The Subtle Success of Video Game Marketing


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How Video Games Are Now Making Brands Money

No more can people tell you that playing video games is a waste of time. Many companies now would love to increase your game time. The more you play the bigger they can grow. 

If you feel like there has been an increasing number of partnerships with video games and mainstream content... you’re not alone. It is a strategy that is starting to trend with no signs of slowing down. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses brand collaborations within the video game industry.  

The Subtle Success of Video Game Marketing

Mediums That Make Money: Video Games 

Marketing has had to evolve. In technology as early as the radio there were ads for products and services. Due to that same technology, the world of marketing has become a little more complicated. From radio to T.V. to the internet to video games, there has always been a method to expose a brand or gain popularity. Social media marketing has undoubtedly been the current trend for many companies/brands, but video games are an avenue that have exploded in the last decade and have yet to be fully utilized. In terms of revenue, the games industry has surpassed the movie industry. A small number of influencers, individuals, and brands are now partnering with members of the games industry and are seeing stunning results.   

The recent release of the new consoles, Playstion5 and Xbox Series X, have only fueled the industry for new fans. The audience is growing with members of all ages participating in video games. Opportunities for successful marketing present themselves often. It can be sponsoring an esports event that is often viewed by millions of people across the globe or being an integral part of a game. These are a couple of examples of brilliant campaigns that have generated positive feedback from partnerships within the video game industry.  


Unleash the Beast

Monster Energy has long been involved in the gaming world. They have created products marketed towards audience such as a monster-inspired gaming chair. Akin to Mountain Dew, Monster has become a notable energy drink of choice for many gamers. Even with some of their more unorthodox marketing strategies, it was still a shock to see their integration in a game. In 2019, Kojima productions released their newest game Death Stranding. It has been dubbed a visually pleasing walking simulator set in the post-apocalyptic United States in a variety of reviews. Walking can sometimes be tiring, which is why Monster energy is the favorite beverage of the protagonist. 

Multiple reviews of the game do call out the blatant product placement. They note how it can be immersion-breaking. That sentiment largely seems to be the views of only a small fraction of the audience. The game in general received positive praise and won multiple awards during its release year. Analysts claim that as of early 2021 the game had sold more than 4 million copies. Each of those players has used a can of Monster to restore the character's energy bar. A unique and efficient strategy to expand the brand within the game's community. 


Finger Licking Marketing

The food and drinks industry seems to be the quickest in aligning itself with powerful organizations within the games industry. The Colonel of chicken himself has thrown his hat into the ring. Mainly used as a marketing stunt, KFC announced the KFCONSOLE. In 2020, KFC created the perfect console for individuals who love gaming while eating KFC chicken. They partnered up with Cool Master, a personal PC building company, to create a personal computer with the latest technology that also contains a mini oven called the chicken chamber. The product has not been released, but it is rumored to be in limited quantity. The estimated price is set to be $2,000. That may seem high, but for this specific product it will probably sell out within minutes.  

KFC has customers from all different age groups. Recently most of their clientele has shifted to teenagers and young adults. Video games have become a popular hobby for a wide array of individuals in that audience. It makes sense why KFC has decided to implement the video game audience into their marketing. 

KFC console

Fortnite... of Course

Honestly, there can be no discussion regarding video game marketing without the mention of Fortnite. Epic Games etched itself into history with the release of Fortnite.  In 2020 it generated over $5.1 billion in revenue for the company. At the time, 60% of the player were between 18-24. Worldwide it has over 80 million users which it has leveraged to create some of the most successful video game marketing campaigns. It would be an understatement to say Fortnite has ushered in a new age for game marketing. Their format created a simple method that could cater to a more mainstream audience.  

Digital concerts were one of the many stunts Fortnite introduced. In 2019, they started airing concerts with artists such as Marshmello and Travis Scott. Leading the charge in this new changing medium. The Travis Scott performance brought a crowd of over 12 million people to attend. Not counting sales from digital merchandise, it’s reported that Travis made around $20 million from his work with Fortnite.  

Epic games have been on a rampage with collaborations. They have created enticing content for Marvel, other games, Jordan, game streamers, etc. For October, Fortnite is working with Ariana Grande as part of her tour for her new songs. In a similar Fortnite fashion, there will be a digital concert and players will be able to earn her limited-edition skin. There is no doubt in my mind that this performance and campaign will be just as successful if not more than any of their previous deals.


Gamers Are Rising Up

It can be difficult to produce creative marketing campaigns once a trend becomes popular. It is tough to stand out and captivate a new audience. The gaming industry presents a clear answer to that. Fortnite, alone, has revolutionized how the mainstream media view gaming. All sorts of companies are now trying to capitalize on the video game market. Balenciaga, a luxury fashion brand, released a video game titled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow to debut their fall 2021 collection. Brands, companies, and organizations alike are now starting to see the potential benefits of aligning themselves with the gaming community. It is vast and has content for all ages and interests. Plus, I heard gamers like to spend money.

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That's Not All

If you would like to learn more about the world of marketing or branding, please check out some of our other blogs:

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