I originally wrote this for Blockworks, but it needs to be shared more, mainly towards Nintendo!
The games industry has come a long way. The times of playing games on your own are way in the past and now just about everyone has access to online gaming. The uprising of online gaming has catapulted gaming from a ‘nerdy’ hobby, into the realms of the entertainment world, with biggest game development budgets rivalling those of the top Hollywood film budgets. gone are the days where you had to ask a friend about their in game progress, instead having the option to view their achievements, or even hop online to join them in a coop game
As the technical side of games has changed, so has the way in which we find out about new games. 2012 Google analysis shows that 95% of gamers turn to online video for entertainment and information. Developers and publishers of all sizes now use YouTube to reach out to fans. Rockstar games rocked the world with their first trailer for GTA V on youtube days after it was officially announced. That trailer currently has almost 38 million views, the hype surrounding new content reveals tagged with a highly respected game contributed to their record setting opening three days of sales over £1 Billion.
Developers have another brilliant source of marketing through the means of top gaming youtubers. In the most subscribed channel rankings 27 of the top 200 are gaming channels and 4 of these are media. Gaming on youtube is so large that the current number one subscribed channel is a gamer named PewDiePie with a modest 34 million subscribers, beating out Eminem, Rihanna and even One Direction.
Companies like Activision recognise the potential in these channels as a valuable form of free promotion. These companies work in tandem with gamers, offering them early access to the games and press events in order for them to show off the product to their online audience, generating increased views and advertising revenue for the YouTuber, and free promotion for the publisher. The rate at which we consume this content has boosted some YouTubers to celebrity status, with youtuber Ali-A securing himself a sponsorship deal with Monster Energy Drink, along with a hosting spot on Virgin Media’s new channel ‘The Snap’.
Youtube has completely changed the way we find out about gaming. Most people will now have a quick youtube of a game to get a feel for it before purchasing now. TV viewings are dropping, and youtube is a large reason for this. The demise of youtube looks to be now here in sight as it goes from strength to strength, more companies are investing into it and so it will continue to grow.
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