Brent Koning

EVP, Global Gaming Vertical Lead

With over 3 billion gamers now worldwide (that’s almost 40% of the population), the global video gaming industry generated $208.6B in 2022, which is a 95% increase in the past six years. Gaming is no longer a niche hobby but an opportunity that brands can't ignore.

We explore the latest trends in gaming and how they are shaping the future of the industry.

1. Creators taking the wheel

The creator space is a community-led movement which allows anyone to make games utilizing tools from major publishers. This is a game changer with platforms such as Unreal Editor for Fortnite, which will now change the business model for content creators who can develop (and monetize) their own original IP utilizing one tool to create, publish, and monetize their work. Major kudos to Epic Games for enabling and empowering players to build. In addition, these creator tools also give underrepresented communities abilities to express their creativity in unique and authentic ways which makes the gaming community more diverse and inclusive.

2. Artificial Intelligence (Types: Why is AI important in gaming in to ChatGPT)

(the following answers are provided by ChatGPT)

  • Enhancing in-game experience: AI can help make games more engaging and exciting by providing realistic, dynamic, and unpredictable opponents. With AI, game developers can create enemies that learn from the player's actions and adapt to them in real-time. This adds an extra level of challenge and excitement to the gameplay.
  • Improving gaming mechanism: Gaming mechanism is critical in shaping a player’s experience and creating engaging gameplay. AI can automate certain processes such as pathfinding, decision-making, and resource management which make a game run more efficiently.
  • Personalization: AI can also help personalize the game experience for individual players. By analyzing the player's behavior and preferences, AI can adapt the game's difficulty level, create custom challenges, and provide tailored content.
  • Non-Player Characters (NPCs): NPCs are characters in the game controlled by the game's artificial intelligence, rather than by a human player, and can provide crucial information, aid the player, or serve as enemies. With AI, developers can create NPCs that respond realistically to the player's actions, show emotion, and exhibit human-like behavior.

Overall, AI plays a vital role in enhancing the gaming experience, improving game mechanics, and creating engaging NPCs. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, AI will undoubtedly play an even more critical role in shaping the future of gaming.

Now from human Brent: So, there you have it. I agree with the above from a game development perspective. However, as it relates to the creative and advertising industry, AI should be used as a tool to assist rather than replacing human creativity. You must determine the right way of using AI for your brand. Building a hybrid practical human design model with AI is what, I believe, will be the future. For example, AI will not replace the need for graphic designers, but it will allow them to be more productive and efficient at a pace that we may not be able to fully comprehend yet.

3. Coming out of an esports winter

Lastly, this has been a rough year for the esports industry. We have seen partners like BMW divesting from esports investment, folding of different esports organizations, and changes across leadership positions across these organizations - all the above have led to reduced ad spend across the industry. While this is expected after a pandemic that fuelled online-at-home consumption of content and a shift away from in-person events, I strongly believe in the value of esports as one of the most authentic ways to engage with the gaming community and yield the highest marketing ROI.

Consumers who watch and participate in esports have discretionary cash and are highly engaged within the community. They are willing to engage with brands that are associated with their favourite players, teams and leagues. As we continue to see gaming grow into a major opportunity, dentsu sports can help brands tap into and engage this community to deliver elevated and authentic brand experiences.