Chances are you don’t need us to tell you how popular video games are. Even before the pandemic, gaming was by far the biggest entertainment industry on the planet – bigger than movies and music combined, according to IDC – and now, after two years of forced solitude and sedentary living, almost everyone has become a gamer in some shape or form. And these fans are joining together to share their excitement and love for gaming – data from Facebook shows that there were more than 230 million monthly active members across over 630,000 Gaming groups on their service as of August 2020.
One aspect of the gaming community that isn’t as widely acknowledged is their ability to drive popular culture forward.
Perhaps the most obvious example of this is Epic Games’ Fortnite and the concept of the ‘metaverse’ which has grown from it. Since Fortnite Battle Royale’s launch back in 2017, Epic has been slowly introducing other forms of media to the world of its uber-successful shooter game. Now Fortnite has become a media platform in and of itself, hosting virtual concerts for the likes of Travis Scott and Marshmello, and even blockbuster movie screenings. Movements like this combined with gamers’ general pop-culture savviness is slowly but surely turning them into the prime tastemakers of our generation.
So, we’ve established that the label ‘gamer’ covers a huge range of people from diverse backgrounds, and that this audience plays a huge role in shaping the pop-culture landscape. Now let’s talk about the power gamers have to affect change. The Game Marketing Genie reports that there are more than 2.5 billion gamers around the world, while in 2019, there were 3.8 billion people active on social media. GMG reckons that the majority of these 2.5 billion gamers are also tuned in to social media – it’s a fair assumption to make, and if true, you don’t need us to tell you the significance that gamers have on the global conversation.
Gamers are an opinionated bunch.
Many of them are on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, sharing their thoughts and opinions on the latest goings on in the games industry and beyond. Furthermore, apps like Discord are making it easier than ever for gamers, streamers, and other members of the gaming scene to create communities and communicate with each other to a near-constant and instantaneous degree. This brings us to our final and possibly most important point – the power these conversations have.
Historically, gamers have been the arbiters of change. We don’t have to go back far to see examples of this. Most recently, PlayStation walked back a decision to close the digital stores for the PS3 and PlayStation Vita after a fan backlash, a move that came mere months after Xbox reversed a price hike for Xbox Live Gold, making free-to-play games playable without the subscription to boot. It’s worth commending all of these firms for listening to their audiences and taking action, as well as acknowledging that the gaming landscape could look a whole different if they hadn’t done so.
The relationship between company and consumer has always been a symbiotic one, but now more than ever, firms need to be listening to the voices of their fans. Gamers are by the far the biggest and most powerful demographic in the world right now – ignore them at your peril.
At Project N, our aim is to help you become a part of the conversation and connect your brand with a huge audience of gamers worldwide, even if gaming isn’t your focus – get in touch today to find out how we can help you.