The pandemic hit the Australian sports industry especially hard, with forced suspensions nationwide halting the industry for large periods over 2020-21. But, where one part of the industry was forced into shutdown,  another found the spotlight – the esports & online gaming industry.

Over the period of 2020-21, e-sports & online gaming have grown significantly in the Australian entertainment sector. According to Statista, the global online gaming industry recorded a 14% increase YoY in market value over 2020-2021, with much of this growth accelerated by the pandemic. This trend is expected to continue over the next 5 years, with market value expected to hit $375.35 billion by 2025 (currently at $248.56 billion). Much of this sector is made up of ‘free to play’ games, which grants ample opportunities for advertisers.

Benefits of using in-game advertising

Advertisers looked to fill the void left by traditional sports in 2020 and have now gravitated towards buying more online gaming and esports inventory, either programmatically or directly in 2021. According to the attitudes to Game Advertising Report released by IAB, advertisers’ number one objective is to either increase brand awareness or increase engagement & reach. Some of the driving factors/advantages of using in-game advertising are:

  • Access to hard-to-reach audience segments
  • Higher audience attention and engagement
  • Measurable ROI
  • Incremental reach

There are several placements & ways to utilize game advertising, either within or around the gameplay itself.

In-game advertising provides opportunities for brands to directly influence gameplay visuals/audio with their messaging or alter the gaming experience through skins and sponsored content.

There are also opportunities around the game that exist during the gaming experience but not within the gameplay itself. Examples of this include in-app rewarded video, interstitials and overlayed audio ads.

Opportunities within gaming that exist away from the gameplay experience itself are also an option to some advertisers, which includes streaming, esports, influencer and content marketing.

If you would like to find out more about how to leverage Gaming advertising, reach out to an ADMATICian.