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Why Khloé Kardashian is the average gamer and programmatic doesn’t always mean performance

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Why Khloé Kardashian is the average gamer and programmatic doesn't always mean performance
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By Niklas Bakos, founder, Adverty

A fair assumption, for those new to the fast-changing, often misunderstood world of gaming, is that everything you thought you knew is probably wrong.
Here’s a test. Picture a typical mobile gamer. And then, with that image in mind, answer these three questions: a) which gender plays mobile games for longer and more often? b) what’s the average age of a mobile gamer? And c) which fashion brand’s gaming strategy was recently spotlighted in Vogue Business?
Alright, now the answers. That’s a) women*; b) 36*; and c) Gucci. So unless your imagined gamer looked like, say, 36-year-old female fashion fan Khloé Kardashian, chances are you were a bit off base.
The fact is, while many gamers are young and male, these days they are far too diverse a group – male, female, old, young and in-between – to be captured by easy stereotypes.
…and more misleading perceptions about gaming
Even within the advertising industry, the picture of gaming is not always entirely accurate, in specific ways. Take the perception of in-game advertising. It’s a digital ad and you buy it programmatically, so presumably it’s performance-based?
Well, no. The real value of genuine in-game advertising is in its power as a branding tool – and we have the research to prove it.
A study of gamers conducted last year with Dentsu Data Labs found that 84% were aware they had seen ads within the game, while 78% of those who saw an ad were able to recall the brand they had seen.
Ads like these are transacted programmatically, possibly creating an anticipation of performance-based advertising. But the point of the immersive, unobtrusive ads in our own In-Play format is to offer brand awareness in realistic virtual locations that allow advertisers to fit seamlessly into games.
Gamers interact with brands, but they don’t click, so while there is no CTR, these ads find their value in interaction and brand lift. Programmatic: yes. Performance: no.
OOH and gaming share a problem
You could inversely compare the situation to that of out-of-home advertising. OOH lives exclusively in brand budgets and is perceived to be a pure branding medium. But outdoor companies are doing all they can to create formats that operate on a performance basis. Consequently, the programmatic world is increasingly blurring its stereotypes and pulling in brand advertisers.
In effect, each wants what the other has. OOH wants to be known for more than just brand-building, and in-game advertising companies like ours want to alert brands precisely to our branding strengths.
And just as OOH offers arguments for both branding and performance, in-game platforms like our own are designed to serve both functions. While In-Play is unobtrusive and immersive and geared to brand awareness, our In-Menu format lets brands place contextually relevant, performance-focused banner ads in between games.
So how should brands file their gaming ads? Simply place them in branding budgets for in-game and under performance for in-menu.

Don’t let good opportunities be clouded by bad categorisation

The point of this is not just to quibble about definitions but to fix preconceptions that risk blinding brands to the realities of a media opportunity that is growing faster than any other. The pandemic, as we all know, has swelled the ranks of gamers, but this is not a here-today, gone-tomorrow channel for times of boredom.
Morgan Stanley last year estimated that there are 2.6 billion gamers across the globe – a roughly two-fold increase in just five years. As far back as the distant pre-pandemic days of 2019, that meant annual revenue of US$135 billion worldwide, giving the video game industry a greater economic impact than film and music combined.
The blossoming of 5G and cloud-based gaming services in the coming years means the glory days of games are almost certainly ahead, particularly in mobile, as experiences boom in both sophistication and scale.
In an advertising channel of increasing nuance, verification and measurement are advancing month by month; planning and buying have never been easier; and available inventory multiplies exponentially with every year.
That is why it is important that we put to bed limiting stereotypes of all kinds. Whether you apply it to branding or performance for your particular brand, you should see advertising in and around games for what it is: a media channel that goes where others don’t, at an almost unimaginable scale, and that has more than earned its place in media strategies of all kinds.
* Source: MoPub

eSports

Inaugural Apex Legends event BLAST Titans welcomes Western Digital as sponsor

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Inaugural Apex Legends event BLAST Titans welcomes Western Digital as sponsor
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BLAST Titans (July 23-25 & July 31-August 1) has teamed up with Western Digital’s WD_BLACK™ gaming brand as the sponsor of its Apex Legends event, which will involve Europe’s top 40 teams, competing across two weekends for a €40,000 prize pool.

The partnership will include product giveaways, collaborative content opportunities, branding across the tournament’s digital and physical assets and exclusive activation of the in-game replay segments.

Western Digital’s award winning WD_BLACK™ portfolio of products provides gamers around the world with fast, high-performance storage solutions to upgrade their PC and console gaming experiences.

The inaugural BLAST Titans tournament will see 40 teams, including the likes of Gambit, Alliance and NAVI, competing online over two action packed weekends – the esports tournament organiser’s first event in the popular battle royale game.

Oliver Clarke, Head of Brand Partnerships at BLAST, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with a leading gaming storage brand like WD_BLACK in our first venture into Apex Legends – BLAST Titans promises to be a hugely entertaining and exciting event with the prospect of engaging with the game’s fast growing and highly passionate community of gamers.

“WD_BLACK delivers innovative storage solutions customized for the gamer, and this innovation is something BLAST shares a passion for in creating industry leading esports production and events. We look forward to authentically integrating the brand into the BLAST Titans experience.”

Apex Legends has proved to be a popular game since its introduction in 2019. In April this year, EA announced the game had surpassed 100 million players, a 30% year-on-year growth and its esports event viewership had grown in line with the popularity of the game.

The first weekend (July 23-25) will be a double elimination battle royale event involving 40 teams, which will be made up of the top 20 European teams on recent form, 10 invited wildcard teams and 10 teams via open qualifiers. The second weekend (July 31-August 1) will feature the top 20 teams from weekend one, facing each other in the Arenas mode that was first introduced in the game last month.


BLAST Titans will be broadcast exclusively on Twitch and will be supported by the leading live streaming platform. The host English language broadcast will be live from Twitch.tv/BLASTTV.   

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Gaming

Stack Up! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking ‘n’ Climbing Party Platformer Launches on Steam Today

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Stack Up! (or dive trying), the Italian Stacking 'n' Climbing Party Platformer Launches on Steam Today
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PixelConflict are pleased to announce that Stack Up! (or dive trying), the team’s debut title and Stacking ‘n’ Climbing Party Platformer, is officially available to purchase on Steam for PC. Whether looking for solo lighthearted stackin’ fun or laser focused, sweat of the brow competition, all budding stackers in search for that ‘one more game’ feeling can enter the Stack Up House right now, right here.

Starting at the bottom of a suspiciously empty house, players jumping into Stack Up! (or dive trying) may quickly realise something’s not quite the way it should be. The colourful walls with its posters and sky-blue windows combined with the outright silly soundtrack and the sometimes psychedelic wallpaper make for a joyous experience… almost. Suddenly, boxes of all shapes and sizes begin to fall  from the ceiling above, marking the true beginning of the game.

In a race against time, players will now need to unpack the colourful furniture inside the falling boxes, stacking them together to erect satisfyingly enormous platforms, as simple or complex, as wide or thin, against the walls or in the centre of the room, in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the rising water, which begins to flow from the busted pipes below. Stack Up! (or dive trying) can be an enticing challenge in solo as much as an exhilarating race against friends around the world, and features easy, medium, hard or customizable difficulty levels meaning first timers and hardcore players alike will find a boot-soaking challenge to get stuck into!

“It’s finally launch day! I cannot hide the fact that the three of us here at PixelConflict are a healthy mix of real anxious and real excited about putting our debut project out into the world” said Davide Jensen, one of the three co-founders and lead programmer at Italian Indie Studio PixelConflict. “Though thanks to all the feedback we’ve received by the press and on social media, we’re sure that people who download Stack Up will have a lot of fun, this is what makes it all worthwhile for us!”

 

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Gaming

gamescom 2021 focuses on the societal potential of games for the post-pandemic era

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gamescom 2021 focuses on the societal potential of games for the post-pandemic era
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  • ‘Games: The New Normal’ is the central theme of gamescom 2021
  • gamescom trends 2021: ‘more games for less money’ and ‘live streaming’
  • Debatt(l)e Royale with the secretaries general of the political parties will be live-streamed on 27 August starting at 12.30 p.m.

Currently, 6 out of 10 Germans play games on a regular basis, as do more than 2.2 billion people worldwide – and there is no denying the huge potential of games. Computer and video games make millions of people happy every day, especially in difficult times like the pandemic, and they have long been used in companies, schools, retirement homes and museums. This year’s gamescom aims to highlight the enormous potential of games with its central theme ‘Games: The New Normal’. After all, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated once again the importance of games in society and the potential that still needs to be developed.

‘Games are a natural part of everyday life for billions of people around the world – for entertainment, work and education. Today, no one is surprised to see concerts, election campaigns and even church services set in computer and video games. This shows the potential of games, which we have only just begun to explore. Likewise, after the Covid-19 pandemic, the more digital and networked world will rely more than ever on games and their technologies,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This makes it all the more important now, also politically, to have a clear plan for how we can tap the tremendous potential of games even better in the future. With the recently introduced games strategy, we now have a strong concept at the national level. Now it is up to the next federal government to put concrete measures in place. This is something we also want to talk about at the political opening of gamescom and the Debatt(l)e Royale with the leading representatives of the political parties in Germany.’

 

Trend: ‘more games for less money’

Never before have so many games been available to play completely free of charge. On PCs, consoles and smartphones, millions of players use a wide variety of games in all genres free of charge – alone or with their friends. Still, many fans like to invest money in their free-to-play games, for instance to customise their gaming experience. And even full-price games can now be played as a standard feature of increasingly comprehensive subscription services that are available for just a few euros a month. So, despite a sharp rise in production costs in recent years, it has never been as affordable to play such a wide variety of games as it is today.

 

Trend: ‘live streaming’

Live streaming on platforms like Facebook Gaming, Twitch and YouTube has been one of the fastest-growing phenomena in games culture in recent years. Live streaming events with gaming communities have long since become the campfire of the digital age. This is where today’s creative talents meet their fans for a unique exchange of ideas. Increasingly, the unparalleled combination of live streaming and a community is also being used outside the gaming world, for example for music and sports events, and this is gradually blurring the boundary between creators and audiences. gamescom also relies on the phenomenon of live streaming to delight millions of fans worldwide with shows like gamescom: Opening Night Live and the formats of its many partners.

In recent years, gamescom has emerged as an important platform for political exchange. This year again, there will be several events for this purpose with the political opening of gamescom, the gamescom congress and the Debatt(l)e Royale. These special events will kick off with the political opening on 26 August from 10 a.m. On the same day, the gamescom congress starts, Europe’s leading event devoted to the potential of computer games in a digitalised world. Finally, on 27 August, the Debatt(l)e Royale will take place at 12.30 p.m. The round-table discussion of the secretaries general of the political parties will be live-streamed from the federal state representation of North Rhine-Westphalia in Berlin. This year’s host is German creator LeFloid. In addition to discussing the best games policy for Germany, the focus will be on the community’s questions about the German federal elections. With this initiative, gamescom organisers hope to send a clear message to the community underscoring the importance of taking part in the elections in September.

 

About gamescom

gamescom is the world’s largest event for computer and video games, as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. In 2021, gamescom will be an exclusively digital event from Wednesday, 25 August, to Friday, 27 August. Events will not take place on-site in Cologne this year. gamescom is jointly organised by Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association.

 

game – the German Games Industry Association

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

 

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