breakdown of video game sales by region
  • Sales trends in the French video game market
  • Breakdown of video game market sales by type of ecosystem
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Latest news

French Tech: Voodoo acquires BeReal for 500 million euros - 13/06/2024
  • - BeReal launch year: 2020
  • - BeReal founders: Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau
  • - Number of active BeReal users: 40 million
  • - BeReal's key markets: United States, France, Japan
  • - Voodoo's mobile application development strategy: focus on hyper-casual
  • - Major Voodoo successes : Helix Jump, Mob Control, Block Jam 3D
  • - Total downloads of Voodoo applications: 7 billion
  • - Voodoo's global market position: third-largest publisher behind Google and Meta
Gamestream, the French specialist in cloud-based video games, booming in emerging markets - 14/03/2024
  • - Indonesia is currently Gamestream's number 1 market
  • - Gamestream has signed a distribution agreement with Reliance Jio, an Indian telecoms giant
  • - Key territories for the start-up also include the Middle East
  • - Gamestream offers a catalog of 300 games
  • - Gamestream recently raised 4.5 million euros from Audacia and Bpifrance
  • - The company has 500,000 subscribers
  • - The cloud gaming market is expected to grow from $2.38 billion in 2022 to $8.17 billion in 2025, according to Newzoo.
Sony buys half of Michael Jackson's catalog for $600 million - 12/02/2024
  • - Sony Music Group bought half of Michael Jackson's catalog of copyrights and recordings for around $600 million, valuing the catalog at between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion.
  • - Michael Jackson sales and streams grew by 37% between 2020 and 2023 in the United States, and by 38% in the rest of the world.
  • - At the end of 2021, Sony Music bought the music rights to Bruce Springsteen for $500 million, as well as the recording rights to Bob Dylan for around $200 million.
  • - The sale of Michael Jackson's catalog confirms the frenzy surrounding music rights in recent years, with prices rising as investment funds enter the market.
  • - The recorded music market is expected to grow by almost 9% a year until 2030.
  • - The global streaming market is set to double in value to become a $41 billion market by 2030.
  • - The Hipgnosis fund acquired 50% of Neil Young's catalog in early 2021 for $150 million.
Mobile video games: French unicorn Voodoo puts a stop to hypercasualism - 10/01/2024
  • Valued at 1.7 billion euros at the time of its last financing round, the start-up has long been a global benchmark in this category of games, hypercasual, which is currently in serious decline
  • in the spring of 2021, Apple introduced ATT, a mechanism that drastically restricts advertising targeting by app publishers - an essential ingredient for success in hypercasual. As a result, revenues generated by Voodoo via this type of title fell from $400 million to $150 million between 2021 and 2023.
  • In 2022, the Group had said it was aiming for $600 million for the year. In the end, the Group generated revenues of $500 million in 2021
  • The company employs nearly 750 people
  • In 2022, Voodoo saw its accounts return to the black, with sales of almost $570 million.
  • In 2023, the Group made a number of acquisitions, including that of development studio Partyup for almost 10 million euros.

Video games: Gamecash joins CLD Smartoys - 26/09/2023
  • Gamecash has been active in the second-hand video game market since 2003.
  • Belgian wholesaler CLD Distribution recently acquired 33% of Gamecash.
  • CLD Distribution's stake in Gamecash is set to reach 90% by 2025.
  • Gamecash currently has 35 franchise stores in France and Belgium.
  • Cumulative sales for these stores in 2022 will be 17 million euros.
  • CLD Distribution's Smartoys subsidiary has 19 stores in French-speaking Belgium.
  • Sales for all companies (CLD and Smartoys) in 2022 will be 70 million euros.
  • The group also owns, a download platform specializing in dematerialized PC video games.
  • Gamecash and CLD plan to expand their joint network internationally, with the potential to open 30 new stores.
  • Gamecash and CLD currently have a joint network of 50 locations.
Gamecash: French used video game retailer sold to Franco-Belgian Smartoys - 16/09/2023
  • Gamecash was founded in 2003.
  • Gamecash was sold to the Smartoys group.
  • Smartoys operates 19 video game stores in Belgium and the website.
  • In 2022, Gamecash achieved sales of 17 million euros. Gamecash has 35 stores.
  • In 2022, Smartoys/ achieved sales of 70 million euros.
  • Philippe Cougé, co-founder of Gamecash, will retain 10% of the capital and his operational role.
  • The aim of the takeover is to expand the network, particularly in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Activision Blizzard
Electronic Arts
Focus Entertainment
Ankama Games
Quantic Dream
Arkane Studios
Homa Games
Plug In Digital

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