France is one of the biggest gaming markets in Europe, and one still dominated by boxed sales.

NPD figures released last month showed that French consumers purchase fewer downloadable games than neighbouring Germany.

France has a strong retail network with mass merchandisers and specialised stores that allow publishers to target all types of customers,” says GfK’s Jean-Franois Boone.

The French games industry is supported SNVJ, the Syndicat National du Jeu Vido. The trade body recently kicked off its government-backed Le Game campaign to raise awareness of French publishers and developers.

Meanwhile publishers’ needs are also represented by SELL – Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs, which translates roughly as ‘trade union of the software publishers of leisures’.

France is also home to several highly creative firms. These range from publishing giant Ubisoft and its local studios – including Just Dance creators Ubisoft Paris – to acclaimed developers such as Quantic Dream, the firm behind Heavy Rain.

Games tax breaks were introduced in 2008 and recent reports claim that this grew the development scene by 20 per cent in the following three years. However, the credit regulation expired in January.

The workforce is maintained by an education system that prepares students for careers in the industry.

Each year our schools provide a lot of talented young people specialised in game production,” said Jean-Claude Laure, SELL delegate general.

France’s games industry often grabs headlines with its staunch position on piracy. A three-strikes deters illegal downloads, with file-sharers denied internet access after their third offence.

Population: 65,350,000
Currency: Euro
GDP (Per Capita): $44,400
Capital City: Paris
Language: French

Auchan, Amazon, Boulanger, Carrefour, Casino, Cora, Fnac, GAME, Gant, Intermach, Leclerc, Micromania, Pixmani, Systme U, Virgin

Big Ben, Innelec, Koch Media, SDO, Sodifa

Ankama, Artefacts Studio, BulkyPix, Cyanide, Eden Game, Etranges Libellules, IsCool Entertainment, Kobojo, Lexis Numrique, Nadeo, Playsoft, Quantic Dream, Ubisoft

Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Capcom, Digital Bros, Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, Konami, Micro Application, Microsoft, Namco Bandai Partners, Nintendo, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Enix, Take-Two, THQ, Ubisoft, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

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