GAMING 101 FOR MARKETERS
From the outside looking in, gaming can be very overwhelming. Claire Hyland from The Youth Lab at Thinkhouse helps break down ‘Gaming 101’ need-to-knows for marketers today:
Right now, a third of the global population can be considered gamers. The Asia Pacific region is at the heart of the global video gaming industry, followed by North American and Europe. The US is the second most advanced market, followed by Japan, South Korea and Germany.
There is no single gamer profile: Contrary to what can show up in pop culture with regards to gamers, there are so many different niche groups and communities in the gaming world - think of it like the world of sports, super diverse. The average age of a ‘gamer’ today is 31. In fact, there are a lot of ‘gamers’ who don’t see themselves as gamers. The ‘hardcore gamer’ actually only makes up 4% of the gaming community in 2020. Sixty percent claim to not see themselves as gamers.
The reach of gaming is growing: More and more audiences are turning their attention to the medium, so there are increasingly opportunities for all of us in the world of marketing to reach new segments of consumers.
Where are they playing? Everywhere. But Twitch has millions of gamers and gaming fans. It has 140 million active users and 9.2 million active streamers. On YouTube there are now over 350 gamers that have followers of over 10 million and more than 200 more than 100 billion hours of gaming video content watched on YouTube in 2020. Discord also has 150 million monthly active users and it’s very useful for active multi-player games to strategise their gaming moves.
Game-specific breakdowns matter: Fifty five percent of the gaming audience is male, and 45% female. This audience makeup can change depending largely on the game, for example Animal Crossing leans more female and the esports audience is largely male.
It’s big money: The esports (gaming competitions between individuals and teams) industry is taking gaming to a whole new level. The Prize pool for the inaugural competitive season of Fortnite was $100 million with $30 million paid out during the first ever Fortnite World Cup.
Think community-first: Gamers always talk about their communities. Increasingly casual gamers also play in group games as a way to socialise and connect with friends in a variety of ways too.
Where next for gaming? It’s likely that the gaming experience will become even more immersive, and with high-fi graphics and haptics and the advent of the metaverse, gaming will really feel like you’re escaping to a new world. It will also be a world built around you - as AI advances storylines and experiences that mold around you as the center character.