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Thought Leadership

Key Marketing Trends from Gamescom 2023

After a week of celebrating all that is great about the video games industry and connecting with some of the brightest individuals and publishers within it, Keywords’ time at Gamescom 2023 has come to a close.

Author: Mark Thompson, Head of Client Services for Keywords Engage
Date Published: 04/09/2023
Gamescom logo on a blue and pink background.

For Keywords Engage, one aim was to identify some of the key marketing trends that defined this year’s event through conversations with developers, clients and marketing specialists over the course of the week. Mark Thompson, Head of Client Services for Keywords Engage, discusses some of these trends and what role marketing will play in terms of their impact on the industry.

Game Accessibility benefits everyone

Advancing accessibility means adopting inclusive and customisable game design that accommodates the needs of diverse players.  An estimated 20% of the world’s population have accessibility needs such as colour-blindness, cognitive and motor-control challenges, and other forms of sensory impairment. Accessibility features are widely used and appreciated by non-disabled players too: 97% of players had subtitles ‘on’ in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

Whether it’s colourblind friendly design, configurable control schemes, or anything in-between, advancing accessibility means realising the ideal experience for more players. Better player experiences, in turn, cultivate positive PR and brand identity amongst audiences and fan bases. Player Research, a studio within Keywords Engage, launched its new ‘Advancing Accessibility’ service offerings at this year’s Gamescom. Visit the new look Player Research website for more on this announcement.

Video game adaptation for film/TV is increasing rapidly

Amidst the acceleration in the number of video game adaptations for film and television, several streaming juggernauts are investing heavily in video game studios and developing their own games based on the original IPs. Keywords identified this growing trend some time ago and continue to support clients in this space. It was, however, notable that some of the largest stands in this year’s B2C space at Gamescom were ran by companies pushing the boundaries of this crossover. Such a commitment demonstrates a continued desire to offer an integrated, multi-media experience that transcends both film, television and video games.

There are several takeaways from this, from a Marketing perspective. Such efforts could expose new demographics to video games and open up new avenues for user acquisition and player engagement. The zeitgeist of video games being adapted for other forms of media also allows for creatives to explore new ways of cultivating brand identity and engaging with fan communities.

The potential of emerging markets is significant

Gamescom’s partner country for 2023 was Brazil, making it the first South American partner in the event’s history. Alongside this, more than 60 countries were represented by national pavilions at this year’s event, including from emerging markets such as Latin America and Africa.

At Devcom, a panel of experts from Africa’s games industry discussed the misconceptions surrounding the continent’s offering to video games, and the significant potential for growth in the African games market. The rapid adoption of smartphones is influencing how games are played in Africa – this, in turn, should inform marketing strategy and content creation going forward. Understanding the future needs of both businesses and consumers in these regions can lead to some very exciting partnerships and opportunities.

The Keywords GamesCom booth surrounded by people looking around

The Power of Partnership: Our Clients

WB Games
Take 2 Interactive
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Perfect World
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Electronic Arts
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