1. Growing adoption of digital distribution
With the growing adoption of digital sales and distribution of games, physical game sales are in decline. Improved internet speeds, larger hardware storage capacities, and lower footfall to retail stores are driving even stronger digital sales growth. Smartphones, fast wifi, and faster networks have changed consumer attitudes on accessing and owning music, film, and now games from physical to digital. As digital sales and distribution of games continue to grow, publishers need to prioritise digital distribution when setting their marketing strategy.
2. Evolving business models
Game revenue models are evolving, impacting the lifecycle of games as well as the actual gameplay mechanics. Revenue models, such as the free to play model, continue to gain traction with the adoption of microtransactions across multiple franchises on all platforms. Mobile gaming continues to lead the way, with AAA titles (big budget games developed by a large studio) on console and PC starting to adapt in order to drive maximum value as a result of the changes in consumer behaviour and the acceptance of recurring revenue models. Marketers should understand what gamer behaviour indicators they’re measuring to then augment that data into their marketing efforts, which in turn will help them reach the audiences who are likely to spend.
3. Cloud delivery is the next big disruptor
Cloud gaming platforms threaten to disrupt the traditional routes to market for publishers with the promise of Netflix-style access to libraries of instant games. The cloud gaming platform landscape is shaping up to be highly competitive, and differentiation will be key. Marketers need to understand which platforms are best placed to acquire gamers and keep them engaged. They’ll also need to determine what their platform strategy will be, and to what extent they will be platform-neutral versus seeking closer partnerships and possibly an exclusivity agreement.
All marketers are trying to get to a place where they can accurately map the consumer journey for different audience types. Marketers need to understand the impact of all the touch points where a potential player is shown and hears about the game. They also need to understand the impact of each of those touch points on acquiring the user. This enables businesses to decide how much to spend on each of those touch points based on the predicted or sometimes known lifetime value of the player. And finally, where and how much should they spend on keeping the player engaged.
Games marketers have a huge opportunity to efficiently grow their audiences by adopting closed-loop marketing strategies as the industry becomes entirely digital, aligning technology, people and processes. There are also big implications for advertisers outside of the gaming industry. Our next report looks at how they can reach these large audiences and tailor their messaging in line with the authenticity of the gaming community values.