[Jeux vidéo] The news of the week: LucasArts, Zynga, Aesia …

by bold-lichterman

The launch by the government of a video game industry working group, the end of LucasArts announced by Disney, the presentations of the Bordeaux studios Aesia and ConcoursMania… Zoom on the news of video games this week.

Fleur Pellerin and Aurélie Filippetti launch a working group to help the video game sector

Fleur Pellerin, Minister of the Digital Economy, and Aurélie Filippetti, Minister of Culture, are launching today from the premises of Quantic Dream (Heavy rain) a working group on the French video game sector. Bringing together members of the two ministries and professionals in the sector, this working group should put forward measures to come to the aid of an industry battered in these times of crisis.

Contacted by PCImpact, the Ministry of the Digital Economy specifies that fiscal measures are not yet programmed for this sector, while about fifteen studios have already put the pad under the door since the beginning of the year. Conversely, Canada, and more precisely Quebec, is regularly shown as an example. The country, which has succeeded in attracting giants like Eidos, EA but also the French Ubisoft, in fact grants the studios tax credits of up to 37.5%. The video game sector on the other side of the Atlantic employs 16,000 people, compared to 5,000 in France, where the tax credit is only 20%.

Disney announces the closure of LucasArts, the prolific video game studio

Disney, which bought LucasFilm, the company exploiting the rights to Star Wars, from George Lucas last October, announced yesterday the closure of the LucasArts studio (Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars: Battlefront, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones …). To give order 66, Disney justified itself by announcing in a press release that it had made an assessment of the group’s position in the video game sector. In order to minimize the risks, the group decided to switch from an internal development model to a license operating model.


For the next games using Star Wars or Indiana Jones licenses, the group should therefore call on third-party studios. The future of LucasArts’ 150 employees, as well as the highly anticipated Star Wars 1313 game still in development, remains uncertain.

Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPOP (Draw Something) slams Zynga’s door

Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPOP studio bought last year by its competitor Zynga for nearly $ 183M, left the company yesterday according to information from the Wall Street Journal. So in full boom, the success of the game Draw Something has since run out of steam, digging into Zynga accounts. The Californian studio also has to deal with King’s competition. The departure of Dan Porter is symptomatic of this difficult context. He will be replaced at OMGPOP by Sean Kelly, previously CityVille Game Manager.

Also this week …

In search of economic stability, Zynga yesterday launched in the United Kingdom ZyngaPlusPoker, a real currency version of ZyngaPoker, a successful Facebook game. With ZyngaPlusCasino, the Californian social gaming studio could soon integrate other games such as roulette or blackjack.

Zoom on the Bordeaux studio Aesia, created in 2008 and which has since been surfing the success of made in Bordeaux gaming, illustrated a few years ago by the Kalisto and In-fusio studios. Aesia specializes in social games and gamification.

ConcoursMania, specialist in online marketing games since 1995, has just achieved a turnover of 15M €, 20% of which is generated internationally. Julien Parrou, its founder, takes stock of the studio’s development on the occasion of the Bordeaux stage of the FrenchWeb Tour.

Infographic of the week:

Presented by ProfitBricks, the following infographic compares the development costs of legendary games like Final Fantasy 7 and Donkey Kong and recent blockbusters like GTA 4 or Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The $ 100,000 needed for the production of Donkey Kong (1981 – 1.13M copies sold) thus seem very small compared to the $ 100M for GTA 4 (2008 – 20.6M copies).


Events not to be missed:

  • 4th edition of “Come create your game”, April 6 and 7 @Paris (Epitech)
  • TGS Ohanami, April 13 and 14 @Toulouse
  • The Videogame Economics Forum, May 16 and 17 @ Angoulême

Jobs in video games: