Recently, our CEO, Brad Nierenberg, sat down with Varun Koorichh, Sr. Brand Manager of Mountain Dew. The two chatted at Marriott’s annual Innovation Days about the evolution of gaming and where they see the space heading. According to them, here’s what’s on the horizon:
- TV in Search of Millennials
Cord-cutting and live streaming are in, live TV and cable are out. In 2017, cable subscriptions among Millennials were down 12% YoY and 61% of Millennials shirked live TV. Brands and advertisers aside, TV networks are scrambling to reach this evasive audience. But while Millennials are on Twitch and watching gaming almost exclusively through online streaming platforms, transferring this format to live TV also isn’t the answer for networks.
In the future, Brad and Varun predict that TV will leverage their mastery in snackable, timed, and accessible programming, and apply that expertise to the gaming space. “You shouldn’t need a Ph.D. to understand what is happening on the screen,” says Varun. Therefore, to reach Millennials and gain mass appeal, gaming will start appearing on primetime TV with content that’s less competition-based and more lifestyle-focused. Think reality TV, but for gaming. It will be highly accessible and entertaining programming.
- Non-Endemics Invest Big
In the not-so-distant future, Brad and Varun also anticipate that non-endemic brands will begin to invest heavily in the space — whether creating in-game integrations, developing games of their own, or working with gamers to create content and products specifically geared towards their needs. We’ve seen this already with Coca-Cola’s FIFA 18 integration and Arby’s subtle social nod to gamers. Eventually, many non-endemic brands will authentically involve themselves in the space, and the dividing line with endemics will shrink.
- Celebrities and Mobile Games Recruit
With $30.4BN spent annually on video games, hardware and accessories, the gaming audience is massive with no signs of slowing down. But how will future gamers be recruited? Brad and Varun predict celebrity influence and mobile gaming tournaments will play a significant role in the future.
Currently, it’s common for celebrities to endorse products and companies. But in the future, the gaming veterans predict that celebrities will see the monetary benefits of endorsing (or even creating within) the gaming space. In 2017, we saw Kevin Hart co-author the family-friendly Gold Ambush game and many, they anticipate, will quickly follow suit.
Next, to tap into the competitive nature of console games, Brad and Varun predict that mobile gaming will become much more competitive. Not only will this get more people involved and engaged with mobile gaming, it will serve as a recruitment tool for eSports and console gaming.