Syndicate of Entertainment Software Publishers


March 1995. For different video game publishers installed in France, and wishing to defend the video game, an association is created: it is the birth of the Syndicate of Software Publishers of Leisure.

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SELL's primary mission is to explain and illustrate the reality of video games with the French. Another immediate desire, the protection and the information of the consumer, then face a total absence of frame. A desire that will result in both health messages (warning against the risk of epilepsy) that the establishment of a classification to protect the youngest, and then explain this universe to parents, often clueless. Today, the PEGI classification and the PédaGoJeux collective perfectly fulfill these two essential missions.

Finally, it became essential, after having initiated these priority missions, to assume a new one, by ensuring the two biggest French events related to video games: the IDEF exhibition (Interactive Digital Entertainment Festival) for the B2B part, and the Paris Games Week lounge for consumers.

                 PGW 2016, stand Game One

Promote video games

In its desire to help the French creative sector, the SELL never stopped getting closer to the public authorities, in order to raise awareness of the sector's issues and help it grow.

One of the flagship measures of this long-term work saw a first victory in 2003, materialized by the establishment of specific support for the pre-production of video games within the multimedia publishing fund (FAEM).  4 million euros is earmarked for this support, and distributed to eligible projects according to criteria determined by the Multimedia Publishing Fund Commission. The exclusion of games with a character of extreme violence, if it is understandable, will be revised later on due to differences in age criteria with the film industry, where the ban of at least 18 years strikes works much more polemical or violent than in video games.

In 2007, this help turn into a video game assistance fund (FAJV), and the video game tax credit can finally be presented by the French government for validation by the European Commission, obtained after implementation of a rating scale for projects submitted. Since its announcement, this measure allows to keep in France large studios previously promised to exile.

Since January 1, 2008, the Video Game Tax Credit includes a tax credit of 20% of eligible expenses up to the limit of 3 million euros per financial year. Through this bill, projects are not the budget is greater than or equal to 150,000 euros.

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In 2013, a reform of the Video Game Tax Credit will make many valuable changes, always with the aim of expanding eligible projects, including independent games, mobile or browsers. First, the threshold for access to credit will be reduced to 100,000 euros. The threshold of EUR 10 million, which until now makes it possible to extend the period of taking into account eligible expenditure, will for its part be purely and simply abolished, reserving this measure only for large productions. Finally, the games stamped PEGI 18 will no longer be systematically excluded, provided that they obviously do not include pornographic sequences or scenes of extreme violence.

Another area, more recent where the SELL has played its influence: eSport. In 2015, after SELL alerted the authorities to the legal uncertainty surrounding video game competitions under the gambling legislation, the government chose to add an enabling article to the bill. the government to modify, by ordinance, the Code of Internal Security to clarify the situation. A mission was entrusted by the Prime Minister to several parliamentarians to study the possibility of giving real recognition to these practices as a discipline and economic activity, in order to allow them to develop fully in France.

SELL is also involved in Video Game Industry Associations Summit, the international cooperation of associations representative of the video game which took a new scale in 2017. Coming from all over the world the homologous organizations of the SELL meet for two days of exchange, of debate and sharing of good practices.

A new proof of the essential role played by the SELL in the recognition of the evolutions of the media by our institutions.


Since its creation, SELL has been committed to informing and protecting consumers. The first major action of SELL in this regard will be the essential nature of warnings aimed at preventing consumers from the risks of epilepsy related to the use of a video game.

On 23 April 1996, a decree was adopted by the government to this effect, making the presence of a specific information notice mandatory in every video game sold on the territory, or made available in public places. A responsible action that, rather than minimizing a risk, clearly explains it to the institutions so that it legislates and warns the main stakeholders: the gamers.

Another essential mission is the creation of clear signage aimed at detailing the content of a video game and specifying which audiences can try it. Priority for the SELL since its creation, the objectives of this classification are multiple. Allow consumers, and especially parents, to act responsibly in the face of commercially available games. But it is also in this way to defend the freedom of expression and avoid the use of censorship; preserving the youth of traumatic scenes or images cannot be done to the detriment of creative freedom, or for mature audiences the opportunity to enjoy more mature content.

The creation of a specific signage system will initially lead to a signage with four main age class categories: all ages, 12 years and over, 16 years and over, 18 years and over. Over time, many advances enhance the effectiveness of this signage; the size and location of the logos become standardized, distributors and press are informed of the attribution of a classification for each title, and a follow-up commission is created for possible revisions of rankings.

In 2003, this system is replaced by PEGI (Pan European Game Information), in the interest of European harmonization. Created by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (IFSE), the PEGI operates a classification of games according to five age categories (more than 3, 7, 12, 16 or 18 years old) chosen with regard to the proposed content. Content that is detailed by eight descriptive icons, indicating respectively the presence of violence, rudeness, scary content, sex, drugs, games of chance, discrimination or online games.

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In 2008, SELL participated in the creation of the collective PédaGoJeux, which brings together industry players, family associations and institutions. The goal, again multiple, aims to inform and educate parents about the world of video games and the use of their children. Parents can better understand the media, choose games for their children, but also protect them. After the website dedicated to the communication of this structure, the collective launched in 2014 the Ambassadors Program to promote in the socio-educational sphere (media libraries, toy libraries, educators, associations ...) a serene video game practice and in 2015 PédaGoJeux Junior, aimed directly at children, to answer their questions, but also to encourage them to ask others.

In December 2015, the Ministry of the Interior officially homologated the PEGI classification: this approval by the public authorities is the recognition of the work carried out since 1995 by the publishers within the SELL.

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SELL also committed to the association Women in Games created following the signing of the plan for the promotion of gender diversity in the digital sector. The association's commitments are to encourage women to join the video game industry in France, facilitate their professional career and promote gender diversity among industry players. SELL obviously supports its commitments and highlights them in a series of reports on women in the video game industry.


At the very moment of its creation, the SELL has the essential and foundational idea of developing a better knowledge of the market, which is valuable for its members as well as for the various major players in the sector or institutions. For this, a partnership was set up in 1995 with the GfK Institute (Gesellschaft für Konsumfroschung, literally "society for research on consumption") to measure the video game market, its trends and developments, and in time real. The German company, specialist of market research in the world in three major sectors (customer, trade and technology, media) brings together all figures of video game sales in France. The reliability and reliability of this partner in the field of data collection and analysis allows SELL to share with its partners an ever more accurate and precise vision of the market.

Since 2012, the Interactive Software Federation Europe (ISFE), the European trade union for video game publishers, has equipped the industry with a new tool to measure the evolution of the digital market: the GameTrack realized by the company IPSOS which thus completes the vision market offered by SELL to its members.

In addition to a weekly sales ranking presented in its newsletter but also on social networks, the SELL created in 2013 a publication entirely dedicated to these data: the Essential Video Game. On a rhythm of three annual releases, this publication delivers the keys necessary for a good understanding of the market, the consumption and the uses of the video game. There is so much talk of numbers and sales of volume and value of games, consoles, as the analysis of market prospects in light of these data. In addition, the specificity of the French video game industry is analyzed, with its ecosystem, business models or market mapping and the profile of its consumers, or its place in the sector at the global level.

In 2017, under the leadership of ISFE and local organizations, the industry has a new panel called "GSD" (Game Sales Data). The aim of the latter is to propose a better measure of the diversity and complementarity of the different ecosystems that make up the video game industry on a European scale but also with a refined vision of the digital market. Thanks to GSD for the physical market, and in addition to GameTrack and App Annie for the digital and mobile markets, estimates of market figures are much more representative of the evolution of the sector.

So, since its creation, the Essential Video Game has been able to serve as a barometer in the analysis of the arrival of 8th generation consoles on the market, and the natural growth associated with it, but also to light changes in the typical profile of the player in France, now older, much more often female, far from the clichés usually conveyed when we do not have serious data, compiled on a recurring rhythm. By developing its tools, the SELL has refined over the last twenty years its knowledge of the video game sector, the relevance of information made available, and at the same time improved the knowledge of the actors having access to it.

For more information, visit the SELL website.