U.S. gaming console and PC sales will reach $25.3 billion in 2016 and represent a growing opportunity for marketers, according to new analysis from Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).
ADI's "2016 Gaming Report" shows online revenue growth in Q1 2016 was a healthy 42% over Q1 2015, with online sales a major driver of gaming revenue overall. The analysis highlights the seasonality of gaming console purchases, with substantial spikes occurring during the holiday timeframe.
ADI also looked at the state of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) in the gaming industry. Marketers should note that interest in the emerging technologies continues to grow among gamers, with HTC Vive having the largest presence - and social buzz, according to ADI - in the segment, to date.
"While we are seeing an uptick in social mentions of VR/AR devices related to gaming, we're not yet seeing the same uptick from marketers," said Becky Tasker, managing analyst at ADI. "That's why now's the time to test and learn - there are many marketing-applicable VR/AR use cases that can be borrowed from the gaming community - while it isn't yet a crowded space."
Costs associated with having a PC that supports VR/AR devices remain a barrier to the technology becoming mainstream, according to ADI. But with PlayStation expected to roll out the first VR device that pairs with its gaming console later this year, VR may be one step closer to greater adoption.
If social buzz is any indication, AR/VR is truly growing in popularity, ADI found. These devices have seen a 548% growth in social mentions since January 2015.
ADI also reported that open-beta testing for games are a win-win for both gamers and developers. In fact, games that are widely tested before their official release sold 1.7x more units on the day prior to release compared with non-open beta games. In the overall time period analyzed, open-beta-tested games sold 4.2x more units than non-open betas.
"The takeaway for marketers, especially those in the software/technology industry, is that it might pay off to allow potential customers to test technology before it is released to the masses. That could even apply to an advertising campaign," Tasker said. "Think of all the useful feedback the gaming companies get when they have open betas for their games; now think about how much a brand could benefit from that type of feedback when launching a product, service, or campaign to ensure it really resonates with the audience."
View the full report here, or view it on SlideShare (...)