Deloitte has released its 2023 Digital Media Trends report, revealing that younger generations are spending more time socialising in video games and craving more popular IP integration.
The key findings from the report include:
These findings should be a wake-up call for licensors in various markets. Why? Because they drive home the importance of cross-media licensing strategies and having a strong presence in video game worlds.
Basically, film and TV properties continue to go from strength to strength in the gaming industry, with some publishers such as East Side Games Group specializing in mobile adaptions of film and TV properties – a trend that dates back to the late ‘70s with some of the earliest licensed games such as Fonz and Raiders of the Lost Ark spinning out of Happy Days and Indiana Jones. Our definitive guide for licensing IP into games covers this in detail, and Newzoo’s 2022 report on IP-based mobile games confirms the value of developers using well-known IP for user acquisition campaigns.
If you’re considering pushing your IP into the video game world for a new game, it’s important to find the right partner. Prioritize studios that live and breathe your IP as much as you do, as their experience and knowledge of your IP will translate into an authentic in-game experience that players and brand loyalists are bound to love. You can find plenty of tips on the key things you need to consider when licensing your IP into games in this Gamesindustry.biz piece featuring our co-founder Rachit Moti.
But let’s get into the meat of the report and what else it means for IP holders. First, with 40% of gamers spending more time socialising in video games than in the real world, it’s no surprise that companies such as Vans, Sanrio, Hot Wheels, Gucci, Nike, Givenchy and Tommy Hilfiger are shifting their focus from OOH campaigns into building branded experiences in the likes of Roblox and Fortnite.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that metaverse experiences such as these are the only way to get your brand and IP in front of millions. The mobile market has plenty of opportunities, too, given its reliance on limited-time events (LiveOps), with many games integrating IP to lower their user acquisition costs and encourage organic downloads. Stumble Guys’ recent collaborations with Hot Wheels and Rabbids are a great example of this.
Second, regardless of the in-game worlds that IP-holders are looking to establish a presence in, player expression is usually a vital part of engagement and monetization. This is reflected by the finding that a third of gamers say they feel better about their self-image when playing video games, with many of them decorating their characters and avatars with clothing, items and accessories that reflect their personalities.
Aligning your IP with in-game cosmetic items in an era where digital fashion is fast becoming the norm is a great way of building brand presence and profitability.
Third, this form of expression is something that those working in the music industry should also keep a close eye on. Virtual concerts are growing in popularity with artists including Travis Scott, Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Blackpink, Royal Blood and many more performing in Fortnite, Roblox, PUBG: Mobile and Garena Free Fire. And with nearly half of gamers discovering new music through video games, the opportunity for the music industry is growing, whether from a sync perspective or to generate sales for virtual merchandise.
Reports such as these continue to demonstrate the importance of licensors having strategies in place for video games and being aware of the latest video game trends to stay on top of what’s happening in the space. Speaking of trends, you can find some of our favourite collaborations and deals from last month below.