The gaming industry is gaining solid footing in the advertising industry and riding the metaverse wave with aplomb. Industry observers say advertisers are concentrating heavily on the metaverse and turning to popular games as test grounds for their campaigns.
At the recently held e4m GameOn Summit, industry experts shared insights on the increasingly large role metaverse plays in gaming and its A&M potential for a wide spectrum of brands. They also shared views on how metaverse has revolutionised the world of e-sports and gaming, and how AR is set to boost gamification of the real world in the near future. The metaverse can be defined as an integrated and interoperable AR/VR space where users can interact with each other and the digital world around them through advanced human-computer interactions.
Sunil Yadav, CEO, PlayerzPot, believes gaming has always been a key contributor for virtual reality and the concept of metaverse is derived from gaming itself with an enormous user experience. According to Yadav, the metaverse will help gaming achieve incredible new heights by offering users to connect through multiple games, which would mean a wide cross-section of brands could advertise across different genres of games, while also maintaining their own platforms.
”Users would be able to navigate in and out of gaming applications, interact with the same players in multiple spaces. Users can add to the virtual world, create their own content, build sub-games within a game, and essentially treat the gaming environment as a platform-like space for other actions. Further users can create their own weapons or avatar augmentations acquired in one game could be portable to a different environment, and NFT rules would oversee determining ownership. In the longer run, the idea is that you could walk from one brand’s metaverse into another,” Yadav adds.
Gaming is increasingly taking place in the metaverse. Shivanandan Pare, CEO, Adda52 (Gaussian Networks), a highly popular online poker platform believes that the 2020s will be the decade of gaming, as the primary source of entertainment and so, advertising. “While people across age groups have become comfortable with technology, younger people have and still are growing up with it, meaning much of their time is spent online, for all kinds of activities. With increasing digital penetration and the adoption of 5G, people’s online activities will increase exponentially and this means there will obviously be opportunities for collaboration between games and advertisers, especially on the metaverse.”
As per the Pitch Madison Advertising Report 2022, with digital being all set to pip TV as the primary advertising medium within this year, gaming is going to become an increasingly large driver in this space. According to Ramsai Panchapakesan, Senior Vice President & National Head – Integrated Media Buying at Zenith – The ROI Agency, the gaming industry spent Rs 1,200 crore on advertising in 2021, and that number is set to only go up, as gaming companies themselves are becoming attractive advertising platforms for brands.
Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India (ESFI) and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), says, “Most of the top video games and esports titles are already metaverse. We have multiple avatars like in-game currency, trading, voice calling and texting. The concept of the metaverse is not new to the video games community.”
Sharing more insights, Suji says, “Gaming is about the experience, and with the constant technological revolution, it has only been upscaled. Imagine coming from a generation of arcade gaming machines to gaming VR headsets. With the gaining popularity of gaming, huge technological advancements are being introduced and top companies are constantly developing smart ways like voice recognition, wearable games, creating holograms or AR. What we saw in the movie Ready Player One is not far from reality.”
Nitin Gupta, CEO of digital marketing leader Xapads Media, says his firm will be concentrating heavily on the metaverse, given its rising ubiquity. “If you see the profiles of the people who are gaming, especially those in Real Money Gaming, many of them are 25-30+ years old, working professionals who can spend on not just gaming, but the products being advertised on different games. Gaming is going to be the key to the metaverse, and advertising in the metaverse is going to be huge.”