Video games became a phenomenon during the early 90’s. Back then every second kid would beeline to their nearest video parlour for some action in the evenings. Does Super Mario ring a bell? Some other names that come to mind are Spacewar, Car Racing and many shooting games. The mobile phone was still this huge Motorola black handset which required shoulder strength for receiving a phone call.
Then came Solitaire; the every-office-desktop card game. The game stayed in rage for almost half a decade. How many people do you see now playing that game in office? Could we have guessed back then that, one day, mobile gaming would take over?
So what proved to be the turning point in history for mobile gaming? Definitely, the coming of the smartphone, I would say. With their screens getting higher resolutions, retina displays and larger sizes, today, mobile gaming is catering to the entertainment needs of young and old, across genders.
According to a recent study by Statista, by 2018, the global mobile game revenue would amount to a cool 16.50 billion USD from smartphones and approx. 9.16 billion USD from tablets, while the worldwide revenues from online games will grow from 19 billion USD in 2011 to 35 billion USD in 2017, including PC games.
Hence, not just mobile and tablet gaming, but even PC gaming is here for a long time to come. The next question, therefore, should brands leverage the online gaming phenomenon? The answer is a big YES.
If we look at the trends over the past decades, while games have come and gone, the device for accessing them has changed. Going forward, as the hardware and operating environments will change so will the games. And as they evolve into their more interactive avatars, they will open up newer avenues for brands to engage with their customers.
To take a recent example, Dunlop Tyres created a mobile gaming app to promote itself online. The 3D mobile game was targeted at the men aged 20-40 belonging to the higher income group residing in cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. The aim of the campaign was to increase the sports image of Dunlop. The game was offered as downloadable on mobile phones through WAP. The campaign was a huge success with over 5500 game downloads and 1100 clicks on mobile advertisements in just 9 days.
Online gaming is, therefore, a huge opportunity which cannot be missed by the corporates.