for Nicolas Vignolles of SELL, we must “return to something more ambitious” (Interview)

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The event of this end of the year is the return of Paris Games Week, the second largest gathering of video games in Europe (behind Gamescom). A return that many fans were waiting for, after three years of absence following the Covid-19 crisis. Thus, from November 2 to 6, the PGW will be back with a “Restart” version, still at Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles.

With this “Restart” edition, the SELL (the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers), the organizer of the event wishes to offer a more modest edition in terms of size. This year, Paris Games Week will span a single hall (unlike three in previous years). However, in terms of ambitions, the PGW has not revised its objectives downwards, quite the contrary.

For the first time in more than three years, the three manufacturers (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo) will be brought together in a single show. A few days ago, we were able to speak with Nicolas Vignolles, the general delegate of SELL to talk about this highly anticipated return.

Paris Games Week is back

PGW Paris Games Week Restart 2022

© SELL

Last month, the SELL (the Syndicate of Leisure Software Publishers) confirmed the great return of the “PGW” (Paris Games Week) with the “Restart” edition from November 2 to 6, 2022, still at Paris Expo, Gate of Versailles. After three years of absence, the mythical show would finally return to the delight of players, but also industry professionals.

For this return, Covid requires, we will have the right to a smaller edition which will be spread over a single hall (unlike the usual three halls). On the other hand, the program promises to be intense and very good. For the first time since the Covid crisis, the three main players in the industry, namely PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, will meet in the same convention. In addition to this, big names in the industry like Ubisoft, Plaion, Capcom, or Bandai Namco will be present.

The opportunity for players to preview games like Just Dance 2023, A Plague Tale Requiem, Street Fighter 6, Mario & the Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Sonic Frontiers or One Piece Odyssey.

A few days ago, we spoke with Nicolas Vignolles, the general delegate of SELL who explained to us why this return of the PGW was important.

Nicolas Vignolles : “There is a very strong expectation around this event and when the event was absent, we had a very, very strong demand from Paris Games Week. It has become a very, very strong brand, it is a show which, I think, relies on the good positioning both internationally and on French soil. It has always been thought of as a very festive event, very open to the general public, very focused on the communities of players, who have taken over the PGW for ten years. We’ve had a DNA for ten years and that’s what we’re going to find in Paris Games Week 2022. It’s really the fact of being able to offer physical stands where we’ll be able to play on latest generation console, and to be able to offer our audience the opportunity to test the latest innovations. There will also be a large Esport scene with a very ambitious program. So yes, he is a huge ascetic for the French scene. This fair, if it is known internationally now, is the second largest in Europe, it is the recognition of what weighs the French video game in the world. Not reigniting Paris Games Week means counting less on the international scene”.

Paris Games Week has indeed come a very long way since its first edition in November 2010. In 2015 and 2017, PlayStation even organized two press conferences as we could see at E3, Gamescom or the Tokyo Game Show. . In nine years and ten editions, the PGW has grown from 120,000 visitors to 317,000 visitors during its last edition in 2019. As confirmed by Nicolas Vignolles, the show is now recognized internationally. It is certain that this eleventh edition will mark the history of the PGW since for the first time since the Covid crisis, the Paris Games Week will be the first event which will bring together the three manufacturers.

Nicolas Vignolles : “It was decisive first by the DNA which we talked about just before. You cannot welcome the public by saying: “we are the big video game party fair with the communities” without the presence of the three manufacturers. Our promise is that if you come to Paris Games Week, you’ll be able to play, you’ll be able to do lots of things, see incredible things, take part in a show, but above all you’ll be able to play. The heart of Paris Games Week is that you can play. And so, having all three builders is just delivering on its promise. So for us, it was particularly vital. So we don’t compare ourselves to others and we’re all rather friendly with each other, but it’s true that this is the first show in the world that will bring together these three manufacturers, so I think we scored a big hit. And that rewards positioning. That is to say that our promise is very clear for the major publishers and major global manufacturers. We are in November, we are approaching the end-of-year celebrations, we have always had this very general public positioning, and presenting the games at the approach of great times like Christmas, and this positioning, this great clarity, that necessarily facilitated our dialogue with the major international manufacturers, who saw the opportunity, as every year, to come and present their games ».

Paris Games Week 2022 promises to offer us its share of surprises and exclusives, with therefore, for the first time, the presence of the last three consoles, namely the PlayStation 5, the Xbox Series X/S and the Nintendo Switch, accessible and playable on their official stand. We will also have preview access to highly anticipated games playable for the first time such as Just Dance 2023 or Street Fighter 6.

Nicolas Vignolles : “Besides having all three manufacturers, it’s the only show in the world where you’re going to have the very latest consoles. We have some very, very beautiful games, like Just Dance 2023. These are recurrences, but it’s highly anticipated games that will create the show. On the Ubisoft side, we will have Mario and the Rabbids which will already be out, but which will be very present on the stand. At Bandai Namco, we will have games like One Piece Odyssey and Park Beyond. There will be lots of games for the family. There are also very nice things with Capcom which will offer Street Fighter 6. There will also be the “games made in France” stand with more than 25 publishers. This is the first year that we will have so many publishers present with the presence of a highly anticipated game from Focus Home Entertainment: A Plague Tale Requiem”.

A Paris Games Week “Restart” 2022 which therefore promises to be very beautiful. However, the SELL is already looking to the future and the next few years. The objective is simple: return to a larger format, with the ambition of once again reaching the main international players with the organization of major events that can be followed live anywhere in the world.

Nicolas Vingolles : “Clearly, the 2022 edition is atypical in every way. But our goal is to recreate the conditions of Paris Games Week as we have known it with an even higher level of ambition in the years to come. The idea this year is really to relaunch Paris Games Week. Hence the naming “Restart”. But yes, to answer the question very clearly, the ambition is really to put Paris Games Week at the top of international trade fairs. We have rather the wind in our sails by having the manufacturers behind us. A show like Paris Games Week is decided at least six months in advance. Six months ago, we were still in a period of uncertainty. This also explains this choice. But this is by no means definitive. It is this year, before returning to something more ambitious”.

Paris Games Week will therefore be back from November 2 to 6, 2022 at Paris Expo, Porte de Versailles. You can already order your tickets online on the official PGW website.

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