Even before COVID-19, the gaming industry experienced massive growth as well as continual upheaval, ranging from increased digital sales of games and esports to the introduction of free-to-play business models, live streaming, and cloud gaming platforms. While gaming was once considered a niche area for dedicated fans and adolescents, it is now mainstream. Over half of the adult population in the United Kingdom played games last year.
After researching the gaming business as a whole alongside OC&C Strategy Consultants, connecting connections with other media and entertainment along the way and identifying significant marketing implications.
1. Digital distribution is becoming more popular:
Physical game sales are declining as digital game purchases and distribution become more common. Improved internet speeds, increased hardware storage capacity, and decreased foot traffic to retail stores are fueling even faster growth in digital sales. Consumer attitudes toward accessing and owning music, film, and even games have shifted from physical to digital thanks to smartphones, fast wifi, and speedier networks. Publishers must prioritise digital distribution in their marketing plan as digital sales and distribution of games continue to expand.
2. Business models that are changing:
Game income structures are changing, affecting both the lifecycle of games and the mechanics of gameplay. With the proliferation of microtransactions across various franchises on all platforms, revenue methods such as the free to play model are gaining traction. As a result of changes in consumer behaviour and acceptance of recurring revenue models, AAA titles (high budget games developed by a major studio) on console and PC are starting to adapt to drive maximum value. Marketers should know what gamer behaviour indicators they’re tracking to use that information in their marketing efforts, which will help them reach the most likely spenders.
3. Gaming’s emergence as a social platform:
During the COVID-19 lockdown measures, the usage of gaming as a medium of socialisation grew even faster. Within massive player base games, virtual environments also gather points where players may socialise and experience a live event. The development of online multiplayer services for immersive experiences will continue.
Virtual live performances have attracted millions of people, demonstrating the fruitful partnership between video games and music.
More game makers are likely to provide opportunities to enter this market.
4. Content creators’ popularity and live streaming:
With COVID-19 boosting the emergence of new streamers and content providers, video game watching is becoming more popular among a broader range of people. The variety of video game content available for viewing is likewise expanding. Viewers have expressed an emotional investment in broadcasters who develop genuine communities. Esports provides publishers with a new revenue stream and a way for brands to reach hard-to-reach demographics.
5. Customer insights and data:
With more accessible access to more granular data as the gaming business turns digital, it will become easier to construct closed-loop marketing tactics. Customers’ feedback on the game portions that are being used more heavily, finding retention issues or signals, and determining where new monetisation features could help boost profitability will be critical for developers. As we get closer to closed-loop marketing, it’s a journey that we’re all on. Leading marketers are concentrating on equipping their teams with the technological capabilities and practices that will enable them to leverage data to achieve their marketing goals.
6. Cloud-based delivery is the next big thing:
With the promise of Netflix-style access to libraries of quick games, cloud gaming services threaten to disrupt publishers’ established ways to market. Differentiation will be crucial in the cloud gaming platform landscape, shaping highly competitive. Marketers must determine which platforms are ideal for attracting and retaining gamers. They’ll also have to decide on their platform strategy, including whether they’ll be platform-neutral or pursue deeper ties and possibly an exclusivity agreement.
Every marketer strives to reach a point where they can precisely map the consumer journey for all sorts of audiences. Marketers must comprehend the significance of every touchpoint where a potential player sees and hears about the game. They must also understand the influence of each touchpoint on the user’s acquisition. Businesses can then select how much to spend on each touchpoint depending on the player’s expected or known lifetime value. Finally, how much and where should they invest in keeping the player interested? As the industry becomes digital, connecting technology, people, and processes, games marketers have a big chance to build their audiences by using closed-loop marketing tactics efficiently. Outside of the game sector, there are significant ramifications for advertisers. These enormous audiences tailor their messaging to the gaming community’s desire for authenticity.