10th May 2013 by Thomas
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 »
18th April 2013 by Thomas
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:
13th March 2013 by Thomas
With Diane taking a much deserved break, I took on to write on the regular blog post on what we think are going to be the trends in our space for the coming year. Not to put her to shame, I decided to be even more late in delivering this than she usually is. It is also likely to be a different kind of look at the trends, hopefully, it will be equally interesting. If not, come back in a year.
Tags: 2013 trends. console, Android, crowdfunding, esport, F2P, Gala Net, gamstick, indiegogo, iOS, kakaotalk, kickstarter, line, merchandising, MMORPG, nvidia shield, occulus rift, ouya, PC, trends, whatsapp
26th February 2013 by Thomas
I will be talking at 2 events in the near future, in both occasions, it will be about crowd funding and Kickstarter. While this probably comprises less than 2% of my time, I think it makes feel event organizers that much more comfortable in inviting me talk about the topic.
I am not selling anything to the audience and I have no agenda when I come as a speaker. It makes me scratch the itch, so we are all winning in the end.
So, what’s cooking?
4th February 2013 by Thomas
We are very happy to announce that we have released our first market report directly available on the website. This is a very specialised report as we looked into client-based MMORPGs specifically, with a deeper look on how they perform in the largest countries of the region (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland).
16th January 2013 by Thomas
Kickstarter launched in the UK a bit more than 2 months ago, I wanted to have a look at the initial set of data. That data sample is quite small still, projects usually run for 30 days, so you only really have 2 months and half (kinda – see below) to look at, but still, it seemed interesting to check the early days.
I also want to point out that the data collected was done differently this time. I have gone away from the manual collection of data and now run a fairly simple script to collect my info. This is still limited to successful projects only, but there is no lower limit on the amount those projects have raised as opposed to the $10 000 I had set before (I still think there is a point in excluding the small projects for my purpose in the analysis I am doing, but here, this is very useful). Read the rest of this entry »
7th January 2013 by Thomas
It is that time again where we wish you all the best for the coming year. 2013 is holding a lot of promise for ICO Partners, some of which we should be able to discuss soon, others that are still in early stages, and all of them quite exciting. Anyone whom I ran into last month probably knows from my raving rants at the time it was taking, but we have finally moved into our new offices. We have roughly doubled the size of the space we were in, as well as improved our autonomy. The offices are still in Brighton and very close to the train station for that matter. The details have been updated on the Contact Us page, but here they are again, for good measure: ICO Partners Office 6, 10 Fleet Street Brighton BN1 4ZE United Kingdom More news from us very soon, but meanwhile…
OUR BEST WISHES FOR 2013!!!
14th December 2012 by Thomas
In preparation for this week’s panel at Evolve, I refreshed the data collected on the successful Kickstarter Video Games projects. We decided at the last minute to focus more on projects stories rather than talking about data on the platform, but as the work was done, and it was 3 months since the last time I had a look, now is the perfect opportunity for a blog post on this. Read the rest of this entry »
27th November 2012 by Thomas
The year is not just over yet and I will be attending a couple of events before the holiday break. You are very welcome to join and say hi if you are at the events.
Game Connection Europe
The event starts tomorrow, in Paris, and I will be contributing to two panels there:
- I will be moderating a panel on marketing entitled New vs Old – What does Video Game Marketing Look Like Now? where we will discuss what has changed in today’s marketing, and what didn’t change. It’s on Thursday at 3pm. Link
- On Thursday as well, at 5pm, I am one the two panelists invited to talk about… big surprise… Kickstarter! The panel, creatively named Funding Your Game with Kickstarter, is moderated by Kickstarter’s Cindy Au and my co-panelist is Stainless’ Matt Edmund. I suppose he will be talking about Carmaggeddon and I will be sharing my experience from the Strike Suit Zero campaign. Link
On the 11th of December in London, I will be on the Kickstarter panel taking place at 5pm. This should be a very different discussion, more focused on the potential of that platform as well as its risks and shortcomings, as the title implies: Kickstarter : Industry Game Changer or Flash in the Pan? Surprisingly, I think I am the “pro-Kickstarter” component of that panel. Link
21st November 2012 by Thomas
First of all, you can find a summary of the event over at Thisisgame: http://www.thisisgame.com/en/2012/11/19/gstar2012-wrap-up
As highlighted in the article, the most impressive change from last year’s event was the very strong switch to mobile that Korea is operating. So, of course, there were still many online games present, but having probably around 50% of the B2C showfloor taken by mobile publishers was very impressive (and think about it, how much space is usually taken by mobile games at other shows?).
And that’s my biggest take away from this year discussions – Korean developers left that online corner they stayed in for so long and a lot of them moved to mobile. Last year, there was an interest in social games, but this is nothing like it.
There are multiple reasons for that strong change in the developing landscape, but the biggest one mentioned is the stellar (recent) success of Kakaotalk in the game space.
Kakaotalk is an online chat app for mobile (with VOIP as well) that has been very widely adopted in the country. It runs on iOS and Android (and Bada and other OSes that don’t matter much) and many operators bundled it and its adoption is crazy.
In July, they launched their first games (on the Appstore for iOS obviously, and Google Play for Android), including Anypang, a match-3 game, heavily using the Kakao contacts as a social graph (leaderboards and gifting). The game has been *very* successful. They report 10m DAU, in a country of 50m inhabitants (I think users outside of Korea are negligible), and significant revenues (that figure varied a lot depending on who you talked to but it averages around $1m per day).
It has created a lot of attention to the mobile space in general and Kakao in particular – with many studios lining up to integrate with them. It also means that money from investments is quickly leaving the MMO space towards the mobile space.
If you are interested in that market, I recommend you to have a look at the Kakaotalk app: http://www.kakao.com/talk/en
And Dragon Flight, the current game doing very well for them (Google Play link):
Discussing the Kakaotalk success last week, I was asked why I thought it worked so well, compared to Facebook for instance (or Skype). I think a short answer should be: “Check the app!”.
It is very easy to use, very quick to load and does what it does very well. This is a Dropbox case: service existed before, but was overly bloated (see Skype – I won’t launch the app on my phone, it takes ages to launch, ages to load, difficult to navigate). Kakaotalk also works on every device.
It seems that in Japan, The Line, a similar app, might get the proper momentum and build a similar success and start challenging DeNA and Gree presence. And we might have other apps doing the same in different countries. Whatsapp was mentioned (SEA and Spain), as well as Tango (North America)…
Interesting to see how this will develop…
When discussing with local developers and publishers, I collected a few rough estimates on the mobile market make up. Take those with a grain of salt, but it does help in getting an impression:
In the past year, the mobile OS distribution seems to have completely shifted. Where iOS was the main one a year ago, Android has taken over (through Samsung devices mostly but not exclusively). I was told 89% Android, 10% iOS, 1% margin of error for others – it is probably exaggerated but it highlights the current trend.
Another change, the carrier Android app stores have lost lots of market share, with Google Play being currently the main App store (about 50%), followed by Tstore – the android app store of SK Telecom (30%), Apple App Store (10%), and Others completing the count.
That change seems to have happened through users getting educated about the ecosystems (and not liking being tied to their carrier for their apps) as well as Kakaotalk pushing all its android distribution and payments through Google Play.
One last bit of relevant info: I was told that there was close to no piracy on Android in Korea.
Like every year, going to Gstar was a very good experience. We had excellent meetings, we were able to have a peek at trends from a very different territory and we met with local industry people that we don’t have the opportunity to catch up with at other events.
31st October 2012 by Thomas
After having observed for some time the Kickstarter ecosystem and crunch its numbers extensively, I have found myself involved in a Kickstarter campaign with one of my client.
The game in question, Strike Suit Zero, has been in development for a while, and I have been involved with it since the very beginning (and the game is NOT an online game, a very unusual occurrence for me). Its campaign is in its second week, and doing very well with 90% of its objective reached. I am obviously very excited by the current situation, but my point here is not to talk about this project specifically. This will likely come later, probably as a post mortem on what I assumed it was like to run a Kickstarter and it was really like to run one.
25th October 2012 by Thomas
If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, you should definitely give us a shout and come say hi to Diane and myself (Thomas).
See you there!
4th October 2012 by Thomas
I have run the same numbers (same methodology) as last time and made a short presentation under the same format to see where it was going. You can find it below: Read the rest of this entry »
10th August 2012 by Jen
Unsurprising fact of the week (month? year?): the whole team is headed to Cologne next week for GDC Europe and gamescom. Here’s where we’ll be:
Thomas and Diane arrive on Sunday, and will be at GDC on Mon 13th and Tue 14th. They’ll be taking meetings in our B2B booth, located in Hall 4.1, A012, until Fri 17th.
The PR team will be with clients in the business centre, from Wed 15th to Fri 17th:
Jen will be with Riot Games (Hall 4.1, C051) managing press meetings for League of Legends
Nora will be with Hi-Rez Studios (Hall 4.1, B022) managing Tribes: Ascend demo attendance and SMITE match bookings
Kat will be managing the press schedule for Born Ready Games (co-exhibiting with us in Hall 4.1, A012) supporting Strike Suit Zero
Anne-Julie will be a superhero, flying in to assist where she’s needed.
If you’d like to book a meeting or meet up in the evening, please get in touch. See you on the other side…
30th July 2012 by Thomas
I have to warn you, this might end up being a rather long post. I am on my way home, coming back from Seattle where I was attending the IGDA Summit and Casual Connect Seattle and I have seen and heard a number of things I really feel like I should share around.
28th June 2012 by Jen
It’s been an action packed year for the PR team so far — we’ve got great work coming out of our ears (not literally), and as a happy consequence of this, we’re hiring again!
This time, we’re looking for a native English speaker with equal amounts of writing skill, creative flair and love of online video games. Prior PR/marketing experience is a definite plus, but the role could also suit someone with a different background in online communication, like a community or social media manager. If this sounds like you, and you’re interested in joining a small, fun-loving (but hard-working) team based in Brighton, please send your CV to email@example.com and/or ping for more info.
Here’s the job spec:
Who we are: ICO Partners Ltd., a small but fast-growing online games services consultancy and PR agency based in Brighton, UK. Find out all about us at http://www.icopartners.com.
Who we need: A flexible, autonomous and motivated communications professional with a passion for online video games
Skills and requirements:
Native English speaker with very strong spoken and written communication skills
Minimum 1 year’s experience in a position involving direct contact with the media
Experience of and enthusiasm for online video games
Proven organisational and planning skills
Self-motivated approach to work; ability to work to short deadlines and under pressure
Sound judgement in dealing with media
Ability to work with and analyse data
Skills and experience in online marketing is a strong plus
Managing relationships with journalists across Europe (in English)
Working closely with clients to create and implement PR plans, schedules and communications
Drafting press releases and media alerts
Developing and updating media lists and contact databases
Participating in daily media relations tasks, including media outreach, collection and analysis of press coverage, reporting, organization of events, interviews and promotions
Assisting with market research projects
- Participating in product testing as required
Remuneration : To be discussed with the candidate, based on experience
Location: Brighton, UK
Reports to: Head of PR
Hours: Full-time, 37.5 hours per week
13th June 2012 by Thomas
New success stories emerge regularly, and there are now 10 games successfully funded that way beyond $500,000. Not a small feat!
We’ve been working on a Kickstarter project with a client, and as this progressed I grew very concerned that the popular perception of Kickstarter = success is not complete, and that anyone thinking of funding their project this way should look at it very closely before going there and asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars. There aren’t a lot of data points to check, so we decided to do some research to understand the platform and its current capacity better. Read the rest of this entry »
23rd May 2012 by Diane
Just a quick post to let everyone know that Thomas and me are attending Nordic Game up North in Malmo this week. Thomas will be speaking on Thursday 24th May at 2pm in a panel about game financing. Hope to see many of you there!
14th May 2012 by Diane
I was asked recently by a friend if I had some numbers about the tablet market in Europe, so I thought I could as well write a blog post about it.
To make it short : Yes, the tablet market is growing in Europe. According to market research institute Canalys, shipments are up 180% yoy to 4.7 million in EMEA. Nonetheless, the growth has been much slower than in the US and Asia Pacific. The research points difficult economic conditions in Europe (according to Gartner, PC shipments declined too), and the lack of content compared to the US (less localised services, such as Netflix & Hulu, and less local(ised) content on Apple, Google and Amazon).
I’ve made a quick chart to summarise the shipments :
Examining public data from IDC and Gartner that I have seen so far seem to place the total EMEA tablet shipments to date at the end of Q1 2012 to about 30 million, which should amount to an installed base of around 25 million. That seems to be confirmed by this report from Futuresource Consulting, which pins the installed base for tablets to 18 million in Europe at the end of 2011 (a bit less than half the US number at 37 million.)
Regarding individual countries’ installed bases, I was able to find the following data :
A bit more info about the tablet market in Europe, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is not available on the Old Continent yet. According to Comscore, the OS breakdown is as follows :
Regarding demographics, tablet owners in Europe are mostly male (62%), in greater proportion than smartphone owners. 42% are aged 25-44.
In terms of income range, most of the tablet owners have revenues comprised between 20 and 40k€ yearly, which shows that the devices are not reserved for the high incomes, although they remained a bit more skewed towards high incomes than the smartphones:
In terms of cross-platform ownership, Spain is ahead, followed by France, UK and Italy :
26th March 2012 by Thomas
We all managed to avoid the GDC flu but are still pretty quiet for now, waiting for a time when the workload eases up and we can blog more frequently again. TO hold you over a bit until then, here are the presentations from the lectures Diane and I delivered during the week of the GDC.
In chronological order, here are the slides from my presentation during the Social and Online Game summit of the GDC:
I ran out of time and couldn’t cover the case studies in the end, so even if you attended you should find a few extra details in here.
Diane lectured on Business Models: current trends and perspective for the future. She didn’t run out of time, and some of the slides don’t speak for themselves very well, but you may still find the presentation useful: