Brand Responsibility like Media Responsibility is both Brand and People Safe

Posted by Victor Z Glenn • Jan 18, 2024 8:30:00 AM

The whole point of brand safety is to make sure that your advertising channels uphold your brand promise to your consumers – namely to respect them and continuously engage them in a trusted relationship. So it's no surprise that the gaming landscape has witnessed a rollercoaster of consumer emotion over events of the recent past. Apex Legends' oscillations in popularity driven by the exorbitant pricing of in-game cosmetics is a clear example of how a brand has misused its adoration by fans. Players are grappling with evolving ranked systems that are layered and pricey and choosing the sway of competing titles like Fortnite.

The allure of Apex Legends, Respawn's battle royale sensation, is facing challenges as player discontent grows over ranking systems, which has contributed to a slow decline in their player count. The recent Final Fantasy 7 themed Apex Legends event, marked by pricey cosmetics and heirlooms, raises concerns about predatory monetization. That is not brand safe and it's not a function of the advertising, it's a function of a brand making add-ons to their games out of reach with a staggering $360 price point for the “One-Winged Angel Deathbox” & Heirloom bundle which is alienating fans.

This issue serves as a stark reminder of the pitfalls witnessed in the gaming community when you are both a brand – and a media channel.  Warframe's Heirloom sticker shock, priced at a jaw-dropping $89.99 left players bewildered and disgruntled. Despite the backdrop of Tennocon 2023 being a celebration of Warframe's ten-year anniversary, the steep pricing strategy raised questions about the brand's commitment to its players and their loyalty. In a realm where player perception can make or break a game, brand and media responsibility demands a delicate balance between revenue goals and player engagement.

Meanwhile Roblox, a platform synonymous with youthful gaming, is making strategic moves to boost revenue. By allowing users with premium plans to create and sell 3D goods, Roblox aims to diversify its digital marketplace. This expansion, while potentially lucrative, requires careful consideration of brand safety. What is the purpose, value, and meaning behind digital goods that do not exist in physical reality? Empowering users to sell digital goods opens new avenues but also necessitates robust measures to ensure the integrity of the gaming environment.

As the gaming industry navigates through the dual intricacies of monetization and loyalty, brand safety emerges as a prime consideration. Apex Legends, Warframe, and Roblox serve as case studies in this evolving landscape, prompting reflections on the ethical dimensions of growth & pricing strategies.

Topics: Brand Safety, Social Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility, Engage Responsibly, gaming, digital advertising, mobile gaming, advergames