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.

Limited offer – 85% discount on our MOBA report

About a year ago we released our in-depth market report on MOBA games in Europe. As we are working on new projects at the moment (if you are really curious, feel free to catch us during GDC and ask in person), we want to give the opportunity for a larger audience to access some of our previous work, so we are experimenting on this front through a time-limited sale on that report.

Until the 6th of March, the MOBA games in Europe report is available at an 85% discount, from £2,200 to £300. Just go to our Gumroad page and enter the discount code wintersale2015. Read more

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.

New report out – Client-based MMORPGs in Europe

client-based-mmorpgs-europe_coverWe 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).

Here is the top-level bullet points on what you can find in it:

● General overview of the market: global size of the market, respective size of the key countries, business models popularity.
● Key data for the main countries: market size, preferred payment types, most popular games per language.
● List of the client-based MMORPGs in service Europe.
● Profile for each publisher with estimated revenues.

If you are curious about it, I strongly recommend to have a look at the table of contents of the report, and Joost from SuperData Research (we partnered with them on that report to make the research as complete as possible) has an article with a few key insightsfrom the report:

● The client-based MMO market totalled $1.3 billion across its major markets in 2012.
● Three publishers dominate the space, generating 70% of all revenues.
● Germany is the largest European client-based MMO market with €474MM in 2012 sales, more than double the size of the UK market (€281MM) and France (€222MM).

Since the inception of ICO Partners, it has always been our objective to provide more than our usual bespoke reports that we build for our clients. It took us some time to get to the point where we were able to build that first market report, and Diane has spent all her time for the past few months on it. Now that it has arrived, we have other segments of that market that we really want to dig into. You can expect more content on the Publications section of the website this year.

Kickstarter – Beginning of December numbers

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.

The best is still for you to have a look at the document itself.

The panel this week was very one-sided in the end. Kickstarter has interesting challenges ahead of itself, but it is there to stay as a path for funding. That’s a very good thing in my opinion. The ecosystem will evolve, get more mature and we will get a few good and bad surprises still. A point I think I missed making during the panel though, is the very strong reliance on media, whether you talk about traditional media, or social media.
Social media is not much of a concern – they lend themselves very well to promote crowdfunded projects and Kickstarter makes a good use of them (Friend’s Discovery, I curse thou and my wallet too!), a number of projects were successful thanks to the support of traditional media and there tend to be some fatigue on their part. As the novelty of Kickstarter is wearing off, they tend to be either more critical (a good thing!) or not interested (a sad consideration).
Last thing, I will share my number two tips for going to Kickstarter, as asked at the end of the panel (arguably, we were asked the number 1 tip, but hey):
1# Become a backer yourself. Go on there, find projects you like and give them money. Go and live through a project’s campaign till its end (happy or sad) as a backer. That an important position to understand.
2# Do your homework. Don’t go on kickstarter without checking which projects work, how much they ask for, what they offer to backers, etc. especially, look for projects similar to yours.

Kickstarter Zeitgeist – part 2

Since last June and my blog post on Kickstarter, I haven’t really moved on. I am still quite obsessed with it and its evolution.

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:

So the main take away for me, is that the Median (and bear in mind my sample excludes project below $10,000) is really growing, at $29k now, making it quite interesting for studios of the right size (or with the right size of projects rather). The very large projects have slowed down, probably due to the summer. Overall though, there is still way more money injected into the game industry via Kickstarter now than ever before. And I think that’s good.
Last time, I hadn’t the time to run the Appsblogger data and integrate them in my slides. Rather than mix them with the set of slides this time around, I thought I would make a deck just for those numbers, especially as they are aging rapidly (as a reminder, these are the data of all Kickstarter projects, regardless of their success or failure, across all categories):

Hopefully, you will find interesting informations in there. Finally, I wanted to point out 2 blog articles from Kickstarter themselves:

 

There. I can consider my current Kickstarter itch scratched. It might come back, in which case I will likely share more than just data and data analysis.

Kickstarter Zeitgeist

Perhaps, like us, you’ve noticed that since the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter campaign, the crowd funding platform has gained a lot of momentum in the games industry.

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.

First off, I should say that our methodology limited our data. We had to draw a line on the size of the projects we looked at, and we don’t have any data on the ones that failed  (and that’s a real shame, as I believe this is the key information when you want to decide whether or not you should give this a shot). What we have is a snapshot of successful projects, but even this is quite helpful.

For instance, if you are trying to raise $250,000 for a PC game, you are trying to raise more money than the average PC game manages (that’s $233k). More importantly, you are trying to raise more than 10 times the median amount of money ($23k). Your project will need to be exceptionally attractive to pull this off.

Appblogger.com recently published a very useful infographic about Kickstarter. They used a scraper to get the data rather than collecting it manually (as we did), and I highly recommend checking it out: http://www.appsblogger.com/kickstarter-infographic/.

From their numbers, we can extrapolate that our data sample is missing about 656 games projects that are below the $10,000 mark. That’s a large number, and it would be nice to look more closely at those, but from a practical point of view we are not likely to work on any project of that scale.

We are likely to see a significant drop at some point when bad stories happen (and they are bound to happen) however, Kickstarter is generally set up to be a very nice way to finance small to mid-size indie games.

It is also clear that at the moment it favours PC as a platform and RPGs and adventure games. All good things to take into account if you are seriously considering putting your game out there and you want to make sure you set the right objectives for it.

Please let me know your thoughts and comments, especially if you find any errors in the thought process or the data.

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 :

Canalys-tablet-shipments-europe-q1-12

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 :

tablet-eu-bases

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 :

tablet-os

Regarding demographics, tablet owners in Europe are mostly male (62%), in greater proportion than smartphone owners. 42% are aged 25-44.

tablet-eu-demo

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:

tablet-eu-income

In terms of cross-platform ownership, Spain is ahead, followed by France, UK and Italy :

tablet-smartphone-eu

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:

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:

View more presentations from ICO Partners
Questions or feedback? Please let us know!

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
View more presentations from ICO Partners
Also, don’t miss the awesome presentation by Jussi Lakkonen on predictions for the future of social games :