The reasons for the success of the nugget of the French video game Focus Home Interactive
The French video game publisher announced record results for 2016. If he can still say a big thanks to his cash machine Farming Simulator, the group led by Cédric Lagarrigue proposes an original production that expands on consoles and PC And which promises some surprises for 2017.
Focus Home Interactive has the wind in its sails. The French publisher of video games posted strong results for the 4 thquarter with a growth of 102% and a turnover in 2016 record at 75.5 million euros, up 9%. It owes much of its success to Farming Simulator, a real and unlikely success story. And the numbers are there to prove it. It has sold 7 million copies since its debut and 1 million copies of the latest opus, Farming Simulator 17. The title fits in the top 20 of the best-selling games in France in 2016, according to the ranking SELL and GFK . It arrives in 19 th position (with 160,000 copies sold). According to Charles-Louis Planade, Research Director at Midcaps Partners, “the weight of Farming Simulator in sales is expected to remain significant at nearly 40% of annual sales.” Last year it accounted for one third of turnover . But in total, eight titles were launched in 2016 by Focus Home Interactive.
The publisher claims a place apart from Ubisoft, Gameloft or other Ankama since it does not develop any game internally. His mission? Accompany independent studios looking for a publisher for production monitoring, marketing, marketing and financing. “Focus is the first partner of French studios”, claims Cédric Lagarrigue, CEO: Cyanide, Asobo, Dontnod … All the rising stars of the national scene respond. And that’s not all. Focus aims to make international know-how available to the international market. “We have a way of working that corresponds to what the studios are looking for,” he explains. This is readily acknowledged by Kevin Chotau, who is responsible for the production of A plague of Tale at Asobo. “We toured several publishers and Focus was the most enthusiastic. It offers us an unprecedented freedom “. The nugget of the video game, instated in Bordeaux , became known thanks to its partnership with Microsoft on HoloLens , the spectacles of augmented reality developed by the American giant. But he also works with Ubisoft (Monopoly, The Crew). And with its new title, it offers gameplay that should seduce, slipping into the skin of a teen and playing especially on shadows and light.
A full catalog for 2017
And Focus Home Interactive shows its serenity for 2017. “In 2017, we have four big games,” warns Cédric Lagarrigue: A beach of Tale: Innocence developed by Asobo, Vampyr developed by Dontnod, Call of Cthulhu and Styx developed by Cyanide. The latter title, scheduled for March, is the “first true test of the year”, according to Charles-Louis Planade. And his catalog for the coming years is filled with beautiful promises that the publisher presented at his Paris event in early February, What’s Next. On the program Greedfall (Spiders), Insurgency (New World) or Werewolf (Cyanide). And that’s not all. It will be able to count on the arrival at the end of the year of Farming Simulator on the Nintendo Switch, the new hybrid console marketed in March by the Japanese giant . An appointment that he does not want to miss … And for good reason.
The publisher of the 19 th district of Paris has found its niche, duplicate titles A. When AAA exceed 50 million euros, the double A have a budget of between 3 and 6 million. But attention, “the graphic realization remains of quality”.
Focus is also pursuing nuggets. “We are looking for young shoots with projects a few hundred thousand euros and we are helping them grow. And there is a strong demand for Focus, “concedes Cédric Lagarrigue, who welcomes the reform of the video game tax credit in France . “It allows us to increase our production budgets and to increase to 8 million euros for some. The CIJV allows us to compete against Poland or Canada “. On the other hand, the mobile game is not his cup of tea. “The return on investment is very difficult”. Focus Home Interactive prefers to be a “dwarf among the giants” on consoles. For the time being.