Bruno Le Maire gets acquainted with the video game industry at Paris Games Week

2023-11-02 16:50:37

On screen, in the medieval universe of a video game set in the kingdom of France, the female avatar hovers, before running into a wall. At the helm is Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy. The game publishers around him don’t hold it against him for his clumsiness. And for good reason: it is the first time that the largest video game fair in France, Paris Games Week, located at Porte de Versailles in Paris, hosted, Wednesday 1is November, the boss of Bercy. “He gets familiar, it’s not innate”explains those around him.

The opportunity for a catch-up session with Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate in charge of digital technology. The latter, a regular at the show, describes the progress of an e-sport competition under the half-perplexed, half-impressed gaze of his supervisory minister. “I come to discover a cultural product that I have been fighting for years”admits Bruno Le Maire, who says he is worried about « l’addiction » of his two youngest children. “I have a simple method: I take the console to my office in Bercy, and I bring it back when there are good grades. »

The arrival of the Minister of the Economy comes at the right time, as Emmanuel Macron had affirmed, on June 30, during the urban riots which followed the death of Nahel M., that ” some [jeunes] live on the street video games who poisoned them ». Before retracting, three months later. “I made the gamers jump”, recognized the head of state, in a long message published on (formerly Twitter), mid-September. “However, I have always considered that video games are an opportunity for France, for our youth (…) and our economy. » The sector has a turnover of 5.5 billion euros and has 25,000 employees, underlines the Union of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL), organizer of the show.

“Priority” sector for Bercy

Bruno Le Maire, who wants “that France is a nation of producers and not just consumers, including cultural products”, now ensures that this industry is “priority” for Bercy. Proof of this is the recent reduction in VAT on e-sport tickets, in the finance bill for 2024. On Wednesday, he also said he was in favor of not re-examining the effectiveness of the tax credit before 2026. video game, the main public financing tool for the sector. “It’s a tremendous recognition, to be recognized as a cutting-edge technology industry, enthuses Nicolas Vignolles, general delegate of SELL. Today, seven out of ten French people occasionally play video games. »

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