22nd August 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR Monitoring – July 2014

With gamescom  behind us I now have some time again to look into the media trends in the games industry. I will do a writeup on the effect of gamescom itself, the way I did one for E3, but in the meantime here is the data for the month of July.

 

Platforms

Overall, we can see a drop in console mentions as June was benefiting from the extra media attention E3 brings. The same trends remain though, with the PS4 getting about 30% more coverage than the Xbox One. We can notice the effect of the Google I/O effect, taking it well above of iOS for the first time since I started tracking them.

 

201407_platforms

 

Games

On the game front, Destiny is ramping up ahead of its launch in a similar way vein as Titanfall and Watch_Dogs did earlier this year. There seems to always be one blockbuster leading the way of the media attention. The presence of Last of Us next to Destiny though is quite impressive for a game that had been first launched a year ago. The stories around its remastered version and the One Night Live performance made its presence strong in the news.

Of interest as well is the presence of both League of Legends and Dota 2 in the top 15. The extra coverage LoL got through its cinematic trailer, added to the regular news around the game updates and its eSport scene. Dota 2′s coverage is mostly due to the 4th edition of The International event for the game. The fact the game was covered by ESPN2 also added to the traffic.

 

201407_games

 

Events

I wanted also to point to an interesting evolution around events.

201407_events

 

The SDCC is clearly a major event that gets massively covered, no surprise there. However, QuakeCon, which was an all Bethesda/Zenimax event more than an id/Quake event, generated an impressive amount of coverage and was no doubt boosted somewhat by the Doom reveal.

The humbling number though is the volume articles that mention gamescom so far in August: 24k articles so far…

 

But gamescom is for the next article.



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

28th July 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

Summer sale – 50% Reduction on the Market research on Turkey

Ahead of gamescom, we are running a time-limited discount on the report on the Turkish market.

For reference, this is the table of content of the report:

 

To get the discount, just use this direct link: https://gum.co/LGzh/summer2014
Or enter the code ‘summer2014′ on the publications page.
The offer is valid until the 15th of August 2014 – last day of gamescom…
We offer more discounts if you buy multiple reports from us – just contact us directly about them.
This is also a good opportunity to remind you we will be in Cologne for GDC Europe and gamescom – reach out if you want to meet there.


Posted in Events, ICO Partners

4th July 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR Monitoring – Q2 2014

Considering I was late on providing a report on April and May, I have decided to take on three months in one go,as well as  a Q2 overview for 2014.

 

I’ve decided to do away with the usual disclaimer and rather direct people to read this post dedicated to how the tool works, its capabilities and its limitations.

 

April 2014

01_Games - Total Reach - APR 2014

April was the ramp up month for Watch_Dogs and the follow-up for Titanfall. Elder Scrolls Online also had a very strong performance as a follow-up to launch.

 

02_Platforms - Number of Articles - APR 2014

 

May 2014

03_Games - Total Reach - MAY 2014

Watch_Dogs was, predictably, THE launch of the month of May. You can also see the effects of the Wolfenstein release, Mario Kart 8 and the first preview for CoD:AW.

04_Platforms - Number of Articles - MAY 2014

The gap between Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 widened as the month went on. The Wii/Wii U is benefiting significantly from Mario Kart 8.

 

June 2014

05_Games - Total Reach - JUNE 2014

The month of E3 – you can see the impact the event had with four of the top five games getting massive attention during the event. The overall number of articles was also significantly higher than what we saw in the previous months.

06_Platforms - Number of Articles - JUNE 2014

 

In a similar way, the extra focus that E3 brings was a majot benefit to consoles. An interesting point to note is the Playstation 4 alone received more mentions than the whole of the Xbox brand for the first time.

 

Q2 2014 numbers

 

I thought I would provide some overall comparison for the past 3 months, looking at all the games that made it into our top 15. It helps illustrate which titles are consistently getting a lot of attention against other top tier titles. Because of the way we track data, I decided to remove some games that had false positive in some of those months (Pokemon was one of them)…

07_Articles per month - Q2 2014

08_Total of articles per game - Q2 2014

 

Whenever I look at the data, I find the concentration of articles on so few titles surprising. That a single title gets more than twice the amount of coverage than any other games and three times more than every game outwith the top 5 is an interesting look into what the media is focusing on.



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

25th June 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

The Assassin’s Creed controversy in the media

Following up on last week’s post on E3, there has been a number of comments about how much influence the controversy over a lack of female playable assassins in Assassin’s Creed: Unity had on the amount of coverage game received around E3.

 

I went into our tool and created a dedicated tracker to find articles discussing the topic. Because we are not talking about the title of a game here, which is usually fairly consistent between different languages, I had to stick to a smaller subset of languages here: English, German, Spanish and French.

 

I have used two trackers and compared them to one another:

- a tracker on Assassin’s Creed: Unity. It includes all the articles about the game.

- a tracker on Asssassin’s Creed AND female characters. There are probably a few false positives in there, but considering how prevalent the topic was during that period, they should be relatively minor. There is also no indication of whether an article was factual, negative or positive. It just states the topic was brought up.

 

So all the articles from the first tracker, also include the articles from the second tracker.

Here’s how it looks for each language:

02_Assassin's Creed Unity - Articles in English

03_Assassin's Creed Unity - Articles in Spanish

04_Assassin's Creed Unity - Articles in German

 

 

05_Assassin's Creed Unity - Articles in French

For context, the Polygon article that started the discussion was published on the 11th of June (European time).

On the 20th of June, Insomniac released a video showing a female avatar dressed as an assassin in Sunset Overdrive to illustrate their answer to a fan’s question on if players can play as women in the game’s multiplayer. From the data, the stunt seems to have been picked up by mostly English speaking media, and to a lesser extent the German media.

 

This is more apparent when looking at the ratio of articles on the controversy for each language (it should be noted that some days have a low number of articles and  this creates some noise in the chart – this can be seen especially on the 17th of June):

01_Ratio of the ACU coverage about the controversy - per language

 

 

 

06_Ratio of the ACU coverage about the controversy - 6th of June to 20th of June

 

After running those numbers, it got me thinking a bit further. I am not sure those were really fair at representing the way the news was treated in different languages. So I ran another set of numbers, looking at the number of individual websites and how many mentioned the news:

 

08_Number of websites mentioning ACU - 6th of June to 20th of June

07_Ratio of the ACU websites with an article the controversy - 6th of June to 20th of June

 

Clearly, the English media have treated the topic in bigger numbers. There were a higher percentage of the media covering the game that mentioned the female characters, and there were more articles per outlet on that topic as well. On all metrics, this has been a bigger discussion point for those media.

I don’t have a specific conclusion that can be reached in regards to the discrepancy in coverage per language.

The ecosystems in which Europe’s media are evolving are considerably different from one another. The number of outlets, output volume of the different outlets and audience profiles are all different. You also see some topics becoming more or less trendy in different regions as key influencers comment on the topic – with media from the same region then competing for attention on some topics. What the data is providing though is an indicator of the impact the controversy had in the number of total articles it generated and its overall “weight”.

The comments on the E3 piece were coming mostly from English-readers working in the industry. Because of this, I suspect they got more heavily exposed to the controversy. Don’t get me wrong – it had a fair share of responsibility behind the fact that AC:U was ahead of other games in the E3 media coverage – but keeping in mind that the English coverage overall was 17% (that’s including all languages we track) of all the AC:U coverage, there is a perception that doesn’t represent an accurate picture.

Still, even if the actual percentage of controversy articles is 15% across those for 4 languages rather the 26% seen in English, that’s still almost one article in six bringing up this one topic.

 

And for the ones wondering, if we were pessimistic, and said about 20% of AC:U articles (as opposed to the observed 15%) were about the women characters in AC:U and they were removed, the game would still be ahead of Battlefield Hardline as the most talked about game of E3.

 

 

 

For a dedicated overview of how the ICO Media Monitor tool works, click here.



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

24th June 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR Monitoring – How is it working?

After our recent PR monitoring blog post got some extra attention, I thought I ought to make a post about the tool itself, how it works, its limitations and what may be missing at the moment.

This post will be updated as our monitoring evolves, and will serve as a reference to answer questions on the data collection and the meaning of some of the things we share.

 

TL;DR – The tool is not perfect. Some games are much harder to track than others. We constantly try to improve on all fronts and are very aware of the current weaknesses of the system.

 

The Media Monitor

That’s how the tool is called internally. It has evolved from the tool set that we used internally to support the work PR team carries out for our clients. Despite the first version being about a year old,  a lot of the features have only been developed recently as it is not a core partof our day-to-day work. Having the tool working for that long though has proved very useful in identifying  seasonal patterns (or the lack of), but we are still limited in the games we are properly tracking.

 

So far we have about 6,000 websites in our database (across 28 languages) – the Media Monitor is currently tracking about 3,500 of those websites.

For those websites that are not tracked, it is because of different reasons. Some websites we don’t track because it would be too complicated technically (or rather, we are using the method that allows us to track the most sites at the same time at the moment). Some websites we don’t track because we have a few bugs we need to iron out. And finally, some websites we decided not to track at all because of the nature of their content.

Every single website in the database is qualified – we keep the Alexa ranking, the language it is written in, and give every site a “media type” to allow us to analyse further the results of the work that is done. We have removed from the Media Monitor two types of websites: content farms (websites that have zero original content and generally publish automated reposts other websites’ content) and fansites (website dedicated to one or a few very specific games and don’t treat any others). In the first few months of monitoring we found such sites really skewed the results we were getting and so they had to go.

 

The trackers

We currently have more than 950 individual trackers (also referred to as alerts sometimes). Each of these trackers is doing a full text search for key words. We have trackers for a lot of different things at the moment:

  • Specific games
  • Game franchises
  • Hardware devices
  • Video game  companies
  • Personalities
  • Events
  • Weird, ultra specific things that we want to track individually for whatever reason

 

90% of the trackers work very efficiently. They don’t return many false positives (ie: articles that use key words but on an unrelated subject) and they don’t miss much of the relevant articles.

Some trackers require us to be a little clever however. Let’s explain using the example of Thief.

 

Most games that are problematic are using one commonly used word. In this, on top of looking for the word Thief, we added a number of other words that need to be present in order to create a positive hit. It looks a bit like this (slightly simplified):

You NEED the word “thief” and you NEED one of the following term: xbox OR playstation OR steam

 

That tracker was performing very well until E3, then Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced and threw up a problem.

We had to recreate the tracker for Thief as follows (this is a simplified version of it again):

You NEED the word “thief”, you NEED one of the following term: xbox OR playstation OR steam, you CANNOT have the word “uncharted”.

 

This is a chart showing the before and after of that tracker:

thief_new_vs_old

We keep a very close eye on the behaviour of the trackers, trying to keep them as relevant as possible and avoiding false positive at the same time.

 

Quality versus Quantity

Currently (and for the foreseeable future), the Media Monitor is only providing quantitative data. That in itself has already been very helpful to us. We see trends for what are the news the most likely to be picked up, it allows to get some benchmark on the different countries we are working on (we do PR across all of Europe, not an easy task).

We are also very aware of the questions we cannot answer with this data – but we would rather have half the answers than none at all.

Please let me know if you have questions, I will use them to update this post and clarify the notions presented here.

 

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

17th June 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR monitoring – The “who won E3 2014?” edition

Before my general update about April/May, I want to talk about the current hot topic, E3. Below is an overview of last week and the impact of E3 on the media coverage of video games.

 

The usual disclaimer applies:

The tool I am using is far from perfect. It gets hits on false-positives, some terms are impossible to get hits on and it is somewhat dependent on how clever I am when I create the monitoring criteria for a specific game if the name is quite generic. The tool is also dependent on the alerts I have entered. There are some prominent games that can be absent, I try to add them as I go but I know I always miss some. As I am expanding that list now, do not take the stats as an “end all” proof that X game is totally ignored by the media.

 I am only sharing the graphs showing the number of articles for a given topic – we are also using a weighted value based on the sites’ reach, but this time around I wanted to keep things simple. So what you see here is relevant about quantity, not necessarily quality. It is important to note that we purge the results coming from fansites (dedicated to one game) and content farms (that just repost other websites’ content). I am just sharing the current results because I feel they are interesting at illustrating the trend for [the week of E3].

 [EDIT - the graph on the games were showing a few games twice (Uncharted and Call of Duty). We are currently tracking games in different ways, one of them is to track the brand name rather than the game name. I have fixed the graph to show the proper result for the game. In the case of Uncharted, the brand name was coming with extra restrictions to avoid false positives, so there were fewer results for it than for "Uncharted 4" that didn't have any restrictions as the false positives are highly unlikely. Bonus - I have added FIFA 15 that I wasn't tracking earlier.]

 

The press conferences

First order of business, I wanted to see the impact of the official press conferences and see their respective impacts on the games they are putting in the spotlight.

Because of the way they are set-up, I ignored the EA and Ubisoft conferences – their top titles had already been relayed at the manufacturers’ press briefings and while my methodology is not 100% perfect, for those, it would just not provide much insight.

Another important thing to have  in mind is that I am using the time when the article was published to determine its dependency to the press conferences – and because they all happened at different times I tried to ponder the timings, but there is probably a good margin of error that you have to allow me here.

Sony / Playstation

 

Sony E3 Press conference - # articles generated

 

 

 

Microsoft / Xbox

Microsoft E3 Press conference - # articles generated

*Evolve is not an easy game to properly track – I am trying to avoid false positives and I might be a bit heavy handed on how I do it for now.

 

Nintendo / Wii

Nintendo E3 announcements - # articles generated

 

Comparing them

# of articles over the first 3 days Percentage of articles generated over the first 3 days

 

The percentage is relative to all the articles published over the week.

I wanted to see how front-loaded  the coverage was for each platform. Nintendo, despite not having an on-site event, are still getting an incredible amount of coverage.

To give some perspective, if you look at the March analysis, Playstation was getting almost 4 times the same amount of coverage as Nintendo across its games and devices, and Microsoft close to 3 times the same amount of coverage. The concentration of attention given to the industry at this time is really helping them as they don’t tend to draw as much attention usually.

The other point it highlights for me is that their format to make their announcement is not less efficient than Sony’s or Microsoft’s, and it is a lot cheaper, with an underlying message that their event is as much for their audience as it is for the press – putting both at the exact same level.

 

On top of Microsoft being way more front loaded than Sony, the sheer volume of coverage is significantly in favour of Sony. In March, Sony had about 30% more coverage on the PS4 than the Xbox One was generating. For the E3 conferences, Sony got 34% more coverage (despite them going second and having a slight disadvantage in my methodology), and overall for the week, 41% more coverage.

 

So purely from a perspective of media exposure, it seems this E3 was a significant win for Sony over Microsoft.

This also provides us a very interesting benchmark for the event and the attention it gets. In a week, Sony attained half the amount of total coverage it would normally have in a month.

 

The whole week

All the data below was collected from Sunday the 8th of June to Sunday, the 15th of June. Weekends are traditionally incredibly slow days for video game media, so it should offer a proper snapshot of the E3 week in that regard.

Games

 

Week of E3 2014 - # of articles per game_c

I have limited the list to the games that got the most coverage.

Clearly, a portion of the AC Unity coverage is also coming from the female assassin backlash/controversy and it would have been better without it.

FPS games are still getting a lot of the attention (with Call of Duty surprisingly lagging behind though), and Nintendo’s front hitters are also incredibly well covered with Zelda and Smash Bros ahead of some massive franchises such as Call of Duty, Halo and Tomb Raider.

 

 

Platforms

Week of E3 2014 - # of articles per platform

 

 

I almost feel bad about putting the Ouya in there. I had to actually check to see if they were indeed attending E3. They had more articles on Monday following up their interview with Polygon than on any day of E3 itself.

 

Morpheus and Oculus

 

daily_e3week_oculusmorpheus_01

Still pursuing my personal interest in the world of VR, I wanted to have a specific look at the media coverage that Oculus and Morpheus both got throughout the week. And with E3 being so much about consoles usually, I have to say I am impressed by the fact that Oculus kept ahead in terms of media attention – of course, if Sony had pushed its own device more heavily, it would be very different – but it is still an excellent performance and testimony to the brand that Oculus is building.

 

 

A year worth of data

I have started tracking media mentions for almost a year now, even though I have only started presenting and discussing this data quite recently. This project started a couple of weeks after E3 2013, so I sadly I cannot make any comparison between this and last year’s event. However, what I have is still a year’s worth of data and I wanted to share one last graph, showing the number of articles that mentioned the Playstation 4 every day, from the 1st of July 2013 to yesterday.

See if you can spot the following milestones: gamescom; launch of the console; Christmas; and E3 2014…

 

Ps4_Jul13-Jun14_01

 

 

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

11th June 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

Crowd funding – No negative impact on Technology projects after Oculus/Facebook deal

Last week, I was attending the Web2Day event in Nantes (that’s in France if you are wondering) to talk about crowd funding. This is not a video game event, and so, I had to dive into our data on crowd funding to talk beyond games. Considering the audience was mainly composed of technology entrepreneurs (don’t let the name of the event fool you, there were a number of non-web companies represented there), that’s what I dissected this time around.

 

I usually look at the data when there is a specific need – whether I want to check on a trend or I am preparing for a conference – and it allows me to look at them with fresh eyes (usually). And so, as I was checking the different numbers for the technology category, it was nice to find out that the Oculus acquisition has had zero effect for Kickstarter projects that published their campaign after the announcement:

 

Technology_02

Technology_01

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you look at the total amount pledged or the number of projects successfully funded, it is clear that there has been no Oculus/Facebook backlash. And this is despite some very vocal negative feedback from disappointed backers (and early supporters) on that deal.

 

You can find the slides of the presentation on Slideshare as usual:

 

 

And there is a video of the presentation itself as well: http://www.mediadone.net/video/vod-634/micro-june-4th?t=02:27:54

 

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

22nd April 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR monitoring – March 2014

LOGO_ICOMEDIA_invoicesFollowing up from my blog post from last month, and in an attempt to do this regularly, I went and ran some numbers for the month of March in regards to the presence of the games industry in the media.

 

The same disclaimer applies:

The tool I am using is far from perfect. It gets hits on false-positives, some terms are impossible to get hits on and it is somewhat dependent on how clever I am when I create the monitoring criteria for a specific game if the name is quite generic. The tool is also dependent on the alerts I have entered. There are many prominent games that are absent, mostly because my primary interest when I started working on it lay with online games. I am expanding that list now, but do not take the stats as an “end all” proof that X game is totally ignored by the media.

 

I am only sharing the graphs showing the number of articles for a given topic – we are also using a weighted value based on the sites’ reach, but this time around I wanted to keep things simple. So what you see here is relevant about quantity, not necessarily quality. It is important to note that we purge the results coming from fansites (dedicated to one game) and content farms (that just repost other websites’ content). I am just sharing the current results because I feel they are interesting at illustrating the trend for the month of [March].

 

tl;dr: Take all this with a grain of salt.

Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

11th April 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

Quo Vadis 2014 – State of crowdfunding for video games

KICOThis week I was in Berlin for the 2014 edition of Quo Vadis. The event is visibly growing every year and it has shed its German skin to become more international (I think that 3 or 4 years ago, english-speaking lecture were the exceptions, the past two years had zero German-only content; that’s quite a quick change).

 

I won’t go into the panel about luck in business that I was sitting in on Wednesday, not because it wasn’t interesting, but mostly because one big fascinating chat and I couldn’t take notes. It was great though. Just believe me. Or ask someone who was there and took notes.

 

Yesterday, I presented a “State of crowdfunding for video games” and as usual, I am sharing the slides of the lecture:

 

Looking at the slides again, they are not all very self explanatory but the recommendations in the end should help significantly. If you have questions, hit the comments.

 

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

7th March 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

PR monitoring – February 2014 – with a “F” like…

LOGO_ICOMEDIA_invoicesA growing activity for us is our PR services that we provide under the ICO Media brand. While this is a topic that we have very rarely discussed on this blog, we are developing in many ways and I might share more on the topic in the future (it is unlikely however, that I will discuss anything specific related to the work we do for our clients).

 

 

So, we do PR. But as you may have noticed, I tend to like data and I value information that is backed by numbers and not just intuition. For the past year we have been developing a couple of tools in order to make the team’s work easier and/or more efficient. As a “happy accident” from the building of these tools, I have now a monitoring tool that tracks articles mentioning specific game-related terms in our database of websites (about 5,000 sites IIRC). I have been feeding the tool with specific search for a few month now and what I will share today are the results for the month of February for a number of video games and video games platform.

Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

4th March 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

Kickstarter in 2013 across all categories

KICOAfter writing my blog post on the 2013 numbers for games on Kickstarter, I felt like there was even more information to provide. While I am mostly following the crowd funding phenomenon in relation to games, the way we datamine Kickstarter means we have a lot of data for other categories too – sharing these is just a matter of taking the time to collate and make them presentable.

With Kickstarter hitting its first $1bn pledged this week, it appears to be perfect timing to provide more information to crowd funding enthusiasts. I hope you find it useful.

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

18th February 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

New report out: MOBA games in Europe

MOBA_ICO report cover_Image 01Available now is our latest market report. We have taken an in-depth look at the MOBA sub-genre, specifically its presence on the European markets. This is an extensive report, looking at each game as well as every single market, and drawing an interesting picture of the current trends in the genre.

 

With an estimated revenue for all the games in Europe of €173m ($237m) for 2013, MOBA games have been growing very rapidly in the past few years and should continue to develop for the foreseeable future. Below, you can find the foreword to the report as well as the table of contents. As usual, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

10th January 2014 by Thomas Bidaux

2013 for games on Kickstarter

With a new year starting, it is time for two customary types of blog posts: retrospectives and new year wishes. Here, I have decided to combine them both for you.

 

Considering how much time I have spent looking at and talking about Kickstarter data, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to join the crowd of analysts of the platform in giving my own take of the  past year – with my usual focus on games in general, video games specifically.

 

 [reminder - for the purpose of our data analysis, we re-qualified the Ouya as a Technology project]

 

2013 and Kickstarter

In 2013, there has been $477m pledged on Kickstarter, across close to 45,000 projects. About 20,000 projects got funded this way.
$ pledged in 2013 on Kickstarter

 

Games represent the largest category on the platform, in front of Films, and by a large margin.

 

Video games in 2012 and 2013

2012 was a remarkable year – it saw the Double Fine Adventure project put Kickstarter on the map for independent video game developers all over the world and the number of video game projects explode on the platform. From $1.2m  pledged in 2011, Kickstarter went to close to $44m in 2012.

Throughout that year, a number of projects reached very impressive numbers for their funding and 2012 can be seen as Kickstarter Year One for video games for sure.

So what about 2013? We saw that games as a category did very well, but you have to account for the fact that the category itself accounts for both video games and tabletop games projects.

 

Comparison Video Games and Tabletop Games

 

Yep, that’s right. Tabletop games represent almost half of the money that was pledged for games on Kickstarter in 2013. Being a board gamer, it makes me incredibly happy. But more on this later, I will keep looking at video games for now.

 

Video Games - 2012 & 2013

 

2013 was to be a key moment – would the trend of growth continue and was it going to be steady? Or was there to be a collapse as the first large projects got delivered and a certain fatigue for crowd funding crept in?

Purely looking at the total of money pledged for video games projects, it is obvious that 2013 was a better year than 2012. About 30% better.  But such a snapshot can be a bit misleading – 2012 had a slow start with the Double Fine Adventure explosion happening after February.

 

2012 and 2013 - Month by Month

 

Looking at 2012 and 2013 month-by-month is interesting: you see that the end of 2012 and the end 2013 had almost the exact same volume of money being pledged. The difference between the two years mostly happens in the first half. It is not a big stretch to imagine that a plateau has been reached and that variances are created by the  “hits” (post $500k projects). And, to be honest, I am less interested in those large project performance than I am by the potential of the platform for small projects.

For Kickstarter to get a foothold in the game industry as a source of funding of interesting projects, we need to see projects of all kinds being successful on the platform.

 

Video games funded projects

 

It is reassuring to see that a similar number of projects funded in 2013 compared to 2012, and a much better indicator to see if the model is sustainable.

The following graph shows the number of successful projects per “funding tier”. The funding tiers are based on the amount of money the project raised and were empirically set by me. I think they represent meaningful tiers for independent games budgets.

 

Funded video games project per tiers006

 

So basically, between 2012 and 2013, the number of $500k projects is essentially the same (around 20), but there has been 25% more projects raising between $100k and $500k. 80% more projects raising between $50k and $100k, 60% more projects raising between $10k and $50k and 50% more projects raising less than $10k.

And to me, this looks like good news overall. It shows a wider selection of projects can get funded via Kickstarter, and not just the very cheap or the very famous. I would be ok for 2014 to see fewer shiny, large projects if that would mean a larger number of projects found a way to get funded. I think this evolution stems from the development of a community of video game enthusiasts embracing the crowd funding principles. A growth from the bottom up sounds a lot healthier overall.

 

Some numbers 

Graphs are nice, but you probably want to have some direct numbers from all this. Worry not, I am very happy to provide the ones we have (all for video games projects):

 

2013

Number of pledges made

 1,129,522

Number of projects submitted

 1,851

Number of projects funded

 446

Number of projects that failed getting funded

 1,405

$ pledged to video game projects

 $                   57,934,417.74

Success ratio

24.1%

 

In 2013, Kickstarter expanded its platform to new countries: Canada, Australia and New Zealand. And we also now have a full year with the British platform. I explained my thoughts on some reasons  why this dones’t necessarily mean much, but if you want to know the repartition between the currencies, here it is:

 

Kickstarter platform

$ pledged – Video Games

USD

 $                   50,370,976.75

GBP

 $                     5,910,926.00

CAD

 $                     1,336,856.70

AUD

 $                        287,084.96

NZD

 $                          28,573.33

(Currencies converted into USD equivalent)

 

Tabletop games and video games

 

So, tabletop games got huge this year on Kickstarter:

 

It personally makes me very happy (and I did contribute actively to that category myself) as I love board games, but it also makes me wonder what video game projects creators could learn from tabletop game projects.

The main problems their funding is to solve are fundamentally different. Video games have a high, fixed cost (the game development) and board games have a high, flexible cost (production and shipping of those games). That’s why the crowd funding works so well for board game as they can scale their main cost based on their popularity, a luxury video games don’t have. On the other side, video games have a lot of flexibility in the way they can deliver their projects and the way they can spread their development process over time – Double Fine and Revolution both deciding to deliver their games in two parts is clearly playing to that advantage.

 

But I digress as I think there is a lesson to learn from the success of board games (just FYI, the success ratio of tabletop game projects in 2013 was 53% compared to the 24% of video games):

Aim for the smallest amount that guarantees you can deliver your project.

 

Kickstarter is a platform that is perfect for projects that don’t aim for the moon, but promise a quality experience for the amount they ask for. I get to review a lot of projects on a regular basis from video games studios since I have started blogging about the crowdfunding of games – the vast majority of them are simply too ambitious and too expensive when considering the studio’s track record and its reputation. This is not the only point of failure there is, but this does seems to be the most common.

 

So, if I have a wish for games on Kickstarter for 2014, it might be “be more humble, be more successful”.

 

Special thanks to Potion of Wit for their help in the data-mining process.

 

And to end this note

Oh, and I didn’t forget that I promised this blog to cover two purposes: have a wonderful new year, we wish you and your families all the best for 2014!

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

26th November 2013 by Diane

Come work with us!

  • ICO Partners is expanding – we are looking for a Senior European PR Executive. The description is the following :

 

Skills and requirements:

Graduate in public relations, journalism, marketing or related programme

  • Fluent in English and another European language

  • Minimum 3 year’s experience in a position involving contact with the media

  • Experience of people management preferred

  • Strong communication skills, both spoken and written

  • Ability to work with and analyse data

  • Self-motivation and sense of initiative

  • Interest and knowledge of online games is a plus

  • Skills and experience in online video marketing and communication (Youtube, Twitch…) is a plus

 

 

Responsibilities:

  • Managing relationships with journalists in one or several European territories
  • Managing relationships with clients
  • Team management responsibilities based on applicant’s profile
  • Writing of Press Releases and Media Alerts
  • Developing and updating media lists and contact databases
  • Participating in daily media relations tasks, including collection and analysis of press coverage, reporting, organization of events, working with related service providers to support projects, etc.

 

 

The job is full-time and based in Brighton, UK. Salary to be negotiated depending on experience.

If you feel you would fit the bill, please send us your CV and cover letter to jobs@icopartners.com. We look forward to hearing about you soon!



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

1st November 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

New report: Video Games in Turkey Market Research

Anyone who met us at gamescom this year know that  we have been working on two new reports on the game industry and we are very pleased to announce that our market research on the Turkish video game market is now available to everyone on our website.

 

It was a very productive collaboration with Smart N Digital Marketing whose insight in the market was essential as we prepared the report. We also received a lot of support from local actors who answered a lot of questions and shared their insight with us.

 

You can find details on the report content over here.

 

 

We made an infographic to illustrate some key data on the market:

 

Print

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

3rd September 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

Kickstarter UK – First half of 2013

uk_starter2It has been some time since I last checked on the progress of Kickstarter in the UK for the blog. With Kickstarter launching in Canada next week, it seems like an excellent time to look at the performance of the GBP projects again. I have pulled some data (from early July) and tried to get a feel for the current trend.

 

Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

9th August 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

New website for ICO Media

LOGO_ICOMEDIA - SFA short update to point you in the direction of our new website for ICO Media, our comprehensive PR service.

 

ICO’s PR activity has grown significantly since we started it in 2009, but we always kept it under the ICO Partners umbrella, mostly as a way to keep things simple. As it has grown significantly lately, we have decided to give it a proper space on the Internet with the launch of our ICO Media website. It’s light, simple and (hopefully) straight to the point:

 

So please take a few minutes to check it out:
www.icomedia.eu

 

 

This is as good an opportunity as any other to remind you all that we will again be at gamescom again this year. You can contact us to arrange a meeting – or just drop by our booth to say hi – we are in the Hall 4.1, booth number A014.

 

 



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

24th June 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

Strike Suit Zero– The Kickstarter post mortem

 

I have promised to write a post-mortem on the Strike Suit Zero Kickstarter for a while now. I haven’t done so for many reasons, but the main one was that I wanted to have the game out and most of the rewards delivered before doing so. The fact that the game has been released is one of the most interesting points here, and a good way to get a complete view of what the Kickstarter did for the game beyond the campaign.

 

For lots of reasons outside of my control as well as the studio’s, I won’t be able to share sales number for the game. It is unfortunate but hopefully, there will be enough to learn from here to still make it valuable.

 

As a short side note, I probably need to clarify my role with the studio: I am a Non-Exec Director of Born Ready Games and worked as an executive producer for the title (not hands on, providing on-going feedback on the project). ICO has been providing the PR for the game in Europe since it was first announced (back in 2011).

 

Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

10th May 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

Post-Quo Vadis note and upcoming May events

I haven’t had much time to follow-up on the past events – apologies for this. Quo Vadis was great again this year, very interesting discussions there and a LOT of discussions on crowdfunding… That intrigued me, so I looked at the statistics for video game projects and where they are coming from on Kickstarter (the most discussed platform then).

 

Here are some figures I pulled on the repartition of projects for the year 2012 – they tell quite a telling story: Read the rest of this entry »



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

18th April 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

Indie Game Summit – GDC 2013: slides, raw data and extra thoughts

I have been a bad boy. It has been weeks since my lecture at the Indie Game Summit during GDC and I haven’t put the slides on the blog. Hopefully, anyone interested in them already got a look at them on SlideShare, but I do need to share them here as well, and I need to share more.

First things first, here are my slides from GDC:



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

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