The Intersection of Marketing and Video Games

Marketers love to talk about gamified experiences/products/strategies. So when the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took over Los Angeles a couple of months ago – my marketing brain wanted to see where the gaming industry was heading.

Gamification is so hot right now meme

Image Source

For those not familiar, E3 is a global showcase for the video game industry that touches roughly 2.6 billion lives and is valued at roughly $135 billion.

As it turns out, a look at the latest consoles, platforms, and games released at this year’s E3 reveals how much marketers are starting to change the video game industry and will continue to do so for years to come.

Google’s got game

Google’s Stadia arrives in November and is priced at $9.99 per month for the premium subscription to over 3,500 games. Cloud gaming allows users with a stable and strong internet connection to open up an internet browser, select a game, and start playing.

TV, Mobile, Tablet, and PC devices displaying Google's new streaming platform

Image Source

To save you time, here are a few pros and cons of the streaming gaming movement:

Pros:

  • No more waiting for game downloads
  • No more buying expensive hardware or consoles
  • No more accessibility issues – play and save on any device

Cons:

  • More subscriptions to pay for
  • More internet bandwidth you’ll need
  • More focus on device accessibility, less on game quality

Regardless of where you stand on the future of streaming video games, It’s impossible to ignore how device-agnostic marketing has influenced yet another industry by focusing on mobile-first technology.

●●●

I sense a disturbance in your microtransactions

Video game developers have taken a page out of the marketing handbook by creating pay-walls for desired content. Click To Tweet

Monetizing video games with microtransactions, loot boxes, and other pay-to-win strategies have become a social media hotbed for gamers since 2017 when EA released the Star Wars Battlefront II beta.

Screen shot of tweet that reads "God I hope Battlefront 2 is the game that destorys the loot crate concept with it's awful integration."

Image Source

The gaming community has spoken loudly against microtransactions, and game developers are listening. Some companies are even leveraging this movement to proudly label their games as loot-box-free.

The monetization of video games has now reached Capitol Hill. Last month, Missouri Senator, Josh Hawley, introduced legislation that aims to ban abusive practices that “monetize addictions..and knowingly exploits children.”

●●●

Twitch brings the people together

I grew up watching my older brother play everything from Marvel vs. Capcom and Banjo-Kazooie to GoldenEye, Counterstrike, and Tribes. We would talk endlessly about how to get through levels, beat bosses, and practice fast-twitch reflexes.

The social aspect of gaming culture is what makes it so contagiously fun.

Twitch is a live streaming video platform that broadcasts eSports sports tournaments, personal streams of individual players, and gaming-related talk shows.

Screen Shot of a female gamer off to the side as she streams a game she is playing

Image Source

Marketing is a constant battle for eyeballs and attention, and twitch is winning the fight. With about 7.3 million hours watched per month and 148 million subscribers, Netflix seems to be the only thing that can compete.

Twitch has created one of the fastest-growing businesses that brings people together to watch video games and socialize.

●●●

Video games are a business

Like any successful business, video game developers need to turn a profit. And while marketing innovation can bring new life and greater access to gaming, it’s critical to strike a balance.

Luckily, it’s the fans inside the gaming community who have fought loud and hard to buck any trends that take monetization too far.

Interested in taking your business to the next level? Reach out to us through the form below and let’s help transform your business into a sales machine!



Travis Tyler

Travis Tyler is the Marketing Team Lead for PowerChord.
Travis Tyler

Latest posts by Travis Tyler (see all)