France is trying to poach British game studios concerned that Brexit will totally sink their business.
France is one of the biggest game capitals in the world. Names like Ubisoft, Quantic Dream, Arkane Studios, Gameloft, Bigben Interactive, and Cyanide all call France their home. Even smaller indie studios, such as Dead Cells’ Motion Twin, are based in France.
The French government has long cultivated gaming as one of their primary industries, spending billions on subsidies and tax breaks to encourage game studios to settle in France and grow their business. And all that money spent has arguably paid off. According to the French Directorate General for Enterprise, total games industry revenue was $5.5 billion in 2018.
“In only a few years, video games have become France’s second largest cultural industry, behind books and ahead of cinema,” the Directorate told The Guardian. “It is one of the most dynamic sectors in the French economy, with more than 5,000 direct jobs.”
With so many studios now located in France and with such enticing incentives, even US-based game developers have opened French studios to take advantage of the highly skilled workforce. And with Brexit on the horizon, France now has their sights set on British developers worried that retreating from the EU will spell doom for their companies.
The “Join the Game” campaign is France’s way of showcasing all the benefits of making games in France. Their website makes it easy to look at all of the country’s many financial incentives, including a tax break of up to 30% of production expenses (up to a maximum of $6.7 million) and an equity loan scheme that provides up to $2.25 million in equity that's paid back as the studio grows.
The Video Games Support Fund (FAJV) even offers up to 50% assistance for technologically advanced games' project budgets.
Many UK-based game studios were already considering a move once the Brexit vote passed. With so much uncertainty on the horizon, many British developers are likely looking at France as the most attractive destination.