31 Key Insights And Stats! - For Games Marketers and Games Businesses!
With billions of people playing, watching, and streaming, the industry is booming. However, it’s also at an inflection point: limitations to Direct Response campaigns impact common marketing practices and change must be welcomed. As a result, a hypothesis was created later in the study for how successful gaming businesses might modify their organizational structure to flourish in a world where third-party data will be less available and real connections with players will be the criterion for success.
Below are the 31 Key Insights/Findings and Stats from Facebook Gaming's 33 Page ‘GAMES MARKETING INSIGHTS 2022 Report' that may assist to provide analysis for game marketers that would assist them make better business decisions in a rapidly changing gaming environment:
1. The evolving gaming landscape:
Study design: SURVEY RESPONDENTS – 5711; COUNTRIES ANALYZED - United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Germany (DE), South Korea (KR). Time Period – October 2021.
1. Millions of people started gaming during the pandemic and they continue playing to this day. Understanding shifting patterns in their behaviors, motivations, and preferences, is key to successfully building and maintaining close relationships with them (Rick Kelley, VP, Global Gaming at Meta).
2. In line with last year's findings in the US, the UK, and Germany, the majority of new gamers remain younger than established gamers. South Korea remains an anomaly—more established players fall into the younger cohort than new players.
3. New Gamers: Those who only started playing since the onset of the pandemic (January 2020 – June 2020). Established Gamers: Gamers who have been playing since before the onset of the pandemic (before January 2020).
4. In contrast to our 2021 insights, research indicates that new gamers spend less time playing per week than established gamers. Taking the US as an example, only 15% of new gamers report playing more than 11 hours per week compared to 33% of established gamers.
5. Established gamers in the US, the UK and Germany don’t just play more, they also spend more. This is a shift from what survey respondents indicated at the height of the pandemic, when new players showed a higher propensity to spend more than established players.
6. Gamers surveyed willing to spend (monthly in USD mean spend): 5.53 – 26.38
7. Playing and spending motivations differ between established and new players. Both cohorts often play just to pass the time. However, relieving stress is especially important for established players.
8. Hyper-casual games are still the fan favorite, but games that offer a more immersive gaming experience are gaining momentum. Hyper-casual, Simulation, and Puzzle remain the top downloaded games in the US, the UK, and Germany. However, in South Korea, RPG replaces Puzzle to make the top 3.
9. Another factor may be that the majority of new gamers that remained in the ecosystem have expanded their preferences, seeking more immersive experiences from core gaming genres such as Action, RPG, Strategy, Simulation, and Sports.
10. The importance of inclusivity, these features, such as character customization and progression systems, aim to drive longer-term retention.
11. The potential for gaming creators to play a key role in upper-funnel brand marketing is greater than ever.
12. The number of Facebook Gaming Groups hit over one million and are now composed of 350 million members. In May alone, Gaming Groups collectively saw 1.7 billion total engagements.
13. Cloud technologies are popular, especially among Gen Z. This is particularly true in the UK and the US, where YoY the percentage of streaming time increased from 10-15% and 10-18% respectively.⁷ As it negates the need for expensive gaming hardware, cloud streaming services seem to be attracting a younger user base.
14. AR and VR have penetrated the mainstream thanks to an increase in high quality, standalone devices. Further, in Q3 2021, we saw a 2.8x increase YoY in gamers joining AR/VR product-related Facebook Groups.
15. AR/VR adoption is driven by gaming and we expect to see the industry continue to lead the way in other emerging technologies. NFTs already empower the growth of play-to-earn models and are expected to be the backbone of asset ownership as a whole. Digital assets such as these have the potential to make in-app purchases more profitable not just for the gaming industry but app developers too.
16. Web3, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and, of course, the metaverse will most likely inform game development before impacting players. But there is little doubt that, once again, gaming will be on the forefront of how new technology ultimately becomes mainstream.
17. Gaming behaviour patterns continue to shift: Time spent and the propensity to monetize flows back toward established gamers. But preference for ad-supported models remains high across both cohorts. Further, mixed monetization models and a diverse genre portfolio are expected to have the most audience appeal.
18. Gaming further extends beyond the single-player experience, with watching, discussing and belonging becoming increasingly important to the experience. This engagement amplifies the importance of upper-funnel brand marketing as a significant contributor to player retention.
2. Diversity in gaming:
Study design: SURVEY RESPONDENTS – 6045; COUNTRIES ANALYZED - United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Germany (DE), South Korea (KR), Brazil (BR). Time Period – Jul-Aug, 2021. MOBILE GAMER DEFINITION: Adults 18+, play 3+ hours gaming per week and at least some games played have human characters.
19. Research showed that games that are designed with diverse representation in mind offer a more immersive and engaging experience to all mobile players. This is especially true for people across surveyed markets who identify as LGBTQ+.
20. For example in the UK, 79% of surveyed players who identify as LGBTQ+ would be more likely to download or spend money on a game if it featured characters that better represented them.
21. It's becoming more apparent that many people want mobile games to better reflect their lived experiences. This can be delivered through more accurate representation in gameplay, or a greater, more diverse inclusion of characters.
22. Across all markets the majority of surveyed mobile gamers enjoy an ability to customize the in-game experience and view games with greater customization tools as higher quality.
23. Further, in the US, 45% of mobile gamers surveyed agree that they would spend more money on a game with more character customizations (UK 42%, DE 30%, BR 59%, KR 45%).
24. In the US, 37% of mobile gamers say they’d be worried about increased harassment from other players if the game featured more characters that represented people like them (UK 39%, DE 35%, BR 46% , KR 34%).
25. Closing the diversity gap can begin at the source: This should be an important consideration for games companies in 2022 as 71% of people working in the industry perceive inequity towards others based on gender, age, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation.
26. Half or more of mobile gamers across markets surveyed say they’re unlikely to download a game if they see an ad portraying people in a stereotypical way (US 51%, UK 48%, DE 60%, BR 46%, KR 58%).
27. Incorporating elements that elevate diversity and inclusion—such as featuring a diverse set of characters or showcasing a story arc that subtly nods to differing experiences—encourages engagement and helps to alleviate issues associated with misrepresentation. These steps also help to relieve the repetitiveness of advertisements. This is a pain point to consider as 56% of gamers say nearly all or many mobile game ads they see are repetitive.
3. Owning first-party relationships:
28. Games marketers can build prolonged and meaningful connections—helping to bolster user acquisition and retention—if they own first-party relationships with players. This begins with offering ways for players (within your game and beyond) to securely and willingly share data in exchange for something they value.
29. 60% of people with high brand trust say they’re comfortable sharing data such as their email address or phone number with the brand, and further, they pay attention to the brand’s communications.
30. Ads ecosystem changes have precipitated a new strategic imperative for the games industry: to maximize DR results through means that are independent of browser and device IDs. While not yet empirically proven, our functional experts believe that this can be achieved by employing effective upper-funnel brand marketing alongside proven practices such as app-install or value optimization focused marketing strategies.
31. Update organizational structures: Include specialized roles such as marketing strategists and planners into your marketing team. Further, enhance ad effectiveness by elevating ideation and decoupling it from production.
Gaming continues to be one of the largest forms of media consumption in the world and its momentum shows no sign of slowing down. Nevertheless, in 2022 it’s at a significant inflection point. Increasing expectations regarding privacy and representation from a growing, more diverse and sophisticated player base, means it is time to adapt to a new paradigm of games marketing.
Those who are willing and able to own the relationship with players, create authentic experiences within and beyond the game, and implement audience-insight driven marketing, will be at the forefront of success.
Facebook (Meta) Gaming Mission: To bring the world's gaming community together and to help businesses build, grow and monetize their games now and for the years ahead.
All the best...
By the way, if you are interested to read the full report on the above, you may access it here.
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