[toc]French Secretary of State Axelle Lemaire has announced the formation of the government sponsored “France eSports” federation which will advise the government on regulating eSports.
Official body to represent the industry to government
France eSports will act as the industry’s representative body and be the official “partner of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee for all matters relating to the recognition of electronic sports as sport in itself.”
“The association ‘France eSports’ is to represent the common interests of economic agents, professional or amateur, of the electronic sports sector, and to develop, promote, supervise the practice of e-sports in a spirit of fairness and human development, as part of the values and fundamental principles of Olympism.”
France eSports will change cultural attitudes towards the industry
The first President of the federation is Matthieu Dallon, cofounder and CEO of OXENT, a company that designs and develops assets and technologies to enlarge and promote eSports.
Dallon founded tournament.com, an eSports platform, and the eSports World Cup (ESWC), which puts on an annual eSports convention.
Following the announcement, Dallon explained his view of the current position of competitive eSports within France.
“I think culturally, France isn’t ready… eSports probably isn’t ready either, it will still evolve in the way we play it and how games are created. The first step is to show the maturity of the actors…. We will talk with the institutions with a joined voice. And that’s already progress. Now the objective is to welcome everybody behind this ambitious project.”
French laws are changing to segregate eSports from gambling
The French Senate is currently debating amendments to the Digital Bill that will define eSports as outside the remit of the gambling regulator ARJEL. The amendments will be voted on in the May 3 senate session.
Referring directly to the amendments, Dallon explained:
“I believe the essential point is to get eSports out of gambling regulations, and end up with easy to follow regulations. We need to push the development of eSports without inducing too much complexity.”
France eSports has no regulatory or legal authority under French law, but this will change if the Digital Bill amendments pass. The federation will then be lawfully established as the voice of the French eSports industry.
Powerful industry members
The founding members of France eSports are:
- Matthieu Dallon, president
- Rémy Chanson, secretary-general, director of Webedia Gaming (Jeuxvideo.com, Millenium, IGN)
- Hadrien “Thud” Noci, Alt Tab Productions (O’Gaming)
- Vincent Colas, Futurolan (Gamers Assembly)
- Stéphan Euthine, LDLC Events
- Nicolas Di Martino, Lyon eSport
- Jean-Christophe Arnaud, Malorian (Dreamhack France)
- Samy Ouerfelli, Turtle Entertainment France (ESL), which has just announced the first European eSports TV channel
- Emmanuel Martin, Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL)
- Julien Villedieu, Syndicat National du Jeu Vidéo (SNJV)
The constitution of France eSports requires the organisation to represent the interests of all stakeholders in eSports. These include teams, players, tournament organizers, game publishers, members of the press, and specialized services.
Membership structure will be decided at the first Extraordinary General Meeting which must take place before March 31, 2017.
Political support from Secretary of State Axelle Lemair
Minister Lemaire announced the formation of the new federation from her offices in the Ministry of Finance and Economy. She is fully behind the organization and is supporting the amendments to the Digital Bill.
Lemaire said that she wants France eSports to make France an “organized country on the map of countries that weigh, which count, in eSport.”
“The reality that I see is young super involved, serious, focused, passionate people, working as a team and in constant interaction with their community…. So I want to serve as a conduit to raise awareness about the world of eSports to our citizens.”
This level of political support will be invaluable in helping the industry develop in a commercially viable and socially responsible way. The formation of eSports France and the expected amendments to the law will provide a firm foundation for France develop the new and growing eSports industry.