Frances 3-D Imaging Sector Prepares for the Future in Video Games and Virtual Reality Markets

Chicago, April 30, 2008 In the 3-D imaging business, the video game sector in France is experiencing robust growth. In 2007, the size of the French video game market grew to EUR 2 billion, an increase of 10% compared with the previous year.

Three French publishers already figure amongst the world’s top 15 leading publishers of video games: Vivendi Universal Games, UbiSoft and Atari/Infogrames, as well as two of the primary producers of mobile phone games, Gameloft and Zenops. Around 60 independent studios (Darkworks, WideScreen Games, Hydravision, Quantic Dreams, Monte Cristo, etc.) currently make their talents and technical skills available to producers all over the world.

Foreign companies attracted by this sector include U.S. company Electronic Arts, which has based its French subsidiary in Lyon and employs 60 people. Studios and producers from the United Kingdom, Japan, and South Korea have chosen France as their launch pad for the European market: Codemasters, Koei France, Konami France, Namco Bandai, NCSoft, Freeze Interactive, and Gravity.

Supporting the video game industry is a priority for the French government and the “crédit d’impôt creation” (tax credit for new businesses), encourages this by granting up to a 20% deduction for production costs on specific innovative games. Moreover, France has introduced the best tax credit system available in Europe to industries willing to invest in R&D projects; 50% of R&D costs can be reimbursed the first year.

In the audiovisual area, France is recognized worldwide as having expertise in film production, stemming from its historic cinematic tradition, which continues with studios such as Buff or Mikros.

3-D applications are also being developed in industry. French software company Catia, owned by Dassault Systèmes, is the world leader in computer-assisted design (CAD), and created an entirely virtual platform of the new Dassault Falcon 7X plane. Within the automobile industry, Peugeot Citroën SA created CAVE, an innovative 3-D immersion system. Danish company ESoft Systems, specializing in advanced visualization (360-degree effect) of properties on real estate Internet sites, recently chose France to open its first international office.

Clusters are preparing for the future by giving strong support to research and education in this sector, as seen with Cap Digital in the Ile-de-France and Imaginove in Rhône-Alpes, and in IT and communications centers (i.e. Images et Réseaux in Brittany).

“The production of 3-D images is essentially based on qualified talent and digital technology, which is helped by the mobility of production factors such as skilled personnel, all of which can be found in France. France abounds with creative and innovative talent in new technologies,” says Philippe Favre, CEO of Invest in France Agency.

Invest in France Agency (IFA) promotes and facilitates international investment in France. The IFA network operates worldwide. IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors business opportunities and customized services all over France. For more information, please

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