2024 Gaming marketing and metaverse trends
Is the gaming market still thriving or has it slowed down? What will 2024 hold for trends in streaming, gaming marketing, and the metaverse? In this article, we’ll explore some of the key trends and predictions for gaming marketing in 2024. We’ll also share some insights from inStreamly experts that marketers and brand representatives should be aware of to achieve their goals for the upcoming year.
Katarzyna Ejdys-Kalwasińska, Metaverse Product manager
| 🚀 Anticipating a surge in the value of UGC platform marketing mixes like Roblox in 2024
Recent data from Roblox reveals a staggering 7.3 million UGC creators actively building in 2023, and the total earnings for developers reached an impressive $1.32 billion. With the platform planning to launch an ecommerce solution, brands should strategically leverage the popularity of free UGC, which currently serves as the primary motivation for user engagement.
📈 The rising value of content creators
With the number of UGC creators reaching 7.3 million, it’s evident that digital content creators are a driving force in the metaverse. Platforms like Roblox and Fortnite have become hubs for creative expression. The growing influence of these metaspaces solidifies the importance of integrating content creators into brand strategies for effective engagement.
🎮Brands shifting focus to gameplay over visual spectacle
The shift towards prioritizing gameplay over visual spectacle is informed by the realization that despite visually stunning virtual spaces, the number of users reached remains minimal. Recent observations on platforms like Roblox & Fortnite indicate that the success of branded experiences created by big brands outshines visually impressive but less engaging spaces. Brands will increasingly understand the necessity of creating content that not only looks good in PR notes but resonates with users, fostering meaningful connections and aligning with business objectives.
🎬 Video Will Strengthen its Role in Gaming Promotion
The strategic move by Roblox to introduce video ads, combined with the growing influence of TikTok and YouTube, highlights the increasing prominence of video content in virtual spaces industry. As video becomes an additional advertising format on Roblox, it signifies a dominant trend in promotional activities for brands, emphasizing the need for engaging and creative video assets across platforms to resonate with the platform’s large Gen Z audience.
Szymon Kubiak, co-founder
|The gaming universe has taken an ironic turn: it’s so good that it’s bad. The pandemic era, a golden age of gaming, witnessed an unprecedented surge in gaming and streaming activity.
But as we enter 2024, this hyper-growth has led to an unexpected downturn. The industry that once thrived on the influx of players and viewers is now grappling with the consequences of its own success.
💣 The pandemic boom
During the pandemic, the gaming industry experienced a meteoric rise. For example, the global mobile gaming market skyrocketed, reaching a peak growth rate that was significantly higher than in previous years.
✨ The post-pandemic reality
As the world recovers, there’s been a noticeable shift. The industry’s growth rate has slowed, with a projected increase of only 2.5% in 2024, well below the expected rate of inflation. This slowdown is leading to industry-wide layoffs and a re-evaluation of gaming initiatives as companies struggle to adapt to reduced demand.
🔚 Industry layoffs and downsizing
The gaming industry is facing an unprecedented number of layoffs, reflecting a broader trend of downsizing. For example, game purchases were the weakest segment of the global gaming industry in terms of growth, growing just 0.1% from 2022 to 2023.
📊 Changing player demographics and preferences
With the return to normalcy following the pandemic, there has been a shift in gaming habits, affecting the types of games that are popular and the length of gaming sessions. The mobile gaming industry, while still growing, now faces a new reality of more moderate growth compared to the pandemic era.
Having soared too high and too fast during the pandemic, the gaming world is now facing the consequences of its rapid growth. With the industry expected to grow by only 2.5% in 2024, it must navigate these turbulent times with strategic adaptations and innovative approaches to regain its footing. As we venture further into 2024, it’s clear that the gaming landscape is in a state of flux, poised for a new chapter in its ever-evolving history.
Bartłomiej Kuczyński, Senior Community Coordinator
|Take a closer look and keep observing these two titles: Enshrouded and Palworld.
Enshrouded, also called “Valheim on steroids” just went into early access in 24th of January, and he’s slowly starting to show up on more and more streams. My predictions are he might become a great game to co-op between streamers.
I can already see he has a lot of potential in terms of mixing survival, crafting and action RPG which might be played solo, but still – has a huge potential for playing with friends. He might repeat the great success of Valheim from 2021 – or, at least, the game itself is on a good starting way to it.
In terms of Palworld – you can already see that title hopped into second place in terms of all-time currently playing players peak on Steam (despite being a free game in XBOX Game Pass!). And it keeps going higher in charts. It might be a short-term trend, creators seems to be surprised with the massive success, but it also shows how much heart they’ve put into creating that game. So for sure, I’d keep an eye on that game, since it will be probably still one of the top games played by streamers in 2024.
Bartłomiej Matuszowicz, Account & Project Manager
|⚔️ The Rise of Esports
Esports has transformed into a global sensation, captivating audiences in the millions worldwide. In contrast to previous years, which some analysts dubbed the ‘decline of esports,’ 2024 is shaping up to be a year when gaming companies are doubling down on their esports investments.
We’re seeing a surge in the organization of tournaments and leagues, and the development of games tailored for the competitive arena. This year, the esports world is geared up to showcase a dazzling array of high-caliber events that are sure to capture the hearts of enthusiasts globally. A highlight of 2024’s esports calendar is undoubtedly the IEM in Katowice. If you’re planning to be there, let’s meet up for a coffee and chat!
🎮 Personalization in Gaming
Today’s gamers place great value on the ability to tailor their gaming experience. In response, gaming companies in 2024 are likely to pivot towards creating games that offer extensive customization options – from character aesthetics to gameplay mechanics. However, the most significant development is the emphasis on cultivating in-game communities.
🤝 The Trend Towards Social and Networked Gaming
Games that foster player interaction and collaboration are gaining momentum. In 2024, expect to see gaming companies increasingly focusing on social and networked gaming, encouraging players to build connections and communities. This trend represents a shift from traditional social media to interactive gaming platforms.
For brands, keeping a close eye on these latest gaming trends is crucial for maintaining a contextual presence within this evolving landscape. Alternatively, brands can save time by partnering with specialized companies like inStreamly, who can navigate these trends on their behalf. We invite you to connect with us via direct message to explore how we can enhance your brand’s presence in the gaming world.
pssst… #AI, #VR, #AR, and the rest of the two-letter acronyms are just as crucial, but you probably already know that. These technologies are rapidly reshaping our digital landscape, introducing new dimensions in how we interact with the virtual world.
Maciej Sawicki, co-founder
|We’re currently navigating a complex landscape shaped by the aftermath of a hyper-growth period and the COVID-19 pandemic, which, surprisingly, was beneficial for the gaming industry. In this environment, brands are spending more cautiously, esports organizations are grappling with revenue challenges, and the impact of major content creators as marketing channels is waning.
In contrast, micro-influencers are coming to the forefront. They offer better returns for brands and are efficiently building their own ventures, significantly boosted by AI technologies.
In discussions with peers across the media, esports, and content creation sectors, there’s a shared view that while the acute anxieties of the recent past have eased, a rapid return to the highly profitable pre-COVID era isn’t on the horizon. Nevertheless, we recognize that this evolving landscape holds opportunities for growth.
Entering the new year, the news of substantial layoffs at Twitch and Riot is a key talking point. Interestingly, I believe this might be the final instance where companies can make extensive cutbacks under the guise of ‘market conditions.’ It seems these market conditions have now reached a point of equilibrium, and it’s within these new parameters that we’ll be operating moving forward.
Wiktoria Wójcik, co-founder
|💫 You thought last year was full of in-game (or metaverse) activations? I think it’s just getting started
Some will finally be convinced to build a presence in the games that Gen Z spends more time playing than on TikTok. Others who have already done so will now start experimenting with it: digital items, other games, mini-experiences, ongoing comms and seasonal changes.
💃 Competitive: out. Fun: in
The old wrong formula of “let’s organise a tournament for regular players” & “our KPI is the number of viewers of the broadcast” is already out. Brands have learned that a tournament for casual players is about their engagement, not the number of viewers. In 2023, we’ve seen a move away from esports sponsorship and the rise of community-led events from content creators to content creators. All focused on the viewer’s enjoyment (and competition 😉 ). In 2024, we will see the concept of “fun” gaming events rise among brands.
✨ The power of small communities
“Microinfluencers” have been a marketing trend for a long time, but not so much in gaming. Although it’s been growing steadily over the past few years, I think this will be the year for it in our industry. We have seen a steady increase in interest in inStreamly, where we typically have 500-2000 small and medium-sized streamers participating in a given campaign. We have partners all over the world (Brazil, UK, Spain, Turkey, Japan, MENA and more) who are leaders in gaming marketing in their respective countries and are now offering our technology to their clients with great results. The power of many small streamers will only grow for brands.
Overall, gaming marketing has never been more diverse, both in terms of how you reach gamers and who the gamers themselves are. Good times! ✨