Type de prestation: Finance

BigWhoop performs several types of financial analysis. Let us know the stage of your project and find out how we can help you.

At what stage
should we intervene?
At the idea stage

Creating a business plan for your video game

The creation of a business plan is an essential step in estimating the projected costs of a video game. Quantifying these costs allows you to budget for the company's financial needs until the game is released and put on the market.

How to create a business plan for your video game

Many free business plan templates exist on the internet. This document in Excel format contains a large amount of financial information to be filled in. You must first specify, for each development phase, the production costs by category (human resources, copyright, hardware, software, hosting, transport, etc.) as well as the marketing costs (community management, website creation, video editing, advertising costs, etc.).

In a second step, the objective will be to identify funding to cover all your expenses, such as loans, seed capital, fundraising, grants, tax credits, etc.

Finally, the idea is to estimate your projected sales by conducting a plausible competitive analysis. Who are my competitors whose games are similar to my product? How many copies were sold and at what price? With what marketing budget? However, be careful: a competition analysis is not a market study. We strongly recommend that you carry out a market study to help you forecast your financing needs for the production and marketing of your video game beyond the pre-production phase (more about our market analysis method).

BigWhoop helps you draw up a business plan

Our agency offers experienced people in the video game industry to help you draw up a business plan. We have very precise information on the real cost of each expense item. This precision allows you to anticipate unforeseen events and to carry out your project in the best conditions.

In addition, we also have a thorough understanding of the various public schemes and how they work together to build a low-risk financing strategy. For example, many studios include public funding in their financing plans. This public funding is allocated according to the assessment of committees. The criteria on which these committees are based, when they exist, are subjective and depend on many parameters. Making the funding of your video game conditional on obtaining a grant carries a significant risk of the project failing.

Similarly, private funding also involves a degree of uncertainty. However, if a private investor refuses to finance you, you can go and present your project to another potential partner. The number of windows in the framework of public funding is limited.

Bonus Stage : To go further, we advise you to couple the establishment of the business plan with a financing strategy. The creation of the business plan allows you to ask yourself questions about costs and income in a global way. The funding strategy allows you to understand precisely what the rules, issues and duties are for each scheme and to make contingency plans if the initial strategy fails.

Pre-production phase

How to establish a profitability forecast for a PC / Console video game?

The objective of an investor is to know the profitability forecast of your video game before proceeding with its financing. This forecast is all the more strategic as the development of a PC / Console video game requires hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros of investment.

Economic crises usually bring investors to their senses, even if financing has been provided in the past on a whim. These investors want to have visibility on the profitability of your video game well before its release.

Predicting profitability by analysing the profitability of competing video games is an illusion

Many studios present their video games as direct competitors to the huge blockbusters on the market. After all, if these competing games have been enjoyed by gamers, your game is bound to interest them and they will rush to buy it! However, once funded and released, the game may only be of interest to a very small number of people. This is the case for many of the projects currently on the market, which unfortunately have not met their public.

What is most surprising is that studios seem to forget to assess the interest of their market for their product. These companies very often confuse "competitive research" with "market research". Competitive research is the study of the characteristics of competing products. Market research is studying the expectations of the people who will buy your product. And these are two very different concepts. Currently, for a financial expert, financing a video game is more of a gamble than an informed choice. Under these conditions, your arguments are insufficient to convince an investor of the success of your product.

Bigwhoop helps you predict the profitability of your PC / Console game

From the pre-production phase, our agency allows you to estimate the profitability forecast of your video game. We use real data from social networks (more about our market analysis method). This method allows us to determine the preferences regarding the game's features and the level of interest of your market. We can also identify the distribution platforms on which your future buyers want to purchase the game.

By estimating the selling price and production costs, we are able to estimate the marketing costs necessary to reach the break-even point. When the break-even point is reached, the net profits generated by your game pay back your production and marketing costs. Beyond this threshold, your additional marketing expenditure is converted into net profits until your market is exhausted.

Bonus Stage : Break-even can be achieved more quickly by lowering your production costs. The use of the video game tax credit or by_obtaining a subsidy via the video game support fund can help to ensure this cost reduction.

Production phase

Why calculate the amount of your video game tax credit ("CIJV")?

Calculating the Video Game Tax Credit (called "crédit d’impôt jeu vidéo" or "CIJV" in French) allows you to benefit from a 30% refund on the expenses related to the development of your video game. In theory, this calculation may seem very easy. You add up all your expenses, apply 30% and you're done! In practice, it is not so simple...

The General Tax Code specifies the details of the calculation of the "CIJV". This code indicates the expenses eligible for the "CIJV", but also the methodology accepted by the tax administration for selecting, restating and prorating expenses. Although these rules may seem clear, they are open to interpretation. Only a solid experience of this scheme can anticipate the reactions of your tax office.

Avoiding mistakes when calculating your video game tax credit

During the development of your video game, you will use various resources, both human and material. The time spent on each of these resources for the production of the video game must be consistent and justifiable.

To give you a few examples among many others from past experience, a studio director who answers many press interviews will find it difficult to justify working full time on the production of the game. A server shared between data from your previous game and the game in development will not be able to benefit from a valuation for 100% of its cost. The overall bill for a freelance community manager who in reality divides his time between writing articles to praise the merits of the game and collecting technical opinions from users will have to be arbitrated.

The eligibility and utilisation rate of each resource should be assessed. Analysis of your invoices is essential to determine whether they can be valued within the "CIJV". Your accountant will generally not have anticipated this meticulous analysis. As a result, he will have the greatest difficulty in rendering the arbitrations requested by the tax authorities.

BigWhoop calculates and secures your video game tax credit ("CIJV")

BigWhoop works alongside your accountant. We carry out an in-depth analysis of your expenses and optimise the "CIJV" with other subsidies or tax credits. Our experts, specialised in the video game industry, carry out this analysis for you. 

Our agency works with all types of studios, from independent studios to studios belonging to large groups. BigWhoop ensures the traceability of all arbitrations. We can answer questions from your various contacts, including the tax authorities. A few weeks after you apply for a "CIJV" refund, your tax office will ask you to justify the amounts claimed. If you do not provide a clear explanation, your tax office may reject your claim and delay your refund for several months. 

Bonus Stage : it is also important to anticipate the normal timeframe for the "CIJV" to be reimbursed by the tax authorities, which may extend beyond 6 months. How can I get the money just a few weeks after the "CIJV" has been calculated? We have a network of financial partners who are able to make advances on the amounts requested from the tax authorities.

At the release stage of the game

How to obtain a final approval for the video game tax credit ("CIJV")?

Your development period is almost over and it is time to get your final approval for the video game tax credit (called "crédit d’impôt jeu vidéo" or "CIJV" in French). You will need to add up all the expenditure involved in producing your game and submit the final version to the CNC. But when you open the administrative document requesting final approval from the "CIJV"...surprise! You only have half the information requested!

It is likely that you have initiated this application just before the end of your provisional accreditation at the "CIJV". A race against time begins. You have to put all your other activities on hold to concentrate full time on the application for final approval. Doing so is recommended in order to avoid repaying your entire video game tax credit.

Anticipating your application for final approval

Just like the calculation of the video game tax credit (find out more about the calculation of the "CIJV"), the application for final approval will ask you to specify the geographical area of each expense (France, EU or non-EU) as well as its allocation (such as the salary of an engineer, a designer, a project manager, the invoice of a freelance developer, invoices for equipment, etc.). 

The identification of expenses eligible for the video game tax credit will normally have been carried out for each claim. However, it is now necessary to identify, in addition, the non-eligible expenses that have also contributed to the development of the game! Your accountant will be able to provide you with an overall summary of these different expenses. However, he will most probably be unable to provide you with the details requested by the CNC (geographical breakdown and exact content). It will therefore be up to you to allocate each expense to the right category!

BigWhoop takes care of your application for final approval for the video game tax credit

If your application for provisional approval is delayed, you will have to pay back your entire video game tax credit ("CIJV"). To avoid this disaster, we will complete the document for you. We anticipate the production phase of the file by sending you reminders about the upcoming deadline. The agency works in partnership with your chartered accountant to extract the necessary data for the production of your final approval file.

BigWhoop calculates and distributes the expenses in each category requested. All the expenditure adjustments are recorded in your accounting ledgers. This additional information makes it easier for your auditor - who is not your accountant - to validate and then produce a justification that allows you to freeze your development costs.

If you do not have a statutory auditor, we can put you in touch with several statutory auditors with whom we are used to working and with whom we have established a relationship of trust. Processing by our services generally makes it possible to greatly accelerate the validation of these auditors.

Bonus Stage : The breakdown of expenses incurred as part of the application for final approval to the "CIJV" can be used to apply for the balance of production aid from the CNC's video game support fund ("FAJV").