Once considered a space for a particular person with a particular set of interests, the gaming industry has boomed in recent years, with a wide range of new people joining the so-called movement fuelling gaming trends.
No longer for just the ‘nerds’, gaming is now widely considered a sport. With the launch of the Olympic Virtual Series (OSV), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken the first big step into the world of eSports.
According to ISPO, eSports competitions were planned and to be in consideration for the 2021 Summer Olympics for the first time in history. But, the IOC said 2024 is “premature” to include eSports, but the door is open for 2028 when the games will be hosted in Los Angeles.
Gen Z = more gaming, less social
Recent research from WARC shows that Gen Z now spends more time gaming than on social media, making it the most popular leisure activity in this age group. In the last 18 months, gaming has grown significantly in popularity, particularly as the opportunity for social and creative playing develops.
Findings from the report highlight how this audience is increasingly a group that brands in the gaming space cannot afford to ignore:
- Gen Z consumers say they spend a quarter (25%) of their leisure time playing video games, making it more popular than other activities including social media.
- The same is true for millennials, but broadcast TV is most popular for older audiences.
Women tend to use their mobile phones to game more than consoles and are not nearly as militant as men about their gamer status.
- Outform’s Play to Win Report 2021 found that 83% of the women surveyed (from a total sample of 1,047 gamers from the UK, USA and France) use a mobile device, compared to 68% of men.
- Games native to mobile, such as Candy Crush (41% of women report it is their favourite game), are more popular among women than console-first titles.
- 75% of women surveyed use a console, though the observation here is that women are less tied to console gaming as a group.
- Just 28% of women describe themselves as hardcore gamers versus 72% of men. Just under a third of men carry out gaming-related purchases purely for fun.
- By comparison, women tend to be slightly more research led. Women are 15% more likely to try before they buy in-store. They also find in-store displays 30% more practical than men do and use this tactile, first-person experience to inform purchase decisions. However, 74% of women do extensive online research. (Source: WARC)
Female gamers report greater loyalty to brands, with 61% – compared to 55% of men – claim they are loyal to the gaming brands they believe in.
Moving to mobile
And with mobile gaming set to cross US$120b in 2021, the spike in gaming witnessed at the beginning of the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. Consumers are now spending more money on the devices as they move their gaming, and spending, towards mobile.
“Mobile gaming has seen huge growth over the past year, creating massive opportunities in the space. As consumer preferences in sub-genres continue to evolve rapidly, it’s more crucial than ever to have a finger on the pulse of what’s trending.” – Sam Yang, SVP global field operations, App Annie
- The spike in demand for mobile games since the pandemic started is not slowing down; weekly game downloads passed one billion in March 2020 and remain at that level.
- Consumers also spent more money on mobile games in the first half of 2021 – US$1.7 billion per week or a 40% increase versus pre-pandemic levels.
- Consumers are moving their gaming and spending onto mobile; H1 2021 had over 810 games surpassing US$1m in consumer spend each month, a 25% increase versus 2019. (Source: WARC)
All Response Media viewpoint
The gaming sphere is one that’s been growing in popularity for years, and the pandemic gave it the jump-start it needed to reach audiences that it may not have otherwise. An industry as booming as this one demands attention, and is something that media buyers should be looking to leverage.
At All Response Media, we focus and hone in on upcoming trends to be able to make the best recommendations and deliver the best results. We combine our finger on the pulse approach with our proprietary tool ARMalytics, helping us maintain results and anticipate the next big moves and trends in the industry. Gaming is certainly one of these.
To see how our specific services and knowledge can drive ROI for your brand contact us here.
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