E3 TRENDS & REVIEW: GAMING, ESPORTS, & INFLUENCERS
The biggest event in video games wrapped up last week with the annual E3 Conference in Los Angeles, CA. Outside of another reminder that common-sense is still necessary in all professions (the popular streamer Dr. Disrespect was banned from Twitch and the convention when he live-streamed from inside a men’s bathroom), the most obvious takeaway is that gaming is not just mainstream, it’s turning heads across the marketing industry.
As an influencer agency our priority is to help brands connect with consumers authentically and naturally in ways that can best highlight their product or services. The rapid growth of live-streaming has meant forward-thinking brands are already making huge land grabs to freeze out competitors while showcasing their brands to a highly interactive and captive audience. Best of all, we’ve found this audience to be extraordinarily passionate about the space and the content they consume. The same level of excitement simply cannot be approached by traditional television, radio, or even online advertising anymore. People are sick of being sold to, but they’re becoming intensely connected to online personalities. Watching a gaming influencer use a food delivery service like Grubhub when the viewer has been locked in watching an eSports tournament for 8-hours straight isn’t advertising -- it’s connecting the audience with a personal and timely solution.
Top-level gaming teams like 100 Thieves, TSM, Team Liquid and others understand this dynamic and are securing long-term partnerships with brands that fit naturally with their image and team dynamic. Cutting-edge agencies are repping not only gamers, but lifestyle streamers that could be the next wave of ultra popular influencers.
If there was any doubt about the importance of influencers to the future of gaming, a conversation we had with Phil Spencer, VP of Gaming at Microsoft, shed light on how much the industry is banking on their role in next gen consoles. Microsoft’s “Project Scarlett” will have mobile capabilities that offers game streaming similar to Netflix for video. With the entire future of gaming focused on mobile, he said it will make influencers even more critical to the ecosystem as viewers take games wherever they go.
As the world of gaming expands to mobile and beyond, it’s the brands that are already invested in the landscape that will have the best chance to capitalize on future developments. If you’re a CMO with budget that is no longer providing the same ROI -- consider placing your content in front of one of the most engaged, sought after demographic of consumers… before it’s too late!