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

4th February 2013 by Thomas Bidaux

New report out – Client-based MMORPGs in Europe

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).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

14th May 2012 by Diane

Tablet market in Europe

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 :


Posted in Events, ICO Partners

26th March 2012 by Thomas Bidaux

Post-GDC post

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:

GDC12 Keys to the European Market

View more presentations from ICO Partners

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:


Questions or feedback? Please let us know!

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

29th February 2012 by Thomas Bidaux

Next week at GDC

I am very late in relaying the information but, like every year, we will be in San Francisco for GDC next week. Team GDC will be comprised of Diane, Jen and myself, and if you want to meet with us we still have room to fit a few more meetings. Just contact us.


You are also very welcomed come by my lecture during the Social and Online Games Summit where I will talk about the “Keys to the European Market” – this is a 25mn lecture, I will need to go straight to the point and won’t have much time for question afterwards but you are more than welcome to grab me after the session.


Diane also has lecture at the Game Connection America held in parallel where she will discuss “Business models in games – trends and prediction“.


We are all very much looking forward to being there and inhaling a large dose of  inspiration about the industry’s future.



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

18th November 2011 by Diane

Slides from Browser Games Forum 2011 in Frankfurt – European Browser games market

Here are the slides from my presentation today at Browser Games Forum:

BGF European market
View more presentations from ICO Partners

Also, don’t miss the awesome presentation by Jussi Lakkonen on predictions for the future of social games :

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

1st July 2011 by Diane

Differences in online games publishing between Asia and Europe

As Asian online games publishers expand in the West, more and more of them are opening European offices and starting operating games for the European market. This approach is in our opinion much more rewarding long-term than just licensing the games to a local publisher, but it also has it pitfalls due to the differences in consumer habits and expectations. Here are a few examples of such differences and the difficulties they can trigger. Of course, please keep in mind we have a European point of view and are aware of the specificities and differences inside Asian cultures and inside European ones – so please excuse the inevitable generalisations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

2nd May 2011 by Diane

European mobile and tablet market

    As the recent game announcements have been multiplying, Mobile is the new frontier for online games and MMOs. The technical constraints have been mostly overcome, and the apparition of a hardcore audience playing mostly from home has made the main problem (good enough ping) less painful. The possibility of free apps with in-app purchases have finally make the business part of it sensible. It’s thus no surprise that many games are announced. However, as games like Pocket Legends find success, the room for growth is increasingly moving, like for social games, to outside of the US/English-speaking territories. What’s the market looking like in Europe? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

22nd March 2011 by Diane

The price of commitment

The recently launched RIFT, a big-budget subscription MMO, has been offering a very deep discount for 3- and 6-months subscriptions set up early (the Founder pricing, normally valid for the first 2 weeks after release, which has been extended to the end of March). Discounts for longer subscriptions are the norm in the industry, and such an offer has been proposed before by other games. These limited offer at a very low price are really interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

8th March 2011 by Thomas Bidaux

LFG? Expanding the Media Relations team

We are just back from GDC and we had a very good time there. We caught up with friends, clients and prospective clients and it has been a busy week for sure.

One of the direct consequence from GDC is that we are going to be busy in the foreseeable future and possibly a bit *too* busy (if such a thing could be possible). And it looks like it will be time now to expand the team again and we are now opening a new position in our Brighton office and you can find the full job description here:


Job Description: Junior Media Relations Executive


Who we are: ICO Partners Ltd., a small but fast-growing online games services consultancy and media relations agency based in the southeastern 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:

● Graduate in public relations, journalism, marketing or related programme

● Minimum 1 year’s experience in a position involving direct contact with the media

● Autonomous, with good organisational and planning skills

● Able to work to short deadlines and under pressure

● Strong communication skills, both spoken and written

● Sound judgement in dealing with media

● Ability to work with and analyse data

● Self-motivation and sense of initiative

● Strong business acumen

● Native in either German, Spanish or Polish

● Fluent in English

● Interest and knowledge of online games is a plus

● Skills and experience in online marketing is a strong plus



● Managing relationships with journalists in one or several European territories

● 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.

● 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: PR and Marketing Manager
Hours: Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Contact: jobs@icopartners.com

You can also download the pdf version.

You are free to spread the word around you as well!

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

16th August 2010 by Martin

We are going to gamescom!

Granted, this blog entry’s headline is not the most creative one – but I will try to make up for it in the following paragraphs:


While Thomas and Diane are already visiting panels and having meetings at the GDC Europe in Cologne, the rest of ICO’s crew is making the final preparations for their flights to the following gamescom convention starting on Wednesday. In fact, we are pretty much set and ready to go, staring at the planes taking off outside our office window at Gatwick Airport and looking forward to being on one of them tomorrow afternoon. We also finally got the confirmation for the catering service at our booth at Hall 4.1, Aisle H, Booth 055 – and as we are looking forward to seeing many of you in person, this means you can enjoy snacks and drinks while dropping by.


Like us, you may already have a busy schedule but even without having arranged a meeting you’re welcome to visit us and talk about business or finally meet in person. Whether you plan on publishing a video game in Europe, want to talk about partnerships with us or are just eager to collect the full set of our shiny new business cards, you should memorize the location of our booth.


Here is how I do it:

Germany-England 4:1, Hungary was the best team in ‘55 (before Germany won the world cup in ’56)

(EDIT: This is actually not true, but it works and could keep you busy to spot the error in the sentence)

Of course, that’s my way, easy for a German but might work for others, too.


(Now I’m back at nervously checking volcanic ash forecasts one more time)



Posted in Events, ICO Partners

16th December 2009 by Diane

Online games closing in Europe

closing-downAs the European online games market is becoming increasingly competitive, we are starting to see some casualties, games and companies not meeting the success they planned and closing operations or shutting some games down. In the recent weeks, the following closures have been announced, all in the Free to Play category:

  • Italy-based Gametribe portal, operated by Game Media Networks, subsidiary of Digital Bros, a retail videogame distribution company, will be closing down on December 31st. The portal had already lost or not renewed the license for Dekaron from developer GameHi since September. It also operated action online game Infinity, cel-shading MMO Dreams of Mirror Online (DOMO) and football session game Kicks Online.
  • UK and Spain-based company Rourke Online has seen its portal Key2Play and game servers disconnected after failing to pay for the hosting at the end of November. They were operating F2P MMOs Priston Tale 2 and Ys Online. Ys Online’s service termination had already been announced.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

26th November 2009 by Diane

Online games in Turkey

onlinegamingturkey-posterLast week, Diane was at an Online Games summit in Ankara, keynoting the event and meeting actors of the Turkish online games industry. It was a honour to be invited there, and she was very happy to learn more about the Turkish market, which is one of the big ones in Europe already, and is still in a phase of rapid growth.


As more Asian and American eyes are turning to the European market (since market is less mature and the Chinese market is increasingly closed), Turkey is emerging as a rising star of the European region for online games. The country has the second biggest population of the region, and a majority of them are young (60% are under 35) and educated. According to a recent Comscore report, Turkey is the 3rd most engaged Internet audience in the world. The games websites category there has a 68% penetration, higher than in the UK. According to government statistics, 24% of Turks aged 16+ played network games with other people in 2008.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

12th October 2009 by Thomas Bidaux

KGC 2009 wrap-up

kgcThe past week in Korea has been very busy for us. We attended the KGC event for the first time this year, and it has been a very nice experience.

Thomas spoke at KGC, presenting not one lecture, but two! Both went very well, with a very attentive audience that was thirsty for knowledge on the European market and the European players.

The presentations are on SlideShare now:.

This presentation is similar to others we’ve done during the year. Some of the numbers have been updated, and as always we have provided additional information from previous iterations. The section on how to enter the European market, and related advice, has been fleshed out more thoroughly.

This is quite a new angle for us. We prepared this lecture at the request of the KGC organizers, and we can honestly say it was a lot of fun to prepare. We’d like to develop it even further, but we hope that in its current form it has enough material to be useful to its intended audience (non-European developers).

As ever, feedback on both presentations is very welcome!

[You may have noticed that those presentations feature a different logo than our previous materials. We'll talk more about that soon, but for now let's just say that we felt the need to move on to an image that's more representative of ICO's spirit.]

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

15th July 2009 by Diane

Develop in Brighton Free to Play lecture : slides shared

The lecture went really well, even if Thomas didn’t have time to insert a few Bastille Day jokes ! The slides can be downloaded here and seen below:

To renew the disclaimer in the presentation, a lot of the numbers are estimates based on various sources. If you have official numbers for any of those games, please contact us and we’ll update it!

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

9th April 2009 by Thomas Bidaux

Legal drama – patching your law

LegalThe legal frameworks of the different countries around Europe contribute to the complexity of the territory. It is quite a challenge to establish a service and its rules and have them actually comply to all the different requirements of those various countries. When they don’t contradict each other, even in the same country, as it sometimes happens.

The other real pain, is, like for any proper persistent world, the fact the legal system is always evolving and it is important to keep an eye it. What was fine and perfectly legal yesterday might be forbidden tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

19th February 2009 by Diane

Three Quarters of European Internet users visit social networks

crystal_clear_app_internetAccording to a new Comscore study (users aged 15+, Dec 08 vs Dec 07). Good news for social games !

UK, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Italy were the countries with the biggest penetration of social networking.

Also in the study : Facebook grew 443% in one year in France thanks to localization, and has now overtaken Skyrock.

The social networking landscape still remains pretty diverse in Europe – that isn’t shown in the study- but the overall usage is very high. For comparison, Emarketer recently published a similar study showing that the penetration rate was 41% in the US. That encompasses all year 2008 though, not just December as the Comscore figures.

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

27th January 2009 by Diane

200+ virtual worlds for kids live or in development

crystal_project_package_games_kidsVirtual Worlds Management has posted its update on Youth Virtual World  sector.  If it seems to you that the sector is crowded, it’s probably because it is : they numbered 200+ of them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

26th January 2009 by Diane

Europe is 2nd region in the world for internet users

crystal_clear_app_internetAccording to this Comscore new study, there was 1 billion Internet users aged 15+ in December 2008.

Looking at the regional breakdown, Asia/Pacific comes first with 41% of the audience, but Europe comes second with 28% audience share. North America is third with 18%.

In terms of country share, if China and the US  are far ahead (China being apparently overtaking US for the first time), Germany, the UK and France come respectively #4,5 and 6, Russia is #8, while  Italy and Spain are #12 and 13 and Netherlands #15 (with 11M unique visitors, which is amazing for a 16M populated country). If you add all of them together, their share is bigger than China’s, but the fragmentation of this audience shows on the top properties breakdown where all websites are originated from US or China.

It’ll be interesting to see where Europe and US will be in the future when China, Russia, India, Brazil and Mexico continue to grow fast.

Posted in Events, ICO Partners

18th December 2008 by Diane

Netbooks are leading PC market growth (especially in Europe)

According to the Financial Times quoting IDC, most of the growth on the laptop market comes from netbooks (small, lightweight PCs on Windows or Linux, destined first and foremost to browse the web – the most famous one is the adorable little Asus Eee PC, of which I am a proud owner). IDC expects them to represent as much as 11-12% of the laptop market in 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Events, ICO Partners