France is to offer tax credits to encourage local companies to develop video games, the Ministry of Culture said on Thursday.
Parliament has approved a measure that will offer tax credits to producers of video games "with a cultural dimension" to finance 20% of a company's production costs to a maximum of 3 million euros ($5.7 million) a year, the ministry said in a statement.
It said the move, intended to keep video game production in France, had been decided in recognition of the growing cultural importance of video games, which it said were played regularly by 15 million people in France.
"It recognises the cultural character of the video game, which involves several branches of artistic talent: writers, directors, graphic artists, musical and sound creators," it said.
The statement noted that the European Commission had begun a formal examination of the proposed measure which would be completed in a few weeks.