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Portrait
Digital

Julie Chalmette

We have to highlight what’s positive in the video game industry, which is at the crossroads of technological innovation and artistic creation.

Julie Chalmette has been working in the video game sector for about twenty years, and wears many hats: director at the publisher Bethesda, she also chairs the influential Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL – Leisure Software Publishers Union) and the Women In Games association, which encourages diversity and better representation of women in the sector.

Published on 11/03/2021

2 min

Although Julie Chalmette was introduced to video games as a girl, she started her career in literary publishing. After studying at the EM Strasbourg Business School, she first joined the multimedia section at Flammarion, before joining the Vivendi group in 1998. In 2004, she was fast-tracked to become director of Vivendi Games France, during a decade where this major video game industry player saw certain key licences in its portfolio dominate the world market. She was contacted in 2010 to take part in creating the French branch of the American publisher Bethesda, where she is currently managing director. During her career, she has mixed with figures like Muriel Tramis, pioneer of French video games, or again Arkane, the highly renowned studio in Lyon.

As Julie Chalmette is convinced that the video game medium is a real vector of cultural innovation, and must be given backing with public authorities, she stood in the 2016 elections for the Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL). Backed by her twenty-plus years’ expertise, she was elected president unanimously and has been re-elected twice. Within SELL, which notably organises the Paris Games Week, the biggest annual event dedicated to video games in France, she endeavours to go beyond clichés that are often associated with this world. Particularly attentive to the diversity and breadth of communities that make up this ecosystem, her career was rewarded in 2019, when she received the insignia of the Chevalière des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters).

After having been the only woman to sit on the board of SELL for a long time (now joined by Ina Gelbert), in 2017 Julie Chalmette joined forces with her longstanding friend Audrey Leprince to found the Women in Games feminist association. It is a collective project that aims to improve visibility of women in the video games sector, all while drawing the various players in the industry attention to the problems of inclusiveness and diversity. Stemming from the observation that almost one in two players are female, Women in Games members highlight women models to promote vocations and increase the proportion of women working in video game creation. Julie Chalmette has therefore given herself the objective of doubling the number of women working in the sector within ten years.

  • 2004

    2004

    Julie Chalmette became director of Vivendi Games France.

  • 2010

    2010

    The American video game publisher Bethesda recruited her to be managing director of the French subsidiary.

  • 2016

    2016

    She was unanimously elected president of SELL – the Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs.

  • 2017

    2017

    With her friend Audrey Leprince she co-founded Women In Games, an association that works to improve visibility of women in the video games sector.

  • 2019

    2019

    She was received the Chevalière des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester.

The Institut français and Julie Chalmette

As president of the Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciels de Loisirs (SELL) and vice-president of the association Women In Games, Julie Chalmette is a major player in the video games sector. With culturegamer.fr, the Institut français offers a website dedicated to the promotion of French video games.

L'institut français, LAB