Player ’21: Look Back at Our Coverage of a Game-Changing Year

Coming into 2021, video games were already a $160 billion global industry with 3 billion players worldwide. In the U.S. alone, nearly two-thirds of all homes include a gamer who plays hours per day. Going into the 2022, the forecast is even more jaw-dropping. As the influential Activate Technology and Media Outlook 2022 notes: “Gaming is the new technology paradigm.”

Over the course of the past year, we’ve charted the growing recognition of the central role that games occupy in our hyperconnected culture as well as both the challenges and enormous opportunities that position presents for gamers, developers and brands alike. As we prepare to level up in 2022, here’s a look back at the coverage of this new era for gaming from us as well as our parent company Simulmedia:

Why Games Will Be the Next Dominant Tech Platform
Games will become the dominant platform for digital activities over the next decade. As a result, games will become one of the most important platforms for brand sponsors and marketers as well. It will absolutely require amazing spots, with really great, relevant creative. Sticking in ads from programmatic feeds or taking any old ad off TV or YouTube won’t cut it. Read more.

Games Are Ready For a Video Sponsorship Battle Royale
It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that a dozen or more video games with opt-in and rewarded ad formats will soon rival or even surpass both linear and ad-supported streaming services in the ability to deliver younger audiences, particularly younger men, to brands. Read more.

Can Ad-Supported Games Replace Lost TV Ratings?

For sure, linear TV is losing audience share among younger viewers and ad-supported streaming services are going to capture a significant portion of those ad budgets over time. But keep an eye on video games. They don’t just reach audiences under 40; they own them. As TV ads become mainstream within video game environments, TV dollars will follow. Read more.

Advergaming 2.0 & the Metaverse
Thanks to the success of Vans World, we may soon see an explosion of high-quality game experiences brought to players for free, courtesy of brands, on metaverse platforms like Roblox, Fortnite and Minecraft. But will this evolution in advergaming succeed where the original model fizzled out? Read more.

Build Healthy Video Game Economies by Giving Players What They Want
In-game advertising has historically been considered to be a scary proposition. But surveys of console and PC gamers across the top premium and F2P games reveal that over 77% of players welcome the opportunity to convert 15 or 30 seconds of their attention into valuable in-game content and rewards. Read more.

The New Currency for Video Games
Video game businesses are increasingly being built around enticing players to make a financial transaction to unlock new game features. But there is only one sponsorship model that recognizes the player as a true contributor to the game economy, turning their time and attention into a valuable currency for them to “spend” on that paid in-game content they covet. Read more.

How Brands Can Surprise and Delight Gamers Every Day
Years of planning, production of unique promotional packaging, and huge teams of personnel can combine to provide gamers with free content they love and positive sentiment for the brands and publishers involved. But it’s a time-consuming, expensive process that can now be avoided – while still producing the same great results for all. Read more.

The Future of Media Is Crypto... and Video Games Are Pointing the Way
Axie Infinity
built an efficient platform for creators to make, sell and buy unique IP at a scale and speed never before seen. Its economy and governance are decentralized, which means it doesn’t depend as much on third-party distributors to reach users and build customer relationships with them, compared to most app businesses. Read more.

A Cheat Code to Help Brands Win With Gamers
When’s the last time you watched an entire TV show without looking at your phone? Video games might be the only medium in the world whose audience is paying 100% attention. That makes players ideal for brands to engage with – if they can do it in a way that’s both compelling and respectful to gamers. We reveal the rules needed to succeed. Read more.

PlayerWON® Is Ready to Give Gamers Control of Brand Sponsorships
It’s time for brand sponsorship in games to take another evolutionary leap forward. With PlayerWON, gamers will decide whether they want to see brand videos or not. And if they do opt in and watch to completion, they’ll earn immediate and long-term rewards to use in the game. We didn’t design PlayerWON like this just because we love games (though we do), but because it’s what gamers themselves told us they wanted. Read more.

Want to learn more? Find out how PlayerWON lets free-to-play console and PC gamers earn valuable rewards in exchange for watching high-quality brand-sponsored videos, while increasing engagement and revenue for developers.