Great companies to watch at Game Paris Week

Nov 28, 2012
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Game Paris Week, which is run by the Paris region video game cluster Capital Games,  has now officially kicked-off.  The first event, Game Paris Talent which place last Friday and the only event open to the general public, offered high school students the opportunity to learn about the video games sector and network with several leaders in the industry.

Yesterday’s featured event was the Game Paris Business Tour (organized by both Capital Games and the Paris Region Development Agency) which I had the pleasure of attending.  The main focus of the day was exposing potential partners, customers, and other key players in the video games and tech sectors to the rising (and some established) stars of the Paris regions’ games sector.  The tour’s attendees got the opportunity to meet a cross-section of studios developing various types of games (i.e. from serious MMOGs to casual to console dance games), across a truly broad range of platforms. The thing that was probably the most intriguing about these studios was how extremely global they are in terms of their customers, target players/consumers, and distribution. Examples include:

  • DotEmu who convert vintage video game hits to mobile versions and have a highly international business with a fairly even revenue split between Europe, the US, and Japan,
  • Eggball a fast-growing game publisher and developer who in addition to developing their own games, also leverage their competencies in gamification to provide services for companies like Wrigley and LU,
  • Yamago who have developed several games for the entertainment sector, including clients such as Disney, Cartoon Network and Lego,
  • Voxler, who specialize in music and dance games and have collaborated with major publishers on such notable hits as X-Factor: The Game and (my personal favorite) Michael Jackson: The Experience,
  • Spawnapps whose technology has enabled several worldwide game publishers to seamlessly lauch their apps into webpages
  • And the 100 person strong Cyanide, who have developed numerous international console, PC, and online game hits, including Pro Cycling Manager and Loki.

Other up-and-coming studios such as Almateos, Pinpin Team and Playrion are building solid businesses and audiences nationally and, as such, should be well-positioned as they continue to expand globally.

The tour was also a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the ‘institutions’ that play a key role in supporting the games sector, such as Paris Video Games Incubator – the first of its kind in Europe, the Multimedia & Internet Institute – who are training the game developers and startups of the (near) future, and Capital Games – who represent more than 65 video games companies in the Paris region.

The tour was jammed-packed with info and extremely well-done, although hopefully next year there will be even more attending it.  Given the extremely international nature of the games sector and studios’ on-going need to source new clients, partnerships and investments, these types of tours can only really be a positive for all involved.

Next up in Games Paris week is the announcement of the winners of the annual Game Paris Awards which took place late yesterday evening and, the big event of the week, Game Connection which is kicking-off right now at the Porte des Versailles.