ICO Partners is hiring! UK PR Executive wanted

We are hiring!

We’re looking for an experienced native English PR executive at ICO Partners with equal amounts of writing skill, creative flair and love of video games. Prior PR/marketing experience is required, but the role could also suit someone with a different background in online communications, like a community or social media manager.

In case you didn’t know, we are based in the South of England, in sunny Brighton, a lively seaside city just one hour from central London by train. Our PR work deals with online games – current projects include Crowfall and World’s Adrift while in the past we have worked together with Hi-Rez Studios and Riot Games, for instance – as well as indie titles such as The Lion’s Song, Northgard and older projects including 2Dark, Blackwood Crossing, the Endless games franchise and Fragments of Him.

If this sounds like you, and you’re interested in joining a small, fun-loving (but hard-working) team, please send your CV to jobs@icopartners.com and/or drop us a line for more info.

Here’s the job spec:

________

Who we are: ICO Partners Ltd., a small but growing online games services consultancy and PR agency based in Brighton, UK. Find out all about us at www.icomedia.eu.

Who we need: A flexible, experienced and motivated communications professional with a passion for video games.

Skills and requirements:

  • Native English speaker with very strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a position involving direct contact with the media
  • A background in PR, journalism, social media or community management is desirable
  • Deep understanding of the UK and English game media and industry
  • Proven organisational and planning skills, including PR planning and strategy
  • Self-motivated approach to work; ability to work to short deadlines and under pressure
  • Ability to work with and analyse data, as well as report writing
  • Experience working in multicultural teams and across languages
  • Additional language skills are a plus
  • Skills and experience in online marketing or social media is a strong plus
  • And last, but not least – A genuine experience and passion for video games

Responsibilities:

  • Managing relationships with journalists across selected European territories with primary care for English media.
  • 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 : TBD

Location:  Brighton, UK
Reports to:  PR manager
Hours:  Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Contact:  jobs@icopartners.com

Job opportunity at ICO Partners: German PR Executive for Video Games

ICO is hiring again! We’re looking for a native German experienced PR executive with equal amounts of writing skill, good contact network, creative flair and love of video games. Prior PR/marketing experience is required, but the role could also suit someone with a different background in online communications, 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 jobs@icopartners.com and/or drop us a line for more info.

Here are the specifics of the job:

________

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 www.icomedia.eu.

Who we need: A flexible, experienced and motivated communications professional with a passion for video games.

Skills and requirements:

  • Native German speaker with very strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Minimum 3 year’s experience in a position involving direct contact with the media
  • A background in PR, journalism, social media or community management is desirable
  • Deep understanding of the German games media and industry
  • Proven organisational and planning skills, including PR planning and strategy
  • Self-motivated approach to work; ability to work to short deadlines and under pressure
  • Ability to work with and analyse data, as well as report writing
  • Experience working in multicultural teams and across languages
  • Additional language skills are a plus
  • Skills and experience in online marketing or social media is a strong plus
  • And last, but not least – A genuine experience and passion for video games

Responsibilities:

  • Managing relationships with journalists across selected European territories with primary care for German-speaking media
  • Working closely with clients to create and implement PR plans, schedules and communications
  • Drafting and translating 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 : TBD

Location:  Brighton, UK
Reports to:  PR manager
Hours:  Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Contact:  jobs@icopartners.com

New report available: Mobile in games media

Following up on the two reports that we released last year, we are releasing today another report looking at how video games media cover a specific topic. With the mobile game industry steadily growing year after year, we looked into how this segment of the industry was covered by specialist gaming media specifically.

Using a similar format to the one for the report written on VR in games media, we used the data we collect across more than 900 specialist websites in EFIGS to look at the volume of coverage dedicated to mobile topics during 2016. We also chose 6 mobile games and their coverage to analyse in more depth. Here are some of the findings.

French games media showing the least interest in mobile

Looking at the lowest criteria, this shows the percentage of games media that made at least a passing mention of mobile platforms during the year 2016. Like with VR, English media are the most likely to cover mobile topics, just ahead of Spanish media.

What is interesting to see is that in French, German and Italian games media, VR is covered by a larger portion the websites.

We were quite surprised to find out that, across all languages, both iOS and Android were fairly balanced in the number of sites mentioning them. There was no strong bias for either of the two platforms.

This was also true for the total number of articles mentioning the platforms, with only 3% more articles mentioning the iOS ecosystem.

Pokemon Go is too big

2016 was marked by the Pokemon Go phenomenon, and we had to account for it in the way we presented our findings. For each language that we analyse, we present the “top games” with two graphs. One with all the games, and one without Pokemon Go.

Interestingly, the other Nintendo mobile games got top spots as well, showing the stronger interest media have in mobile projects as soon as a major video game actor is part of it. In the graph above, out of 10 games, only 3 (Clash Royale; Clash of Clans; Candy Crush) are native to the mobile ecosystem. The fact that they are financially far more successful than these other games is irrelevant when it comes to the comparative volume of coverage they received.

Case studies

Following video games news day-to-day tends to warp your perception of what represents a major announcement. Building case studies of specific mobile games was enlightening. The single most successful PR beat for Candy Crush Saga had nothing to do with the game, but was due to the announced acquisition of the game’s studio by video game giant Activision. The second most important event was the launch of Pokemon Go, where collateral mentions of Candy Crush were numerous enough to make it a major PR moment for the franchise.

The report includes case studies of:

  • Pokemon Go
  • Clash Royale
  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Game of War
  • Deus Ex Go
  • Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (compared to 3DS game Final Fantasy Explorers)

 

You can find further insights in the report – we tried to price it low enough for as many people as possible to be able to get access to it.

Upcoming – PR workshop for indie studios

Over the past few years, we have been trying many different ways to support the growing number of independent studios, especially when it comes to gaining visibility for their video games. The realities of a PR agency like ICO Media mean that we charge for the service. While this is often outside of what the studios can afford, that doesn’t mean we are not trying to find ways around it.

For instance Thomas (the-other-Thomas) is contributing regularly to events like the GDC (you can watch a free talk on the 5 Pillars and Pitfalls on indie games PR here), the Central Europe Game Conference (a free talk on PR basics for indies can be found here), or most recently, Digital Taipei (yes, there are independent studios in Taiwan), are part of that.

And as we look on how we can help further, the team has devised a one-day workshop specifically geared towards independent studios who can’t afford to pay an agency. The idea is very much to explain in great detail how to outreach media and influencers, but also to give the opportunity for the studios to show their texts, assets, and PR plans to PR professionals, get their feedback, and improve their strategy with concrete advice they can apply to their project.

 

The very first edition of this workshop will take place on the 14th of October, around the corner from us in Brighton, UK. You can find more details and the workshop content on the page of the event.

 

 

Video Games in the Media Landscape – 2 New Reports Available Now

Today, we are releasing two new reports, both available from our website. These are our first public reports built using the data gathered using our media monitor and you can probably expect more like these two in the future.

The first report, which is free (you can make a donation when you get it on Gumroad, if you do, we won’t mind), is a look at the overall landscape of those media that are dedicated to video games.

The second report, which is not free, is a deeper and more specific look at video games media and their coverage of VR, focusing on the key platforms (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR), the mist VR-friendly media, and the key VR games that were covered.

Rather than describing them, let me share some of the findings of the reports.

Video Games Media Landscape

cover_vg_2016

One of the things the report looks specifically at is the coverage received by the major gaming platforms over a year.

There are two things we considered when looking at the relative media presence of those platforms.

First, the percentage of websites that mentioned the platform at all.

blog-002

There are two very clear leaders, with both Xbox and PlayStation having 95+% of the games websites mentioning them. The main consoles are so ubiquitous that it is surprising that they aren’t at 100%, to be honest. But you have to account for PC-only media as well, and they are unlikely to have much coverage of the consoles.

More surprising is how Steam, which is not a platform that has a very pro-active communication strategy, still has 90% of the websites mentioning it. This is ahead of the Nintendo platforms (Wii, Wii U, 3DS) standing at 86%.

Then, beyond the websites, we also looked at the volume of articles for each platform:

blog-001

If you are familiar to the blog, you won’t be surprised to see PlayStation ahead here. They have a very strong media presence, and they are constantly ahead of the other platforms in terms of media coverage. In terms of scale, that’s still 3 times the total number of articles mentioning the Nintendo brands, and almost 30% more than the volume of articles mentioning the Xbox brand.

Steam being behind matches with what we were referring to earlier, and the lack of a concerted communication strategy on the platform from Valve. Much of the coverage is inherited from studios and publishers launching their game on the platform, and without consideration for the brand presence.

 

One objective of the report is to provide some reference points in regards to how different the media from the different countries are a different from one another. We are able to put together this table to show what we called the “media affinity” for certain platforms based on the language of a website.

blog-003

One very interesting pattern is how French, Spanish and Italian media, all based in Mediterranean countries, have a stronger affinity to Nintendo platforms compared to websites in German or English.

This is not to be interpreted, for instance, French websites having more coverage on the Nintendo consoles than on the Xbox ones. But in proportion, French media are writing more articles on Nintendo than the German media. I think this is an important consideration – as this helps understand the different sensibilities of the different cultures when it comes to games platforms.

 

Here is another very telling example. Below are the top 10 games in terms of media coverage in English and in German, for the calendar year 2015, set at the same scale.

blog-004blog-005

We discussed in the past how The Witcher 3 was the most mentioned game of 2015, across all the languages we track. But in English it only came second, behind Fallout 4. In German, The Witcher 3 is the clear winner with a third more coverage than the second best game… Star Wars Battlefront!

Another interesting takeaway is the very strong media coverage in German for World of Warcraft. The game doesn’t make it to the top 10 in any other language. World of Warcraft had more articles in German than Metal Gear Solid 5 had in English.

We made the landscape report free to anyone, you just need to enter your email and ask for a download link. We wanted this report to serve as a foundation for other reports we are writing, and making it free allows us to use it as a reference points across different things we are building.

Virtual Reality in games media

cover_vr_2016

Our second report is more in-depth, is not free, and is looking into the media coverage of one of this year’s strongest trends, Virtual Reality. This report is also covering a full 12 months of coverage, from May 2015 to April 2016.

One of our findings was done by looking at the ratio of websites that covered VR in some way, compared to the ones that didn’t cover the topic at all.

blog-100

The criteria being very generous (any mention of VR or a VR related device), we were expecting very high percentages. We found two things we didn’t expect:

  • 100% of the English websites we track mentioned VR in a way or another during the 12 months period. It is very unusual to have such a perfect score, especially considering the tool has it own flaws, and it would tend more towards missing mentions rather than finding false positives. VR as a topic for video games English media is there and is very strong.
  • More than 25% of both French and German media didn’t cover VR in any way during the period. That’s significantly behind the average observed, especially considering the very generous criteria we used there.

Looking at the volume of content shows another different trend.

blog-101

VR as a topic is incredibly weak among the French video games media. They saw fewer articles than in any other languages. While the percentage of German media covering media is the lowest, the ones that did cover VR wrote more than 6,000 articles referring to it. This is still a lot lower than the total number of games articles in English and highlights the fact that, at the  moment, VR as a topic for video games media is a higher priority for English media than for the others studied.

We put together a formula called “VR Media Impact” to help us identify the most enthusiastic and influential websites about VR. We took into account the number of articles about VR and the popularity of the websites (based on its Alexa ranking):

blog-103

There is a clear majority of English websites (and lack of French media), but tellingly, the top 2 media are dedicated to VR. For them to appear here is not only based on the fact they have written a lot on the topic, but also speaks to the fact that they managed to build an audience and have a strong enough following.

The report has more detailed ranking for each language if you are involved in the VR scene and would like to see more.

Lastly, I wanted to show how the coverage for the key 3 VR HMDs (Head Mounted Devices) has evolved over those 12 months.

blog-102

All 3 platforms are trending towards more coverage overall. However, while Oculus is leading the way most months, it is slowly losing its lead. Playstation VR secured more coverage in March 2016, where it announced its release date and pricing, showing promise for when it releases towards the end of the year.

It is also very interesting to note the slow but steady growth of the HTC Vive media coverage. The lead in brand awareness that Oculus built over the years probably helped in getting good coverage for the important announcement, but the HTC Vive is now catching up to it, with the media at least.

 

Free Report £200

 

Job opportunity at ICO Partners: UK PR Executive

We are hiring!

Here at ICO Partners,  we’re looking for an experienced native English PR executive with equal amounts of writing skill, creative flair and love of video games. Prior PR/marketing experience is required, but the role could also suit someone with a different background in online communications, like a community or social media manager.

In case you didn’t know, we are based in the South of England, in sunny Brighton, a lively seaside city just one hour from central London by train. Our PR work deals mostly with online games (current projects include SMITE, Paladins and Fractured Space) as well as indie titles (such as 2Dark, Endless games and Fragments of Him).

If this sounds like you, and you’re interested in joining a small, fun-loving (but hard-working) team, please send your CV to jobs@icopartners.com and/or drop us a line for more info.

Here’s the job spec:

________

Who we are: ICO Partners Ltd., a small but growing online games services consultancy and PR agency based in Brighton, UK. Find out all about us at www.icomedia.eu.

Who we need: A flexible, experienced and motivated communications professional with a passion for video games.

Skills and requirements:

  • Native English speaker with very strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a position involving direct contact with the media
  • A background in PR, journalism, social media or community management is desirable
  • Deep understanding of the UK and English game media and industry
  • Proven organisational and planning skills, including PR planning and strategy
  • Self-motivated approach to work; ability to work to short deadlines and under pressure
  • Ability to work with and analyse data, as well as report writing
  • Experience working in multicultural teams and across languages
  • Additional language skills are a plus
  • Skills and experience in online marketing or social media is a strong plus
  • And last, but not least – A genuine experience and passion for video games

Responsibilities:

  • Managing relationships with journalists across selected European territories with primary care for English media.
  • 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 : TBD

Location:  Brighton, UK
Reports to:  PR manager
Hours:  Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Contact:  jobs@icopartners.com

Job opportunity at ICO Partners: UK PR Executive

We are hiring again! This time, we’re looking for a native English experienced PR executive with equal amounts of writing skill, creative flair and love of video games. Prior PR/marketing experience is required, 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 jobs@icopartners.com and/or drop us a line 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 www.icomedia.eu.

Who we need: A flexible, experienced and motivated communications professional with a passion for video games.

Skills and requirements:

  • Native English speaker with very strong spoken and written communication skills
  • Minimum 3 year’s experience in a position involving direct contact with the media
  • A background in PR, journalism, social media or community management is desirable
  • Deep understanding of the UK and English game media and industry
  • Proven organisational and planning skills, including PR planning and strategy
  • Self-motivated approach to work; ability to work to short deadlines and under pressure
  • Ability to work with and analyse data, as well as report writing
  • Experience working in multicultural teams and across languages
  • Additional language skills are a plus
  • Skills and experience in online marketing or social media is a strong plus
  • And last, but not least – A genuine experience and passion for video games

Responsibilities:

  • Managing relationships with journalists across selected European territories with primary care for English media.
  • 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 : TBD

Location:  Brighton, UK
Reports to:  PR manager
Hours:  Full-time, 37.5 hours per week

Contact:  jobs@icopartners.com

New report out: F2P PC Shooters in Europe

Available now is our latest report. This time around we are analysing PC Free-to-Play shooter games. I am always tempted to say it is about FPS games, but there are a number of games in that list that are not in the first person.

The report provides an overview the market as a whole before going into specific, country-to-country market data and then even further into a game-per-game analysis. We took the individual game analysis a level further, and specifically analysed each game’s F2P mechanisms and the way their stores function – including the ways in which games are managing soft currency and the hard currency.

Below are a few samples of the additional graphs we generated, using the additional information on the way the games’ stores function.

 Shooter F2P titles - percent of items impacting gameplay

World of Tanks - shop profileTeam Fortress 2 - shop profile

Planetside 2 - shop profile

Have a look at the table of content for more details on the report. It covers 15 titles across 178 pages and costs £4,000 (incl. tax):

You can purchase the report directly from our website or you can contact us.

New report out: MOBA games in Europe

Available 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.

The MOBA genre is still in its infancy. Born out of the Warcraft 3 mod community with the Defense of the Ancients map, it was a genre limited to that space for many years. As this community grew it reached a critical point that either prompted game studios to consider the genre as viable for a stand-alone game, or the community matured enough to take their expertise from modding into full game development.

 

The definition of the MOBA is still evolving. Like any newly created popular terminology, its usage will vary from person to person until it reaches a point of compromise (or academics dissecting the game landscape narrow down a very specific definition). We have decided to stick to a rather strict definition for this report and only integrate the games that have directly inherited from the Defense of the Ancients core mechanics: players in teams each control a powerful unit and try to outplay the opposing team by controlling the flow of a battle, destroying objectives or simply killing the enemy players’ units.
For players, the main appeal of a MOBA lies in the depth of gameplay: the numerous units available, the number of development options for those units and the understanding of the different match-ups to react to the opponents’ decisions. It also means these games are very competitive, require a great deal of time to be properly mastered and have created communities that are highly engaged, yet passionately demanding and not always tolerant (one could say toxic).

 

However it is that passion from the players that it is a contributing factor in MOBAs emerging as a major genre at the moment – and the audience of those games is equally demanding when it comes to the quality of the games, making it a difficult genre to enter.
It doesn’t appear to scare new entrants though. As we finalised this report earlier this year there, came a point where we had to stop adding titles to the list of announced MOBAs as these new game announcements were being made on a weekly basis.
We feel this report is being released at a very interesting time for the genre. It will allow a line to be drawn in the sand, and a snapshot to be created for the state of the European MOBA market. And it should help us (and you) see where the market will go from here and how this new genre will develop and grow.

 

Thomas BIDAUX, ICO Partners CEO

February 2014

Brighton, UK

MOBA Games in Europe 2013 – Table of content from ICO Partners

You can purchase the report directly from our website or you can contact us.

That seasonal blog post

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!!!

Happy_2013_web_450px