Games have existed within communities since the dawn of time. Games have always been intrinsically linked to the human-condition as competition, reward, and entertainment are deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Looking at today’s technology landscape, we find that people have enough free time along with instant access to multiple forms of entertainment. As a result, gaming has become a hugely popular and tremendously profitable industry, with approximately $60 billion per year in sales.
VIDEO GAMING – THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUM IN THE WORLD
The video gaming industry generates more revenue than both the film and music industries combined. The video game Grand Theft Auto IV, for example, had an income of over one billion after 3 days since publication. In comparison, Avatar, one of the top-selling movies in the world, needed 17 days to pass that boundary.
On a global scale, the gaming target audience ranges between 16 and 44 years old. Within these communities, it is stated that the gaming industry also attracts more and more women. With the U.S. (63.7% of the population plays video games) and Canada at the top (57.7%), Switzerland’s gaming industry is also following this trend, with an approximate revenue of CHF 633 million. For example, 8 out of 10 Swiss teenagers play video games. This generation plays digital games on average one hour per day and almost two hours on weekends and holidays.
The foundation of E-Sports leagues, where gamers have started to compete against each other professionally, catapults the gaming industry to a new level. For example, the final of the League of Legends World Cup recorded higher viewer numbers in 2018 than the Super Bowl.
THE GAMING INDUSTRY IN THE PROCESS OF COMMERCIALIZATION
Consequently, new business opportunities emerge in this sector. For instance, the dominating live streamer for E-sports, Twitch, has already more daily watches per user than YouTube and Facebook. Through ads, sponsorships, commerce, events, or custom solutions, brands can be integrated to send a desired message to the viewers.
Another monetization strategy within the gaming industry is in-game advertising, such as rewarded video ads, offer wall ads, and interstitial ads.
Most successful ads are the ones that work as a component of a game. In this way, the app engagement and the retention rate are higher. Moreover, it is part of the user experience. This serves as a platform to show company logos, to gain attention for a product, or to tell a story. The more touchpoints a user has with the brand, the more it can influence their subconsciousness. In general, users’ attitude towards brand placements are more positive in an entertainment context than they are towards ads. In addition, the placement has a longer duration, and users can identify better with a story or a character. In-game advertising, especially when it appears as a component of the game, is therefore becoming increasingly popular.
Brands which advertise on games and gaming platforms are mostly targeting the generation Z. This generation grew up with high-speed internet, smartphones, and social media. Currently, Gen Zers are representing almost 30% of the world’s population.
GAMING ELEMENTS APPEAR MORE AND MORE IN OUR DAILY LIFES
Gaming elements within the marketing industry are getting more and more interesting to meet the needs of emerging generations. Consequently, it isn’t surprising that more enterprises want to bring gaming elements into their business practices.
Due to the wide acceptance of gaming, we have seen numerous examples of this tendency through e-learning systems, fitness apps, and loyalty cards. People have become more open to game mechanics in other parts of their lives as well. Gamification has, as a result, become a powerful tool to truly get a message across and persuade mini-games and user profile portals.
So with gaming and gamification strategies now a part of our everyday lives (whether we realize it or not) and with the unquestionable influence of the gaming industry over popular culture, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to use gamification to genuinely connect with their target audience.