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Games in France

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momo
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 10:23    Sujet du message: Games in France

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Hello! My name is momo, and I'm from Tokyo.

Currently I'm researching about gaming situation in France.
But since my french is a mess, don't have enough idea how.
I found this forum, and I'm wondering if anyone could give me some advices...

For example, I'm trying to come up with ideas of what is the most popular way of playing games there.
In Japan, PS2 and Gameboys are big, arcades are popular and everywhere, and some people are really into online games too.

Does anyone play games here?

momo
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Umibozu
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 11:41    Sujet du message:

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Hi Momo,

Welcome on this forum.
Obviously, you can play easily in France. However, in our society video game doesn't take a main place in our daily life. In Japan, you have some place called "game center". You know that better than me. You have these centers anywhere in the main city in Japan. Here, in France there is almost no game center. I know only two game center in France. One in Paris, the other in the north of France. You could find find their address on this website :http://www.ltdn.com/centres_jeux.htm . I have ever played on Paris. One game costs 2 € (about 266 yens). I think it is too expansive. In Japan, usually it costs 100 yens only...
About PS2, GC and X-box. I think the situation is similar with other countries. The block-busters are always best sellers (eg: Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Zelda, Winning Eleven...). PS2 is the best seller device. But I don't think I surprise you. But, contrary to Japan, X-Box is not in a bad situation in that there are some games like Halo 2 (First Person Shooter) that interest French players.
About Winning Eleven (Pro Evolution Soccer in France), I would like just to specify that this game has a particular position. Indeed, over France, hundreds of tournament are organized. This year around seven thousands of players did these tournaments. Winning Eleven is an exception in France.

Video game is not my main subject but I like it.

Good luck for your survey,


Dernière édition par Umibozu le 22 Mai 2005 19:38; édité 1 fois
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Gael
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 11:47    Sujet du message:

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Hi Momo and welcome to ForumJapon !


I will quickly expose my thoughts about gaming situation in France.

Europe is often seen as the "third market", regarding the two tremendous markets which are Japan and the US. In France, there are two categories of gamers : those who play on PCs, and those on TV games ("consoles" such as PS2, etc.).

PC players love online gaming because a lot of PC games can (must, sometimes) be experienced online. TV players mostly play offline, because except with the Xbox Live, consoles cannot connect to the Internet.

The console market is nearly hegemonic. Figures show that Sony gets about 70% of this market in France, with its PS2. The other 30% go to Microsoft Xbox and Nintendô GameCube which run about 50-50 (so, around 15% and 15% of the console market).

We could say that French players are mostly male, between 15 and 30. They love football games (FIFA, Winning Eleven which is named "Pro Evolution Soccer" around here), tunning games (such as Need for Speed), car games in general (Gran Turismo), and some other titles like Gran Theft Auto and Tomb Raider.

Japanese games sell well in France, but they have not to be too japanese. For example, Ôkami, if it's eventually localised down here, may not sell very well. However, japanese games which are more "globalized" (such as Tekken or Mario or whatever) can sell pretty good.

Some veteran players prefer to import games from Japan and the US to have a better choice and get the games in their original versions. That is what I do.

To finish, as Umibozu said, game centers are not in great numbers in France. Ten years ago, in my town (~70.000 inhabitants), there were two game centers. Today, there is no one anymore. French people prefer to play video games at home.

I would be glad to answer other and further interrogations if you have some, Momo. ^_^


じゃね!
(and sorry for my bad English ^_^; )
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momo
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 13:10    Sujet du message: Thank you, thank you!

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Umibozu san, Gael san,

Thank you so much for your very informative replies!
It really helps me.
I have tons of other questions, and I'd be very happy to hear what you think, if you have time...

I see PS2 is doing very well there too.
How about Gameboys?
For this survey I googled many websites, including lots of on-line shops (fnac, virgin, amazon, etc.).
As for the consoles, they have PS2/xbox/Gamemcube, also Gameboys, Nintendo DS and Nokia N-Cage. Are those popular there? (Gameboys and DS have some market here too, but I haven't seen a single N-Cage here!)

Also, how about mobile (cell phone) games?
So far I researched that there are some download service with Club-Internet, Orange World, SFR etc. but I'm not sure if they are actually selling.
Mobile music market is huge here: ???(chaku-melo) sells 150M titles per month! though mobile gaming market is not as big as music, apparently.
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Gael
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 13:56    Sujet du message:

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モモさん,

In France, the portable market is, as for now, about 99% dedicated to Nintendô products. Game Boy and overall Game Boy Advances sell incredibly well. I would say that the audience for portable gaming is younger than the one for TV gaming ; in the occidental world, there is a die-hard stupid shortcut which says that Nintendô products are for kids. However, buyers of portable devices tend to get older, especially since the launch of the Dual Screen in march. Indeed, Nintendô's last portable device sold half a million in Europe in just one month (source : http://www.gamekult.com/finances/articles/A0000040057 ). As for the PSP, it has not lauched yet in Europe and will come out on early september. In Europe, Nintendô fears the arrival of the PSP, and the concurrence between the two portables will surely be severe.
Concerning Nokia's N-Gage (and the QD version), it has not sold very well in France. The device and its games are nearly unseen in game stores. The problem of this system is that it has "the ass between two chairs" (as we say in France ^_-) and that it's not as efficient neither as a phone, nor as a gaming device. So, we could say that the N-Gages are failures.

French people like to use mobile phones as mobile phones, and more recently as digital cameras. Videoconference and mailing through mobile phones are just coming onto our market, so gaming is not very developped (yet ?). Every mobile phone comes with videogames, but these are very old games, like Snake, very simple shoot'em up or minigolf. Resolution, graphs, animation, sound are not as great as on Japan's mobile phone, and I think it's not in French people's mentality to play games on their mobile phones. So, as you said, mobile phones download services sell a lot of wallpapers and ring tones, but not really videogames.

Don't hesitate to post other questions !
バイバイ

ガエル。
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eve
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 14:54    Sujet du message:

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Momo,

For console gaming, as a generality, Sony has the largest share of the market, then comes Nintendo, and Microsoft would be a close third. Microsoft is doing better than in Japan, but nowhere near as well as in the States, it's not really a success here. Gameboys and DS are very popular as always.

If I had to compare with the American market, they're relatively close except maybe the fact that there's a lot less sports games, and some genres aren't as present (eg RPGs). Also, it seems to me that there are more game fans who go and import games and systems to access products not on sale in France, which seems less frequent in the US, and almost unheard of in Japan obviously.

Arcade gaming is present, but not as important as in other countries, and they're a bit more of a niche than in the US or Japan. But most mid to big cities have at least a few ones ; I know of 3 or 4 arcade centers just in Paris, there are probably more. The thing is, many arcade stands are not in dedicated arcades but rather in cafés or bars, or together with bowling/billard places. However, I think they tend to disappear nowadays with the generalisation of home gaming, there were defeinitely more in the 80s than today.

For N-Gage, it must be more popular than in Japan but the user base is still very small. It has not been avdertised for a long time and I'm sure most people don't even know about the system. I only saw 2-3 people having one on the street. Even as a phone, it's not very convenient nor pretty so I think people just aren't interested in it.

There is an increasing demand for chakumelo (in French sonneries) as well as cell phone logos (wallpapers). I saw a recent documentary about companies making them, they basically try to imitate the songs with keyboards, and you can download them by sending a keyword (name of the song usually) to a certain number (these services are very well adverstised on TV and also in magazines for young people). The songs can be the latest hits but also classics, music from movies or cartoons, etc. A song costs an average of 3 euros, according to the documentary.
Chakuuta are also starting to appear, although they're always sung by a cover artist.
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momo
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 15:11    Sujet du message: Rental and on-line

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Gael??

Thank you for your info again!
If I may ask some more...

How about rental games?
In Japan, there's a big rental chain called Tsutaya. It's like blockbuster in US - we find them in every major station, and they rent DVDs, VHSs (which is getting fewer and fewer - do you still see them in fnac or in rental shops?), and music CDs. But no video games.
I heard rental games is big in UK - how about in France?
I also heard that rental CD exists only in Japan, except public libraries and other exceptions.

Tsutaya started Netflix sort of service (door-to-door delivery rental service, with no penalty charge for late return) about half a year ago, and it's getting huge too.
I found many of those in France, and also one for DVD there too:
http://www.gameplazza.com/

The thing is, although I can google and find if there exist or not, but I have no clue about the reality of these shops - if French people are actually using the service or not.

Gael??? Do you play on-line games too?
I suppose the situation is more or less similar as UK - that non-RPG used to be more popular than RPG, such as Counter-Strike, but MMORPG is getting bigger these days, such as World of Warcraft and Dark Age of Camelot?

momo - from Tokyo, at almost midnight
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ky0
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 15:27    Sujet du message:

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Shall i answer for this?

Game rental is purely forbidden in France. So this looks like to be kind of a paradox as it's possible to rent movies. I'm sure however it would be a high success if games could be rented here, especially as the prices of games is so expensive compared to cost of life here in France.

Online games are very popular with fps games ( like quake, unreal etc), but Mmorpgs are getting bigger and bigger. World of warcraft is especially a success but everquest remains the reference in France for the Mmorpgs. Dark age of camelot has its fan base. The problem here in France is still that the idea of paying a monthly fee to play a game they have actually bought is not very accepted yet. So i could say that mmorpgs are a still matter of "hardcore gamers" for a few times yet. But with recents changes with mmorpgs like Guild wars who don't require to pay anything once you've got the game, i think things might change.

You should not forget fighting games (Street fighter, King of fighters, Tekken...). The fighting games, especially 2D fighting games have their hardcore fans as well and many tournaments are organized in France. Recently a team of French players flew to Japan to participate to the Tougeki, a fighting games tournament held in Japan. They lost terribly, especially one of them who defied a Japanese player and lost 40 times in a row ( beat by 40). You might read an article about this in the next Arcadia Magazine in Japan.
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 15:48    Sujet du message: --- and pirates

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Thanks eve san and ky0 san for your post.
It's interesting you say French people are not familier for paying monthly fee for on-line games. On-line games are not Japanese people's favorite, perhaps for the same reason, plus there are massive crowd already taken for console games. There are enough players, but not as crazy as US and Korea.

Gael!? <- this !? supossed to be <hakase> "the master" in chinese character which did not appear right on the screen...

Another topic I want to cover is pirate works.
In Tokyo, if you go to Akihabara, which is famous as electric components/gadgets town, we sometimes find some chinese people selling pirate DVDs on the backstreets (but not in the stores). I think it's around 1,000yen (8euros) each.
Internet auction is another place you find pirate stuffs - constantly, but not huge. Yahoo Auction is the biggest auction site in Japan (no ebay here).
These are for non-heavy, ordinary people who don't know P2P downloads.
Yet, in the end, as far as I know, pirate/illegal market in Japan is not big at all. People just buy new or used legal stuffs, or rent.
How about in France?

momo
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Gael
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MessagePosté le: 22 Mai 2005 15:58    Sujet du message:

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Hey Momo-san (is the nickname inspired by Xenosaga ?) !

As Ky0 said, renting games is forbidden by the law in France. That seems curious regarding the quality and efficiency of this service in UK and in the US, for example. Because of the high price of the games in France (around 60€ for home games (DVDs and mini-DVDs) ; around 40€ for portable games (cards for GBA and DS)), and due to the absence of such a service, gamers tend to hack more than in other countries. In fact, Xbox seems to be a sad example for console hacking, as was the first PlayStation back in its time.
In France, rental exists for DVDs (and VHSs, but less and less) in stores. In public libraries, you can rent books and audio CDs. And you also can on the Internet (ie http://www.glowria.fr/glow2/viewIndex.do - which approaches the Tsutaya service).

Personnally, I don't play online games. I always tell myself I don't have enough time to play videogames, so I don't want to enter the online gaming crew, because I would be the perfect type of gamer which could spend too much time playing. So I only play offline games. However, as you must know, WoW has a huge success in France and a lot of people (not only coregamers or online gaming fans) spend a lot of time playing this game.
But the number of online players is of course not as impressive as in Korea. I would say that the ratio of online gamers (over gamers in general) is less than in the US and in Japan. Because for example, when I visit the GameWatch website, I often see news about FFXI.

Have a good night ! ^_^
(and thank you for the "hakase" kanji ^o^)
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