Home  › Marketing › Strategies

Five Gaming Trends Marketers Need to Follow

  |  February 24, 2009   |  Comments

Popular games are taking on new lives, online and off-, providing opportunities for brands. Five trends today, five more to come.

Everyone loves top 10 lists. Whether it is SportsCenter or David Letterman, we're drawn to top 10 lists no matter the topic. With this in mind, I collected my top 10 gaming trends that all marketers should follow over the next 12 months. By no means is this a comprehensive list of all opportunities, but it will give brands a good idea of upcoming trends that can be leveraged to reach their consumers. There's no rocket science included here. I focus on simple engagements.

This week, I'll give you the first five on my list. Next week, I'll finish up with the second five.

Games Are No Longer Games

Game publishers are now looking to their prized possessions as entertainment properties. During his recent DICE Summit keynote, Gabe Newell, founder and manager director of Valve, said his company is moving away from being considered solely as video game company to now being an entertainment company. With breakthrough franchises such as "BioShock," "Prince of Persia," and "Street Fighter" planned as feature films, games can extend past the game experience. Brands integrated into the actual storyline will be able to ride along with the property as it touches multiple media.

Games Never Get Old

As the number of connected consoles and online gaming via PCs increase, games' lifespan also lengthen. Whether it be downloadable content (e.g., "Grand Theft Auto IV"'s recent release of "The Lost and Damned") or additional content packs (e.g., World of Warcraft's "Wrath of Lich King"), gamers' favorite games seem to have become immortal. Marketers obviously win when programs engage consumers for extended periods, plus they can leverage incremental content releases to update messaging and included assets.

Games Provide Direct Connections

To further the point on connected gaming environments, gamers are no longer required to leave their couch for the latest and greatest games. They're given plenty of game options from console providers (e.g., Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, WiiWare) and game publishers (e.g., Valve Steam network) direct to their gaming platform. Again, marketers can leverage the direct download to ensure the most recent message and assets are included. More important to gamers, brands can more easily help with subsidizing the cost of these direct download purchases.

The Best Games Are Free

Gamers aren't exempt from the tough economy. With less expendable income to spend on their favorite entertainment option, gamers look to get more value out of their gaming-related purchases and are more likely to discover free gaming alternatives. Where gamers may have once spent $60 on their favorite titles, we can expect to see them turn to cheaper or even free options. Game publishers are likely to increase their offerings of free-to-play games that have been very successful in Asia. Marketers can leverage this trend by subsidizing the cost of gaming experiences or even offering branded versions of game play for free.

There's a Game for Everyone

Thanks to research reports from an assortment of firms, we can now say that nearly all demographics play some type of game. Whether it be senior citizens enjoying the Wii, CEOs playing BrickBreaker in the airport, or families coming together for a night of "Guitar Hero," everyone is playing games. Depending on the platform, targeting capabilities can ensure that a marketer's message reaches the appropriate demographic. Instead of questioning whether to have a gaming strategy, marketers should now consider what that gaming strategy entails to reach their audience.

I'll run through the next second half of my top 10 list in my next column. Be sure to check back here.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies New York March 23-27 at the Hilton New York. The only major search marketing conference and expo on the East Coast, SES New York will be packed with more than 70 sessions, including a ClickZ track, plus networking events, parties, training days, and more than 150 exhibitors.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Story

Matt Story is director of Play, a division of Denuo. He oversees the West Coast operation, maintaining key publishing and gaming industry contacts for the agency. With expertise and perspective from both the client and the agency side, he brings to bear dual strengths: interactive and videogame advertising and how they can transcend and evolve a client brand.

Matt and his team develop unique gaming integration programs on behalf of General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Miller, and others. In March 2007, he played an integral role in the 2007 Pontiac Virtual NCAA Final 4 tournament, powered by videogame "College Hoops 2K7."

Before joining Play, Matt was interactive marketing manager across P&G's antiperspirants/deodorants category. During his four-year tenure, he managed the creation of the first P&G blog, which supported the launch of Secret Sparkle Body Spray. He also led innovative development with the Old Spice brand's in-game integrations in multiple key videogame titles. To hear more from Matt and the various creative minds at Denuo, visit Denuology for their unfiltered perspective on the world at large.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...