– Morocco, through its history, its stability, the quality of its human resources, its strategic positioning, both geographically and economically, between Africa, Europe and the Middle East, can become the leading platform for gaming sector for nearly 1.5 billion people. The gaming sector will develop thanks to, and with, digital communication infrastructures (fiber and mobile), innovative payment solutions and content creators. All these fields of investment are linked.
– The observation is there, E-sport is a social phenomenon that is gaining more and more momentum throughout the world. Morocco now aims to develop a gaming industry on a national, continental and global scale. First, how could Morocco develop an excellent ecosystem of E-sport?
– Complementary efforts are needed in two directions. First of all, we must attract key players in this global economy to Morocco: game creators, game publishers, e-sport promoters, innovative companies in the gaming sector. And we must at the same time retain in Morocco the Moroccan talents by giving them, for example, the means to create competitive businesses here.
Among these resources, the Cité du Gaming is a formidable project. Efficient infrastructures are necessary. But this will not be enough if the State does not also support companies with equity in their first years (through equity investments or loans with deferred repayments). The sector is young and highly competitive on a global scale. All means are necessary.
– Does gaming have a promising future in Morocco?
– Yes, and first of all because it is a subject brought up by young people. It is a subject of passion and innovation. Everything is still young in this universe and strongholds are yet to be created. Morocco is currently rolling out an intelligent and opportunistic strategy. This effort must be sustainable.
– What are the expected gains and benefits for this segment? (turnover, volume of funds that will be injected by companies, etc.)
– Video games, on a global scale, are already an economy that weighs more than cinema and music combined. Few people still realize the importance of this economy of more than 200 billion dollars annually, which presents average growth rates per year between 5 and 10%.
E-sport, i.e. the segment concerning gaming as a means of competition, represents a saving of around 25 billion dollars per year if we add together income from sponsorship and marketing rights. , advertising revenue on platforms like Twitch or Youtube, and revenue generated by E-sport games only. The market expects for this segment of E-sport an average annual growth of around 25% per year over the next 5 years.
– Given the large number of E-sport consumers in Morocco, but also the rise of new video games, to what extent is gaming a vector for the development of new professions, such as artificial intelligence and coding?
– Video games are real works that require both artistic and technical skills in their creation phases. The French Video Game Syndicate regularly publishes a repository of professions in the sector, divided into 5 families: Management, Design, Image and Sound, Technology and Publishing and Support. Hundreds of skills and dozens of trades are needed around a game. These are mainly technology trades and computer programming skills, at all levels, from the web to AI through graphics engines.
– From a legal point of view, what legal framework exists for professional gaming players?
– We have in France since 2016 a legal recognition of the status of professional player, with the possibility for private clubs to hire champions under short contracts, adapted to the duration of the competition seasons. It is a framework inherited from traditional sport. Few countries offer this device.
Generally speaking, players are supported by career management agencies, such as Prodigy Agency for example, which negotiate their contracts, provide them with sponsors, advise them on a sporting level, manage their personal image on the Internet, sometimes fortune. The publishers of E-sport games also contribute to the development of a protective framework for players, on the issue of salaries for example or transfers.
– In addition, the video game industry exploded during confinement. How do you explain it? Have social networks further amplified this phenomenon?
– Confinement first favored activities at home, and online gaming, through its social dimension, made it possible to maintain ties with friends and continue to have fun despite the restrictions. The lack of broadcast of traditional sports content, when the stadiums were closed and the competitions canceled, also allowed E-sport to reach a wider audience. The live video platform Twitch TV experienced over this period a +70% increase in its viewers on the Internet thanks to video games.
– As a former promoter of the Video Games World Cup, what are the challenges for the development of major e-sport events today?
– Reach a wide audience, especially an audience that does not play or does not know the games. The emotion and tension of a video game match, the feat achieved by the champions, must be instantly perceptible to the spectator, like a good gesture in tennis, or a collective action in football. This is a challenge to be taken up by the studios that create games, and the promoters who stage video game matches. The E-sports economy will grow thanks to these larger, more mixed, and soon trans-generational audiences.