Montpellier gaming leading the pack

Information updated on 17/12/19

The fast-paced video game sector finds fertile ground for growth in the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole area. Not just with a wide range of educational opportunities, but also many emerging companies from startups to the giant Ubisoft.

Jeu Vidéo et animation 3D
Many Montpellier professionals were on-hand for both the international Paris Games Week trade fair in early November and World Video Game Day on November 23. And for good reason. 60% of the regional companies involved with video games are located in the Montpellier Métropole area, with the region ranking third for the field in France overall. At the same time, local universities and some fifteen schools propel the area to the top of the pack, just after Paris, in terms of the number of dedicated educational programs.

Furthermore, a new offering will be available starting in the 2020 school year at the future campus of the Higher School of Artistic Professions (ESMA) at the heart of Montpellier’s Creative City. “Including renowned startup incubators in the territory, and research centers such as the Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics, and Microelectronics, the local ecosystem’s potential could make the Montpellier Métropole area the capital for Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) in southern Europe,” says Laurent Michaud, research director at IDATE DigiWorld Institute and specialist in CCIs.

Push Start, cluster for the digital game industry

Laurent Michaud explains that Ubisoft sent the “strongest signal” by building – for the first time in France – a 4,500 m² studio, inaugurated in September in Castelnau le Lez, on the outskirts of Montpellier. Following in the footsteps of the world’s third largest game developer, operating locally for the past 30 years, a wide range of studios, publishers, and serious game developers has already emerged, including Alt Shift, Digixart, Féérik Games, Gear Prod, La Moutarde, Magic Design Studio, Moonycat Entertainment, Natural Pad, Pixel Reef, Plug In Digital, Scimob, Splashteam, and Wild Sheep Studio.

Most of these companies are united within Push Start, a veritable cluster for the digital game industry. “Our association was born in 2015 from a desire to share dynamic energy among professionals and to become stronger as a group in order to generate greater exposure for our ecosystem. We regularly organize meetings, workshops, and afterwork events, notably with support from Montpellier Métropole,” highlights Marie Legrand. Game developer, elected president of Push Start as of October 1, she is filled with optimism. In 2019, global  video game sales are expected to generate nearly €115 billion, up 11.3% with respect to 2018.
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