Video games now part of daily life
Given the diversity of video game devices and the variety of offers available, ‘gaming’ has become an everyday activity that now includes a range of user categories. Médiamétrie has looked at this practice in detail in a study entitled: “The French and Video Games” conducted on behalf of SELL, the Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (Union of Publishers of Leisure Software).
1 in 3 web users plays video games on a daily basis
In similar fashion to media, music, reading and video, video gaming is a regular practice: more than 1 in 3 web users play video games every day. Around half of them (51%) play at least once a week. The proportion is higher among children and teenagers aged between 10 and 17: over half (56%) of this group play daily and 84% weekly.
This frequency is especially related to the variety of gaming devices. Smartphones are the top device used by more than half of players (59%). According to Thibault Evide, Médiamétrie’s Research and Clientele Manager: “The smartphone corresponds to somewhat ‘mainstream’ gaming; it is used by a wide audience to pass the time, for example when waiting for public transport.” The second most popular device with 55% of players is the computer. Almost half of gamers (47%) play on a TV games console. Players do like to vary their devices and on average they use 2.3 of them. Nearly 2 out of 3 (64%) play video games on more than two devices.
Gaming on mobile and casual games are popular with players (42%). 3 out of 10 prefer role-playing and adventure games or platformers.
Advertising is an integral part of gaming: almost 3/4 of players (73%) have already seen adverts in play during the last six months. It is present on all devices, but predominantly on smartphones. Advertising on the game home screen is also the first type of advertising seen. There is a general acceptance of advertising in the gaming universe, and 6 out of 10 players agreed to view ads in order to gain an additional game benefit (added time, an extra life, customised / personalised avatars, etc.)
A hobby for the general public
Over the last few years, video games have become a leisure pursuit for an ever-wider audience. The figures speak for themselves: in 2018, nearly 3/4 of internet users aged 10 and over were ‘gamers’, i.e. 32.3 million people. 100% of children and teenagers aged 10-17 were gamers, i.e. 3 million people (9% of the gamer population). Among adults aged 18 and over, 72% were gamers, i.e. 29.3 million people (91% of the gamer population). eSports are amplifying this phenomenon further still: Thibault Evide commented, “eSports are on the rise and are boosting video gaming in France.”
Compared to all web users aged 10 and over, on average, video gamers are slightly more likely to be male, aged under 50, and belong to upper SPC or student classifications.
Thibault Evide continued, “In 2019, video games are reaching all sectors of the population: there is such diversity not only of player profiles but also in terms of frequency, game category, etc.” He added, ”Now that consoles are available with highly intuitive interfaces and given the growth of casual games on smartphones, video gaming is expanding to include more families and women.”
As such, gaming has become a hobby just like any other, and now sits alongside them. If we examine the cultural activities that gamers engage in, we see that they are very similar to internet users, and even gamers are more likely to go to the cinema, concerts, exhibitions and sporting events. Additionally, over half of video gamers do some physical exercise or play sports on a regular basis.
Laure Osmanian Molinero
 A casual game is a video game aimed at a wide audience of occasional players (casual gamers).
eSports are video game contests where players compete singly or in teams, on any type of game and device (computer, console or tablet). These competitions are held online or offline and can be organised as local, national or international competitions.
3 questions for Emmanuel Martin, Managing Director of SELL
What in your opinion have been the main changes in the video game industry in recent years ?
The video game industry is constantly evolving and reaching into various domains. A key factor in the market is the development of gaming devices that offer new possibilities and experiences. This technological evolution is occurring alongside the evolution of creative techniques, resulting in some genuine artistic masterpieces. Another striking development is the player profile: in 20 years, the average age has increased from 21 to 39 and now, half of players are women.
In addition, the transition to 2.0 has also helped to create genuine communities of fans, encouraging exchanges amongst these enthusiasts, as well as with publishers and the studios.
Finally, there are now so many more opportunities to play: at home or on the underground, in full immersion VR, on mobile, or even on a TV set-top box. You can buy a physical or a digital version of a game, download an app, or subscribe to an on-demand video game service.
What are the economic trends in the industry?
The video game industry has yet again this year achieved a record turnover and very strong growth. 2018 marked a new record for the industry with a turnover of 4.9 billion euros (+15%). Given the constant dialogue between artistic creation and technological innovation, the video game market is driven by sales of both hardware and software, which represented 1.65 and 3.28 billion euros respectively in 2018.
What are the next projects for SELL?
We will continue to promote creation, innovation and responsible values within the industry by creating content and documentaries. We are very involved in informing gamers and their families about safe video gaming, in particular through our support for the PEGI rating system and for PédaGoJeux which works to raise awareness among parents.
We are also working to promote diversity, inclusion and accessibility by supporting the CapGame and Women in Games organisations. Another key avenue is to demonstrate the added value video games can bring to education, training (serious games) and health.
Finally, as the organiser of Paris Games Week for almost 10 years now, each year, we strive to make this gathering better and more representative of all aspects of our rich industry.