The Impact of Digital Marketing on the Gaming Industry


Digital marketing is always a requirement these days when it comes to any kind of business in whatever industry. Everything and everyone is going digital now. Failing to adapt to such trends would essentially render your brand or industry irrelevant at this point. Not many people realize just how important digital marketing is these days, especially when they’re not paying attention. The reason that certain industries are as big as they are now is precisely because they have understood the value and importance of digital marketing in this modern age. Very few industries understand that principle more than the gaming market.

The Impact of Digital Marketing on the Gaming Industry

At this point, everyone is familiar with what a video game is. Think back to around 30 years ago when video games were exclusive to only the rich and young. Nowadays, video games can be enjoyed by people of all ages on a variety of different devices. Many industry players in the video game market were early adopters of digital technology. In particular, when Sony revolutionized the game by introducing digital games on the PlayStation, it changed the way that the mass market consumed their video games. Aside from just broadcasting their games on digital platforms, the world of digital has grown to encompass the marketing and advertising aspect of video games as well.

What Makes Digital Marketing so Important?

Currently, the average game of gamers is 31. What this tells us is that video games aren’t childish playthings anymore. They have a global reach and they appeal to people of many different ages and backgrounds. The reach of the video game industry has ballooned to $93 billion globally and that didn’t happen by accident. Digital marketing played a very big role in the growth and expansion of the gaming industry. Many leading players like Sony, Microsoft, and others have spent billions of dollars into the marketing of their gaming merchandise. In fact, in 2016 alone, the gaming industry was estimated to have spent more than $4 billion on advertising costs. A bulk of that went into digital marketing efforts.

The reason why digital marketing is so important these days is because of the media consumption habits of the market. Virtually all modern consumers these days get their content consumption from digital media. Whether it be through social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook or streaming content like YouTube videos and Podcasts. Everyone is going digital in terms of their consumption. Brands saw this and decided to capitalize on this trend towards digital consumption by integrating their advertising and marketing efforts digitally. This is a trend that is consistent with many different forms of gaming. There are so many people who look to play  online and lots of online operators know this. So, they try to outdo one another with digital ads featuring their generous bonuses and promotions.

Take the example of the console wars between Sony and Microsoft. These brands rely heavily on digital marketing campaigns to boost their sales and exposure. Even something as simple as sending gaming console units to a few key influencers to produce content on their digital platforms can do a lot in terms of helping their brand. It’s not just a contest of making a better product anymore. It’s about knowing how to position the product within the market and that’s why digital is so key.

Sony and Microsoft typically send their latest offerings to famous YouTubers, Instagram influencers, or bloggers to review and try out for themselves. A lot of the time, these donations are merely marketing efforts in disguise. It’s a very organic way of marketing their products because the marketing doesn’t necessarily come from them. It comes from the content creators. And there’s a greater deal of trust and intimacy between the content creators and the consumers. These brands understand that their position within the digital market could either make or break them. Sony understood this very well and that’s why it won the previous generation’s console wars. Nintendo also managed to rack up a bunch of sales because of their marketing efforts for the Nintendo Switch. The Switch became all the more popular over the course of a global pandemic that forced people to stay indoors. Many casual gamers who were looking for a relatively unassuming and non-intimidating gaming console opted for the Switch, especially because of games like Animal Crossing and Legends of Zelda.

Another thing that the pandemic showed society is that digital marketing isn’t just a fad, it’s the future. It’s perfectly possible for brands to thrust all of their marketing efforts toward the digital space and find success in it. The only question now is how can brands creatively think of new ways to set themselves apart in a digital space.


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