Much of the news coming out of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week has been predictable; new games announced, new studios opening, and new dev tool released. But who would have foreseen the announcement of new partnership of French video game publishers? This organization was funded by the French Trade Association, and is backed by the French government to promote France’s gaming industry. Of course it’s called “Le Game”.
Gamers should already be aware that the major publisher Ubisoft is based in France. They’ve given the industry classics like Rayman, while taking over hit franchises like Rainbow Six and Prince of Persia. Ubisoft also created the hit series Assassin’s Creed which has attained a great deal of popularity in North America. Arguably the most influential of that nation’s game companies Ubisoft is also behind upcoming games like I Am Alive, Far Cry 3, and the recently-revealed Assassin’s Creed III.
But there are many other French gaming companies that don’t have quite as large a following in North America. “Le Game” consists of over 250 companies. Among the developers mentioned in their press release are Ankama who created the MMO Dofus, along with its spiritual successor Wakfu. Both are tremendously popular in Europe and have even spawned cross-media franchises that include cartoons and comic books. There is also a Dofus feature film in the works for the near future as well.
There is also Quantic Dream who created the critically-acclaimed Playstation 3 game Heavy Rain which did successfully make the transition across the Atlantic to gain a strong following in America. Quantic Dream are also the people behind another cult game, Indigo Prophecy (Also known as Fahrenheit). This Xbox and PC title wasn’t a commercial hit, but was frequently praised for its story-telling.
Nicolas Gaume, Chairman of the Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo (A French gaming trade association) said “Today’s videogame industry competes on a global scale, and Le Game will allow France to structure its message of uncompromising creativity, quality and talent. All around the nation, this represents a major step forward for our industry”
“Le Game” was launched at the French Ministry of the Economy in Paris last week, and a series of events to promote the French videogame industry will take place in the future, beginning with the Game Developers Conference this week.
Francophiles interested in learning more about the organization can find more on the website of the Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo.