Introduction to the gaming industry
Before understanding how public relations is intertwined with the gaming industry, we must understand the industry itself. According to WePc, the video game industry is expected to be worth 90 billion dollars by 2020. It is an industry that is made up of people across a variety of different demographics and psychographics, with an estimated 2.5 billion gamers across the world.
There are a variety of platforms in which gamers can access and play gaming content. These include handheld games, tablet games, smartphone games, TV/Console games, and PC games. Some of the most popular gaming platforms that PR professionals use to release and promote content include smartphones (24%), PC (28% of the market), and console/virtual reality (30% of the market). These platforms offer a plethora of channels in which advertising and public relations professionals can access audiences.
What does PR look like within the gaming industry?
Public relations is a very prevalent profession within the gaming industry because of the industries’ 2.5 billion people. Where do most of these people gather? Events. As in any area of public relations, events play an important role in the development of brand recognition/public relations. According to Cultured Ventures, a gaming blogging site, some of the most popular gaming industry events at which PR is at work include PAX, E3, Dreamhack, Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, EGX, Paris Games Week and Blizzcon. These events typically showcase new products, new developments, and other activities within the gaming industry. PR pros can leverage these events to build relationships through vendors and prioritizing the use of these events.
A blogger for PRSA Content Connection, Zach Fernenchak, wrote an article surrounding this topic. Fernenchak explains how influencers rule the gaming world and “all eyes tend to be on YouTubers and Twitch streamers nowadays”. Whether you are a YouTuber like PewDiePie or a Mixer streamer like Ninja, you have a significant following in which you are considered to have influence. Game developers tend to leverage this influence to promote their new games through popular content creators. PR professionals can also use gaming influencers to promote their products and services, this option can be costly but also very beneficial.
Although the gaming industry is relatively new, PR professionals are starting to take advantage of such a large target audience. With around nearly a third of the entire world gaming, this market is a large PR industry. Often times, I (as a gamer myself) feel that the gaming industry is largely underrated and underused because gaming may be considered “counterproductive” or “nerdy” but this is for another blog. Overall, the gaming industry provides a huge opportunity for PR professionals to promote their content and gain access to this unique demographic!
Carson Kunnen is a Junior Ad/PR major with a minor in digital studies. He works as an Account Associate at GrandPR and is the Team Lead of the GVSU Technology Showcase. He enjoys gaming, traveling, biking, and creating YouTube videos in his free time!