Gaming Faces a Future Triple Threat Amidst Industry Shifts

Posted by Victor Z Glenn • Feb 26, 2024 7:30:00 AM

Shifting Landscape: Consumers are bristling at the suggestion of subscription models in gaming. Microsoft is waiving the white flag in the console wars and set to retire the Xbox in favor of third-party game publishing, or subscription-based membership on various platforms.  Sony's recent announcement of a downward revision in its PlayStation 5 sales forecast underscores the volatility, declining margins, and other challenges faced by gaming giants as the landscape shifts quickly, “around $10 billion of value was wiped off Sony’s stock last week, after the Japanese tech giant cut its sales forecast for its flagship PlayStation 5 console for the fiscal year.”

User Generated Content: Yet, amidst these challenges, opportunities for growth and expansion emerge, as demonstrated by the global expansion of popular titles like Gigantic and Honor of Kings – who take a more user generated collaborative approach to the full gaming experience, letting users create “add-ons” like “loot boxes” to generate interest and sustain loyalty. Additionally, player unity plays a huge role in the stability or volatility of the gaming industry. The player base of Helldivers II serves as a major and recent example, as they are campaigning for expanded server bandwidth and crossplay capability, which the game developer is responding to. Similarly, some games that had previously been shut down have returned based solely on player demand, such as MOBA Gigantic.

Brand Safety Concerns: In this evolving landscape, game origination (many from Asia) and game expansion into new regions (given the accessibility of subscription models) raises new brand safety concerns.  Gaming stakeholders will need to take proactive steps to safeguard users and foster inclusive gaming environments. For example, as TiMi Studios expands Honor of Kings into new regions, considerations of cultural sensitivities and online safety become paramount. The intersection of economic pressures and industry shifts underscores the need for brands to prioritize brand safety initiatives and uphold ethical standards. By championing representation through a DEI lens, brands can not only enhance user experiences but also contribute to the cultivation of safe and inclusive gaming communities, ensuring that gaming remains a source of joy and entertainment for users worldwide.

At the same time, with all these shifts, the safety of minors and other vulnerable parties online continues to be a global focus. In the Asia Pacific region, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are spearheading efforts to bolster online safety for users, particularly youth, in the gaming sphere. A recent survey by MCI shed light on concerning trends, revealing that 47% of youths aged 10 to 18 years old engage in daily gaming, with 14% of them interacting with strangers outside of gaming platforms. These behaviors, as identified by MCI, pose risks of exposure to adult predators and online scams. Moreover, the survey uncovered that 17% of youth gamers aged 13 to 18 years old have experienced in-game bullying, underscoring the importance of fostering safe gaming environments.

Topics: Brand Safety, Technology, Brand Suitability, Social Responsibility, Marketers, Media, DEI, Social Media, gaming, digital advertising, mobile gaming, multimedia, LGBTQ, advergames