CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This article compares the history of a major French video game company with that of its industry. By retracing the history of Focus Home Interactive, we show how a medium-sized company, unable to compete with the major international publishers, nevertheless imposed a specific vision of video game publishing and thus participated in the structuring of the industry on an international scale. We present three phases of the parallel evolution of Focus and the video game industry over a period of more than 20 years. The video game publisher is founded and seeks out independent studios during the first phase (1995-2002). During the second phase (2003-2019), dematerialization is the key driver of growth. Finally, during the third phase (2020-2022), Focus has become a large company in a dynamic industry. We study how the organization restructured over time, how it moved into digital distribution and how it established an international network of partners. We highlight the importance of the relationship between producer and publisher in the industry and argue that the vision and economic model created by Focus can be defined as a form of industrial craftsmanship.

Thomas Paris
Pierre Poinsignon
Alexandre Viard
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