At the initiative of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty and the Ministry of Culture, Today, the Prime Minister signed an order in council to modernize the video game tax credit system by changing its cultural scale to make it more relevant to current video games. This development is accompanied by an extension of the video game tax credit until December 31, 2028.

The Video Game Tax Credit scheme, the main public financing tool for this sector, which is subject to very strong international competition, allows video game creation companies to benefit from the subject to conditions, a tax credit corresponding to 30% of the production expenses of a new game.

Since its establishment in 2008, this scheme has benefited more than 150 video game development studios that are part of the living and plural fabric of creative enterprises and has helped finance more than 370 projects.

In 2021, 38 new projects were approved for a total of €155 million in eligible expenses and a tax credit of €43 million. Since 2017, more than €220 million has been paid out through this video game tax credit in support of the French industry.

The eligibility of games is based on a “Contribution to the development of creation”, known as a “cultural scale”, which is based on various criteria for framing the cultural character of video games. The previous version, conceived in 2007 at the time of the creation of the device, no longer corresponded to the current challenges of the sector and was modernized after a work led by the National Centre for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC) and the Enterprise Directorate-General in liaison with industry professionals.

In France, we are fortunate to have one of the richest video game ecosystems in the world. This development of the tax credit dedicated to it will allow us to better support innovative projects and maintain our lead in this area. At a time when new technologies such as metavers and virtual reality are developing, this tax credit is one of the guarantees of French digital sovereignty.” declared Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty.

I am pleased with this development of the video game tax credit, which marks a new stage in our policy of supporting a growing sector that creates jobs and cultural vitality. This modernization allows us to amplify our support for independent players and new talent that will help position France as a leading video game producer country » says Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture.

 “The modernization of the cultural scale is accompanied by an extension of the CYBF until December 31, 2028, which will give all the fiscal predictability to promote the localization of productions in France and support the development of the most ambitious games that require a long time. It takes better account of the new business models and innovations that drive the sector, such as cloud gaming, virtual reality and blockchain, and is set to play a central role in building metavers» says Jean-Noël Barrot, Deputy Minister for Digital Transition and Telecommunications.


Features of the new schedule

In practice, the new scale has a more clearly substantiated cultural objective and produces a truly incentive effect, notably by enshrining the original creative principle.

Thus, points are awarded to projects that justify the creation of a new universe and a new concept, and that act as original visual, narrative and/or musical creation.

Points may also be awarded in recognition of innovative nature of the game, technological innovation being an integral part of the dynamics of creating a video game. It will be better suited to mobile video games that have played an important part in the production dynamics of French studios.

Finally, this new schedule maintains a heritage criterion (inspiration of European heritage or adaptation of a work) , as well as criteria relating to the European character of the video game in order to favour projects which present a strong European identity, in the content, the choice of languages, or within the production team.

The new modernized fee structure makes the video game tax credit system more relevant to current games, more predictable by formulating perfectly objective, well-defined and simpler criteria.

This is a new measure in the Government’s strategy to make France a leader in video game production:

  • A range of cross-cutting innovation support schemes: research tax credit, status as an innovative start-up company, French Tech grants, non-sectoral financing tools operated by Bpifrance
  • Reinforcement of the video game fund operated by the CNC (5M€ per year)
  • Financing innovation and training through the measures of the France 2030 plan
  • Creation of an accelerator training the leaders of the future nuggets of the French video game and funded by Bpifrance and the CNC
  • Free training on sexual and gender-based violence provided by the CNC for an exemplary industry on societal issues
  • New actions to promote the international attractiveness of France (for example French pavilion at the Gamescom in Cologne funded by Business France and the CNC)