From tennis courts to arcade terminals. This is a bit like the path followed by Sébastien Hette. This former Fed Cup and Davis Cup director from 2010 to 2019 created Reset XP, an events company specializing in retro sports video games, in January 2020. “I came back in 1994, [à la Fédération française de tennis]. In 2010, I was responsible for organizing the Davis Cup and Fed Cup games. So I organized about thirty meetings in the territory. I accompanied the French teams when they travelled”, says this former tennis player, who is approaching fifty.
“And then the Davis Cup and Fed Cup formula changed [en 2019], he continues. so my activity […] melted. So nothing very sexy was offered to me to end my career at the French Tennis Federation (FFT). At the same time, I am a collector of retro sports consoles and video games mainly. […] In 2016 or 2017, I had the idea of creating an animation that combined the history of video games with that of sport. […]. This idea germinated, it was rolling around in my head until I put the project on paper. »
Thus, Reset XP was born. Although, due to the Covid context, “it was not the best time to start”, recognizes Sébastien Hette. If, so far, he has only managed to be invited to three events (seminars, team building, etc.), he assures us that he is starting to “win a lot of orders in very different sectors”. “That’s what I like, trying to bring retro video games where they aren’t, so for corporate events, museums, major sporting events,” adds Sébastien Hette. .
So, with events at the Gamers Assembly in Poitiers (a historic esports event in France) or a presence at the Geek Days in Rennes, spring promises to be busy for the start-up. With official headquarters in Montigny-le-Bretonneux, Sébastien Hette is currently storing his equipment at home in Eure-et-Loir. Thus, he rents a utility for his trips to various events, where he is paid for event services, for example for a company, for “retro video game animation”, he specifies. Depending on the events, he called up former colleagues “who came in as reinforcements for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup” as a freelancer.
It is also, unsurprisingly, primarily in sport that Sébastien Hette has built his core network, with events in particular scheduled in Roland-
Garros or Clairefontaine. However, he confides that he also realized “that what was going to make Reset XP live were more corporate events”. He adds that it was very well received in the video game world. He even forged a collaboration with journalist Jean Zeid, considered one of the greats in video games, who named Sébastien Hette among the 50 French people who will make video games in 2022.
Sébastien Hette’s network of suppliers is smaller. And for good reason, the start-up relies heavily on its own archive – it has over 300 consoles and nearly 3,000 games – to provide its events. Events in which it charges for its services at very variable prices, from 2,490 euros for “a night of games, for example, a private space, with three game terminals, perhaps a Gameboy XXL, with ten or 12 simultaneous game positions”, up to a potential estimate of 17,000 euros, currently under discussion with a community.
Numbers that match the ambition of the start-up, which takes care of its customers with cutting-edge services. The workforce is still modest, as, with the exception of freelancers, Sébastien Hette has surrounded himself with a young associate, who manages social networks. This year the entrepreneur intends to unearth a “local activity, a workshop where I can store and have space to work my equipment, two or three jobs to be able to accommodate interns, fixed-term contracts and others”. He would like to find this room in SQY. The agglomeration with which it is also in talks “to organize an exhibition at the city museum, on the history of the Olympic Games in video games”.
PHOTO CREDIT: Maxime Fruneau