The global gaming market is a sector that has grown during the global pandemic, reaching a value of US$167.9 billion in 2020
as many people looked for new homebound entertainment options during lockdown. But competition for consumer attention is intense with new game titles launched every day. We caught up with Belinda Chan
, Founder and Managing Partner of Creative Consulting Group to gain some insight into the world of gaming communications.
What are the key gaming industry trends at the moment in Asia?
"Smartphone gaming has exploded in the past couple of years. Large companies creating games for consoles and PCs are also releasing their games in the mobile version.
Further, the release of 5G and unlimited data plans are also expected to be key factors towards the success of cloud gaming across the globe, as most gamers today prefer games on mobile devices.
The smartphone gaming market is witnessing rapid growth and is representing a cost-effective opportunity for investors, mobile developers and publishers. It is also expected that by 2021, the number of mobile online gamers in the Southeast Asian region will rise to 250 million."
How can communications campaigns cut through the noise when there are constant new video game releases?
"Build anticipation with the right audiences
: Implement marketing strategies that support PR efforts 90 days in advance to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign by growing anticipation.
Use embargoes and influencers to create noise
: Rather than just giving out beta keys, Riot Games let influential streamers, gamers and reviewers with millions of followers participate in an embargoed test drive of Valorant, allowing them to record the gameplay but hold off on streaming video until the embargo was lifted. Giving out keys to influencers under embargo isn’t something new, but it is brilliant and guarantees success. When the game went live, Valorant was receiving over 1.7 million concurrent viewers on Twitch.
Amplify your message
: Social media is a great way to get a dramatic impact on the reach and authenticity of your message. Gamers and followers like to see recommendations and reviews from top influencers and media outlets before purchasing. Leverage your earned third-party validation from launch day reviews and make sure the right people are seeing it on their timelines."
What are the unique difficulties / opportunities of doing comms in an industry where most activities happen entirely online?
"With the changes brought about by COVID-19, most industries have shifted to online and e-commerce models and targeted publicity strategies have shifted from traditional channels to online publicity. The publicity strategies of the gaming industry have become more similar to those of other industries.
But because of this, it is more difficult to make newly launched game promotions stand out amid the noise and distraction from new technology products, online sales promotion and advertising."