France: video games continue to grow in 2015, Playstation 4 crushes the market
Paris (AFP) – The French video game sector experienced a second consecutive year of growth in 2015, despite the slowdown in sales of older consoles.
In total, its turnover reached 2.87 billion euros, up 6%, the Union of Leisure software Publishers (SELL) said on Tuesday, based on data from the GfK institute.
For 2016, Sell anticipates a third year of growth in a row but is unlikely to give forecasts due to several uncertainties. Indeed, a new console from the Japanese giant Nintendo could be launched this year and it remains difficult to predict what reception will be reserved for virtual reality headsets, marketed in the coming months.
On the gaming side, it is once again the football simulation “Fifa” and the military title “Call of Duty” that finished at the top of the ranking, with respectively almost 1.3 million and 1.08 million copies sold.
But the Union of leisure software publishers clarifies that these figures only concern the physical market. However, the latter accounted for only 46% of securities sales last year, just ahead of the dematerialized (40%).
“The year 2015 confirms the growth of video games even if the previous generation of consoles has declined much faster than we could expect,” explained Jean-Claude Ghinozzi, president of Sell and director of the consumer division of Microsoft France.
The video game market is very dependent on the life cycle of the machines: its revenues tend to rise when the new consoles come out and then gradually decline after two or three years.
– 20 years of Pokémon in 2016 –
But, this time, the new generation quickly supplanted the previous one, to the point of accounting for 96% of console purchases in 2015.
The console segment overall recorded a 6% decline in revenue, to 712 million euros. Taking into account only the 8 generation, that is, the latest machines from each manufacturer (PlayStation 4 and Playstation Vita from Sony, Xbox One from Microsoft, WiiU and 3DS from Nintendo), however, it emerges up 2%.
In total, 2.47 million consoles were sold last year in France, including 1.7 million for the 8 generation alone. If the Union does not communicate details machine by machine, an industry source told AFP that the Playstation 4 has crushed the competition with just over a million sales.
Revenues from game sales were up 9.5%, to nearly 1.85 billion euros, mainly driven by mobile productions (+30%) even though consoles and the PC also made the most of the gains (+7% for both combined).
By volume, Nintendo is the publisher that sold the most titles last year in France.
“We had great successes, with known series like +Pokémon+, but also new brands like “Splatoon”, which finishes 5th best selling of the year, stressed Philippe Lavoué, general manager of Nintendo France.
In 2016, the Japanese group intends to build on the twentieth anniversary of Pokémon and the arrival in France of the cartoon “Yo-kai Watch” and its adaptation on Nintendo 3DS, very popular in Japan.
Finally, purchases of accessories (+13% to 305 million euros) were boosted by video toys (+31% in volume and +29% in value). These are the small figures that unlock content in the games and are sold separately.