On Friday 6 March, innovation players came out in droves for the 6th annual edition of the Hacking de l’Hôtel de Ville : 4,000 business meetings during the largest meetup in France, a collaborative workshop on new recruitment challenges, 5 round tables, 24 demos of game-changing innovations …. Startups, corporates, investors, experts and City of Paris officials once again seized the opportunity to build new and lasting business partnerships.
Today Paris&Co, the economic development and innovation agency of Paris, launched Level 256 – the first esports innovation platform in Europe.
Esports is the competitive practice of electronic games, encompassing every multi-player competition in the world of video games. It’s also one of the biggest cultural phenomena in recent memory: a global market of €900 million today, forecast to reach €3 billion by 2022. In France, a recent poll by Médiamétrie - France Esports estimates there are 5 million esport consumers in 2018, of which 935,000 people play regularly.
To meet the challenges of technological, economic and societal development, and with the support of the City of Paris, Paris&Co launched LEVEL 256 today - the first esport platform in the world.
The name refers to a bug in the Pacman video game that wouldn’t let players go beyond level 256. Since that time, gaming has been continuously evolving and innovating. And the LEVEL 256 program is focused on one main goal: make Paris the European esports capital!
LEVEL 256, a crossroads for networking and exchange
With a mission that goes far beyond just incubating a myriad of national and international startups, LEVEL 256 aims to foster gatherings and exchanges between the major players of esports (SMEs, large corporations, associations, institutional players, amateur and professional teams). Its primary objective is to support and guide them in seeking talents, innovation and investors.
Alongside its founding partners AXA, EDF and FDJ Esport, LEVEL 256 will mentor 11 companies: Pictor innovation, GamersRoom, Gameblr Esports, GameWard, Bequipe, E-Corp, Pantheon, World Gaming Federation, Wezzar, Gozulting, Glory4gamers.
Developing Parisian communities of amateur gamers is a key social inclusion challenge. LEVEL 256 will offer a unique venue in the East of Paris to run training programs, build awareness and promote the practice of esports accessible to all. Esports diversity and access for the disabled are the major focal points of development.
Paris, host to the biggest Esport events
Esports is characterized by global competitions capable of reaching up to 36 million internaut spectators. In November 2019, the City of Paris will welcome one of the most prestigious competitions: the League of Legends World Championship finals!