Reaching the Mass Market
Posted by jgaudiosi :: Advertising in Video Games
Even the largest videogame magazine, Game Informer, only reaches 2 million readers. After talking to multiple game makers and experts in the game industry, the time is right for game companies to think about new ways to target the mass market audience. A recent story I wrote outlines the way that game makers and game marketers can utilize custom publishing to reach the masses. When you look at the reach of even the largest videogame sites like Yahoo! Games and AOL Games, which recently purchased GameDaily.com, there's still a huge audience of gamers, mostly casual, that aren't being targeted. With approximately 170 million gamers in the U.S. alone, and little mainstream coverage of the space outside of E3 (which will decrease next year with the smaller show) and Thanksgiving, marketers need to think outside of the box when it comes to reaching a larger audience.
There are still a large number of newspapers, magazines and TV networks that virtually ignore videogames. Even large magazines like Maxim and Entertainment Weekly, which receive plenty of ad dollars from game companies, rarely devote more space than the occasional boxed reviews of games.
When you look at the influx of big corporate brands that are rushing to in-game advertising, it only makes sense that these same companies try reaching that mass market through innovative new marketing plans. Advertising on big gaming sites like IGN.com and GameSpot.com is a great start, but not every gamer goes to these sites. What MTV has done with its Web site is a perfect fit for reaching a larger audience, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. Not even MTV has a print component. And many of MTV's TV shows do not specifically target games.
Most people in the game industry agree that for games to truly become an excepted form of entertainment, game companies need to reach beyond the core gamers who sustain the industry by buying every new console and multiple games throughout the year for each console. While these people are the lifeblood of the industry, there's a much larger community of casual gamers who spend a lot of time playing games. In today's short-attention-span culture, it's harder to reach this group than ever before. New things have to be tried, especially when you consider that most big magazines and new outlets ignore this industry--despite the fact that it's expected to generate $12.5 billion in the U.S. alone this year.