Not content with being named captain of the French football team, Kylian Mbappé can be proud to appear on the cover of the video game which was, by far, the best-selling in France in 2022. FIFA 23, of the American publisher Electronic Arts, has sold more than 1.7 million copies there and generated 107.3 million euros, according to the 2022 report of the Union of Leisure Software Publishers (SELL ), which brings together the companies that publish and broadcast the games.
FIFA 23 is followed in this ranking by another title from the United States: the shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, from Activision Blizzard, which has sold more than 791,000 copies in France for a turnover of nearly 59 million euros.
The Japanese company Nintendo, which placed ten of its games in the "top 20" of sales in our territory, then comes in third place with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the penultimate installment of the monster-hunting franchise which counts nearly 590,000 copies sold for a turnover of 29 million euros.
After two years marked by the postponement of many games due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the novelties have given a boost to the sector. Three of Sony's PlayStation blockbusters (God of War: Ragnarök, Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7) as well as FromSoftware's Elden Ring also landed high on last year's bestseller charts.
Decline in console sales in France
The French video game market stood at 5.5 billion euros in 2022 in France, compared to 5.6 billion euros last year, a decline of 1.6%. After the records of 2021, this constantly growing sector is returning to its level of 2020, a particularly dynamic year for this industry due to the enthusiasm that arose during periods of confinement.
The video game market is divided into three sectors: mobile, PC and console gaming. The console market - as a whole when including games, accessories and machines - is the most lucrative, representing 46% of industry turnover in France, according to the 2022 report of the SELL. Down, however: totaling nearly 2.6 billion euros, it is down 6.6% compared to 2021. The supply problems of the latest generation consoles for most of the year partly explain the fall in sales of these platforms.
Revenue from computer video games, when including machines, accessories and games, increased by 5.8% to reach 1.5 billion euros. That of mobile games, for its part, stagnated at 1.4 billion euros.
"The market is relatively stable in a complicated economic and political context," said SELL President Julie Chalmette. However, the year 2023 is promising for publishers who will benefit from the return to the shelves of the latest consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series), which began at the beginning of the year.
On the games side, gamers' appetite seems intact, as evidenced by the meteoric sales of Hogwarts Legacy: The Legacy of Hogwarts (12 million copies sold worldwide two weeks after its release, according to Warner Bros.). Great prospects are finally emerging with the arrivals, expected for years, of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Street Fighter 6, Diablo IV, Final Fantasy XVI or Starfield.
The competition will therefore be tough for the football simulation from Electronic Arts, which has been at the top of French sales since 2014 – especially since the game will change its name for its next episode, due to a disagreement between the publisher and the International Federation of Association Football.