Gaming & Esports
- May 20 2020
The Army is using video games to reach new recruits during the pandemic.
The Army is using video games to reach new recruits during the pandemic. Since Army recruiters can no longer visit high schools or state fairs, they’ve instead turned to esports. To reach prospective soldiers, the organization is using the Army Esports Team, soldiers who have full-time jobs in competitive online gaming. Recruiters have been organizing online tournaments on games like Call of Duty, where the Army gamers virtually meet with the potential newcomers. Along with putting more money into online gaming, recruiters have also redirected their budgets to billboards, ads on social media, and Google searches. (WSJ)
- May 19 2020
Minecraft remains as popular as ever, with monthly plays continuing to grow.
Minecraft remains as popular as ever, with monthly plays continuing to grow. The eleven-year-old video game is still relevant as sales top 200 million, with 126 million people playing the game monthly. They saw a 25% increase in new players last month and a 40% spike in multiplayer sessions as gaming thrives during quarantine. They’ve also been following the trend of live virtual concerts in gaming worlds, hosting the Block by Blockwest music festival this week. (The Verge)
- May 18 2020
One of this year’s hottest late-night talk shows is on Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
One of this year’s hottest late-night talk shows is on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It’s no secret that the life stimulation video game has been a huge hit during quarantine, as young consumers use it to hang out with friends and host virtual events. Now it’s home to Animal Talking—one of the most talked about new talk shows. Screenwriter Gary Whitta is the man behind the production, which has featured guests like T-Pain and Elijah Wood, and could have a potential AOC appearance. According to Whitta, Animal Talking has an advantage over hosts like Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon (who are currently filming from home) because they can virtually build a space to replicate an actual late night studio and avoid the hang ups that come with physically hosting from home. (The Verge)
- May 15 2020
Live game streaming continues to see a massive boom.
Live game streaming continues to see a massive boom. Young consumers are continuing to fuel the gaming industry—and according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg, live game streaming grew 45% in the last two months and is up 99% year-over-year. Twitch saw the most growth with a 50% jump of hours watched in March and April, and a 101% increase year-over-year. On a monthly basis, they are now up to 1.7 billion hours watched. The other big winner is Facebook Gaming with a 72% growth in March and April, and a 238% jump in growth over last year. YouTube Gaming and Mixer followed with 14% and 15% increases from those same months. (The Verge)
- May 08 2020
Fortnite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons continue to win big during lockdowns.
Fortnite and Animal Crossing: New Horizons continue to win big during lockdowns. According to Epic Games, Fortnite has more than 350 million registered players who logged 3.2 billion hours in April. Over the last month, they’ve been finding ways to keep their young gamers entertained through virtual concerts, which was likely also key to bringing in new users. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons has also been having a moment as quarantined young consumers continue to use the life stimulation video game for entertainment and a way to hangout with friends. The gaming giant said 13 million copies of the game have been sold—surpassing their original forecast. (The Verge, WSJ)
- May 07 2020
Following the success of Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert, brands are jumping on board to host more virtual performances.
Following the success of Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert, brands are jumping on board to host more virtual performances. The in-game event brought in 12 million viewers and pushed Scott’s new song to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, proving that music marketing is transforming during the COVID era. Companies like livestreaming startup Wave, who recently announced a concert series featuring John Legend and Tinashe, are trying to develop similar events using motion-capture technology to transform artists into digital avatars in virtual worlds. And as alcohol brands continue to show off innovative quarantine marketing, Bud Light Seltzer just announced they will be hosting a weekly summer virtual concert series featuring popular Latin pop artists. (Pitchfork, Marketing Dive)
- May 05 2020
During COVID, video games have become social platforms.
During COVID, video games have become social platforms. Sure, video chat apps and services are keeping quarantined young consumers connected, but video games that double as shared social spaces are thriving. Fornite, Minecraft, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons have become something more than video games, they’re places for virtual entertainment and hangouts with friends. Many are using these games to celebrate holidays, missed out rites, and attend concerts. The pandemic is showing people that “the sweet spot of mainstream virtual presence might be something more than a Zoom-like video conference but less than a full-on virtual reality experience.” (TechCrunch)
- Apr 29 2020
With live sports events on hold, leagues and brands are being forced to push their marketing into the future… Brands have had to come up with a “new playbook” in the wake of COVID, scrambling…
- Apr 01 2020
Mobile gaming has jumped 24% as people isolate at home.
Mobile gaming has jumped 24% as people isolate at home. Yesterday, we told you about how the gaming industry is booming because of the COVID-19 crisis, with consoles flying off shelves and users overloading platforms with play time. According to an AdColony study, 45% of consumers are playing new mobile games on their smartphones, while 66% said they’ve been playing existing mobile games more frequently. New releases like Animal Crossing: New Horizons are going viral, and when Pokémon Go reworked their game for indoor play they saw a 67% jump in spending. (Mobile Marketer)
- Apr 01 2020
After a suspended season, the NBA is having their players compete in a video game tournament.
After a suspended season, the NBA is having their players compete in a video game tournament. Since basketball players can’t play together, they’re moving on to the next best thing: gaming. We’ve already established that the industry is booming right now—and in a move to bring the sport safely to fans, the association is planning to broadcast a 10-day NBA 2K tournament with 16 of the league’s “sharpest” video gamers. The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, and two-time All-Star Andre Drummond are just some of the players who are in-talks to participate. (Yahoo! Sports, Forbes)