International Factfile 2015: Iceland

Iceland is a thriving landscape for games, backed by strong government investment in the industry.

According to technology website Wired, revenue from Iceland’s video games industry rose by more than 600 per cent between 2008 and 2011.

Icelandic news outlet Eyjan reports that video games earned the country 1.9 billion ISK (10m) in 2005, and 13.2 billion kr (70m) in 2009. In the latter year, exports from the creative sectors comprised approximately three per cent of Iceland’s total exports – more than that provided by exported agricultural products.

Without a doubt, the biggest video game success to have originated in Iceland is EVE Online. Launched in 2003, the sci-fi MMO has grown in subscriber numbers every year since – a feat that the studio behind the title, CCP, claims is unique among MMO titles. More people – 500,000 of them – now participate in EVE Online’s virtual economy than live in Iceland.

This market strength is being bolstered by the region’s government. In November 2012, Iceland’s then-minister for Finance and Economic Affairs announced a three-year programme which would invest heavily in the creative industries and tourism, including video games, until 2016. There was a particular focus on innovative media, with 250 million kr allocated for ‘new creative endeavours’.

Mobile developers based in Iceland are also making an impact around the globe.

Mobile studio Plain Vanilla Games, which has an office in Reykjavk, developed the mobile named QuizUp!. The app was declared as the fastest-growing iPhone game in history in 2013.

Population: 325,671

Capital City: Reykjavk

Currency: Krna

GDP (Per Capita): $52,967


Elko, BT, Gamestodin, Skifan, Hagkaup


SAMfilm, Dagsbrn, Sena, Myndform, Ormsson


CCP, Dexoris, Gogogic, Plain Vanilla Games, Fancy Pants Global, Ymir, Skema, Lumenox, Betware



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