Video gaming

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

6 June 2019

Who’s taking advantage of video gaming fever?

Next week, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) kicks off in LA. Since 2009 when E3 re-adopted its current format, attendance has steadily increased. This year, more than 70,000 people will descend on the LA Convention Center to see the new landscape of video gaming.

To put it in a little context, NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants (the trade show for entire music industry), holds a little over 115,000 in attendance each year. So fear not, music is still more popular than video gaming. Or is it?

video gamingLast year, E3’s attendance was just a little shy of 70,000. However, on a single day at last year’s E3 (6/10/18), Twitch streamed the show to 2.9 million concurrent viewers. In fact, according to Twitch, the show held nearly 100 million views in rapt last year and the average viewer spent 76 minutes watching E3 content.

Meanwhile, sales for the video gaming retailer GameStop drops 30% this morning in premarket trading, citing declining video game sales. Sure, GameStop may not be selling a lot of physical games. But a ton of games are being sold. Just not in the way GameStop wants.

The video gaming market continues to excite the masses in high-end gaming, mobile gaming and indie games. Where last year we saw Fortnite take over the world, this year we see Apex Legends. Gamers will also get a taste of what’s to come, with the anticipated announcement of Microsoft’s new console and new Madden and FIFA games, just to name a few.

And we wonder why parents can’t get their kids to play outside.

“I have no doubt a non-gaming brand will figure this video gaming market out. The question is, will your brand get out in front of it or will you be like PUBG and lose? I bet I know a brand company that can help you with that.”

The popularity of video gaming creates opportunities

Even if we don’t want to admit it, video gaming is as mainstream as Game of Thrones. About 20 million viewers watched the GOT finale. But E3 sported fives times that number last year. Not apples to apples I know. But it does show you the relative interest in the video game category.

What is odd is that other than the game developers themselves, few companies connect with gamers for things outside the category. Sure, there are video game chairs from peripheral manufacturers. But a surprising few have tried to be a brand for gamers. Twitch has done it. Mountain Dew has Game Fuel and a few other brands dabble in it. Jeep features a Call of Duty SUV. But few have really grabbed gamers by both joysticks (or D-pads).

I believe this is a missed opportunity for non-gaming brands. I get the problem. Brands don’t want to appear to be pandering. But I do believe there is a space in which a brand with a good product and a better message could really make inroads with gamers. Great brands are a reflection of a target audience’s self-description. Gamers define themselves as a gamer. How much more teed up can you get?

I have no doubt a non-gaming brand will figure this video gaming market out. The question is, will your brand get out in front of it or will you be like PUBG and lose? I bet I know a brand company that can help you with that.

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