Changing Methods of Marketing – From a Gaming Industry Perspective
It would be incredibly difficult to find someone who has never played at least one video game in their life. The stereotypical view is that video games are made only for male teenagers and children – but this couldn’t be further from reality.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, in 2017 the average age of a gamer in the US was 35 – and 41% were female. This data is a clear indication that the industry is creating games that appeal to people from all walks of life. The gaming industry is now being increasingly used as a marketing channel. It’s no surprise that the sector is booming – in the US alone, the market was worth around $18.4bn (Statista, 2017), which provides an idea of the vast opportunities for marketing.
As the gaming industry has evolved, so have marketers in their quest to grab the attention of consumers. A common medium that marketers are using today are banner and pop-up advertisements, which appear in most online games and tend to be most prevalent in ‘freemium’ games made for mobile devices.
Although this marketing tactic is generally successful, ads can be exceptionally annoying and often prompt users to play offline to avoid the hassle of being interrupted mid-game. Faced with the possibility of losing their valuable audience, marketers are forced to think more creatively and broaden their approach.
Recently, marketers have been using gaming influencers to market their products and services. With the emergence of Twitch in 2011 (a popular online service for watching and streaming digital video broadcasts) and the growth of gaming influencers on YouTube, many companies have been taking advantage of this approach.
MARKETING AT THE FORE
In addition to using influencers, there is more to explore in creative approaches to integrating the brand within the game experience. A perfect example of this is Fortnite Battle Royale, a global craze available to players on PCs, consoles and mobile devices. The premise of the game is a competitive free-for-all third-person shooter, in which 100 players compete to survive, looking for resources, weaponry and other equipment. This collaboration between Epic Games (the Fortnite video game developer) and Marvel is another example of how marketing is evolving in the gaming industry.
For a limited time only, the crossover event allowed gamers to play as the new supervillain in Marvel’s new ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ film. This was a brilliant marketing maneuver for both Epic Games and Marvel, which attracted more players to the game and generated interest in the new film.
Marketing in the gaming industry has evolved from “background noise” to taking “center stage” of a game’s UI (user interface). With the rapid growth and development of both the industry and the technology it uses, the marketing potential of gaming is enormous.
It can be difficult to keep up with the quick pace of digital marketing trends. Contact us and we’ll help you stay in the loop.