Beyond Netflix: How Gaming is Reshaping Entertainment

July 13, 2023
7 Minutes

Introduction: Gaming as Mainstream Entertainment 

Gaming is quickly becoming the go to form of entertainment. People are replacing the passive infinity scroll with the immersive and social experiences gaming offers. 🎮🔥📺 

On average, gamers spend roughly 8.45 hours per week engaging in this immersive entertainment – leading to some binge sessions lasting over 5 hours. 

This article explores the evolution of entertainment, the rise of gaming, and the opportunities it presents for brands seeking to broaden their influence.

Gaming's Impact on the Evolution of Entertainment 

From its humble beginnings to its current status as a cultural phenomenon, gaming has played a pivotal role in the evolution of entertainment. 

Recognizing game advertising as a crucial channel is important for brands and advertisers looking to tap into this influential medium.

Gaming's Influence on Other Entertainment Mediums

Storytelling, the earliest form of entertainment, has been revolutionized by gaming.

Today, stories are skillfully integrated into games, showing how gaming has mastered storytelling and impacted other entertainment types.

For example, the success of the "Witcher" video game series which was adapted into a popular Netflix series. Similarly, the "Assassin's Creed" games have inspired a variety of movies and an upcoming Assassin’s Creed Netflix series announced at the start of 2023.

Grand Turismo, a series of racing simulation games, has also inspired a film by the same name. In this action-packed sports adventure, it’s not a game anymore, as online players are trained for real-life racing.

But gaming’s influence doesn’t stop there. In music, artists like Marshmello and Travis Scott have held virtual concerts in "Fortnite", attracting millions of viewers. 

These events clearly highlight the influence gaming continues to have on entertainment.

The Social Side of Gaming

As technology continues advancing, the boundaries between different forms of entertainment are fading.

Online multiplayer games are creating lively communities in virtual worlds, emphasizing the growing role and interest in social interaction as part of entertainment.

Gaming offers unique engagement opportunities that traditional entertainment can't match. Games like "Fortnite'' and "Among Us" allow players to interact, collaborate, and compete. 

Platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming let viewers watch live gameplay and chat with their favorite gaming streamers.

These platforms have become more than just gaming hubs; they're social spaces where users can chat, share experiences, and build friendships. 

Gaming offers a level of interaction and community-building that traditional entertainment has been unable to match.

Current Trends in Gaming Technology Impacting Entertainment

Technological advancements continue to shape the gaming industry. 

The advent of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) has opened up a world of new possibilities for immersive experiences. 

Games like "Half-Life: Alyx" and "Beat Saber" have demonstrated the potential of VR, while AR games such as "Pokémon Go" have brought gaming into the real world.

Esports, or competitive gaming, has surged into the mainstream, drawing massive audiences and significant prizes at major tournaments.

Streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ are blending gaming and traditional entertainment, offering interactive storytelling and gamified experiences alongside their usual content.

Cloud gaming, which lets players enjoy top-tier games on any device without costly hardware, is on the rise, with services like Microsoft's xCloud.

Gaming as a Mainstream Entertainment Choice

As technology became more accessible and affordable, gaming offered an interactive and engaging experience that appealed to a broad audience, including demographics beyond traditional gamers. 

This shift in behavior has led to the growth of gaming as a mainstream entertainment choice.

Gaming, appealing to all ages and tastes, has become a key part of modern entertainment, offering everything from simple mobile games to intricate multiplayer quests.

It's clear that gaming, having already transformed entertainment and influenced our social and cultural norms, will continue to reshape the entertainment world.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Evolution of Home Entertainment Technology 

Gaming vs. Traditional Entertainment Platforms

In the 21st century, people are gravitating towards interactive entertainment, seeking experiences that let them dive into the action, rather than just watching from the sidelines.

Here are three reasons why gaming might just be the future of home entertainment:

1. Gaming Joins the World of Streaming

In spite of its 209 million subscribers Netflix has noticed the massive opportunity gaming presents and is incorporating it into its platform. 

Back in 2018, it released “Bandersnatch,” an interactive movie that blurs the lines between film and gaming. The Black Mirror episode put the power in the viewers' hands, letting them steer the story instead of just watching it unfold. 

Not long after, in November 2021, Netflix expanded its offerings by adding mobile games to its app. This move turned viewers into active participants, immersing them in engaging narratives like Scriptic, a real-time crime-solving game.

Dedicated gaming platforms like Steam, a platform where you can buy, download, and play a  selection of games, are sticking to what they know - games. 

Highlighting gaming as the new frontier of entertainment for many large brands who are looking to tap into this thriving market are seizing the opportunity.

2. Tech Advances Bring Gaming to the Masses

As streaming platforms expand their repertoire to include gaming, we're witnessing a surge in the number of gamers worldwide.

The real game-changer, though, has been the smartphone revolution, welcoming a whole new demographic who may not have previously engaged with PC or console games.

With mobile phones in the hands of 5.44 billion people around the world, which accounts for 68% of the population, it's no wonder that gaming is on the rise. 

In fact, according to an article by EarthWeb, 40% of mobile phone users - that’s 2.2 billion people - are active mobile gamers. 

And where are we seeing the most downloads and the highest spending on both Google and IOS App Stores? That's right, mobile games.  

This ongoing rise will also be accelerated by the increased use of 5G networks, which is quickly dominating the market. This technology reduces lag times in mobile games, allowing users to enjoy high-quality gaming experiences. 

Nothing gets gamers to rage-quit faster than a slow user experience. As technology improves, we can expect to see even more people diving into the world of mobile gaming. 

3. Gaming - It's for Everyone, Whether They Know It or Not

Gaming is a timeless form of entertainment that has been around since the dawn of human civilization, and evolved into a universal pastime that transcends ages, backgrounds, and cultures.This isn't new, but reflects our deep-rooted love for play and competition.

The digital gaming world has expanded, becoming more inclusive than ever.It is no longer reserved for teens. In fact, nowadays you're just as likely to find parents enjoying a casual mobile game.

The average gamer is 35 years old, with a near-even gender split of 48% female to 52% male, according to Data Prot. Many might not label themselves as gamers, their screen time on games like CandyCrush and the like suggests otherwise. 

In essence, gaming is in our DNA. It has progressed from ancient board games to modern video games, creating a space where everyone can find a game to entertain themselves.

Level Up: Debunking Gamer Stereotypes: Brands Guide to Game Advertising 

The Impact of Tech Giants Entering the Gaming Space

Tech giants like Microsoft are setting their sights on the lucrative video game industry.

Microsoft's plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, a top video game publisher, for $68.7 billion is a clear sign of their ambition to expand further into gaming. 

This move reflects the growing convergence of technology and entertainment.

However, regulators are sceptical about this move because they fear it might prevent competition in the gaming industry. 

In recent years, Activision has become a major player in gaming by acquiring smaller game publishers. Their innovative approach to classic games monetization, has been a key driver of their success.

Should Microsoft's acquisition go through, they'd gain control of popular games like Call of Duty and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater

This has competitors like Sony, the brains behind PlayStation, on edge. They're concerned that Microsoft, who owns Xbox, could potentially pull Call of Duty from PlayStation, nudging gamers towards Xbox.

For now, regulators have put the brakes on the deal. But, both Microsoft and Activision have said that they will appeal the decision. 

Regardless of the outcome, Microsoft's interest in acquiring Activision signifies how tech giants are looking for a piece of the gaming pie in the attention economy. 

Gaming consistently trumps other media forms in terms of revenue, audience engagement, dwell times, and viewability.

The Opportunity for Brands and Advertisers

As gaming races to the forefront of entertainment, it's time to tweak your marketing strategy to embrace gaming advertising. 

Sticking solely to traditional platforms like social media and television might mean missing out on connecting with a significant chunk of your audience.

Gaming offers a massive opportunity to brands and advertisers who are willing to explore this new territory. 

Early adopters in the advertising field are already reaping benefits in several ways:

  • In Game Ads: These are adverts nestled within the game itself. Think billboards in a first-person shooter game used for real-life ads. This non-intrusive form of advertising capitalizes on gamers' high engagement levels during play, creating a prime opportunity for meaningful connection.
  • Around the Game Ads: Ads can also find a home on loading screens and menus, visible when gamers pause or before and after they launch their game. This can take various forms, from rewarded ads (where gamers earn game-related rewards for watching an ad) to banner ads popping up as gamers navigate menus. 
  • Away from the Game Ads: The gaming community is a tight-knit bunch. They stay connected even outside gameplay, whether it's watching gaming creators, like streamers and modders or interacting on forums. This presents another excellent opportunity for brands to engage with gamers, either through partnerships with creators or advertising on relevant forums.

To forge effective relationships with gamers, it's crucial to reach them at each of these touchpoints. 

A comprehensive marketing strategy targeting gamers at every interaction with their gaming interests ensures your brand stays top of mind.

If you’re interested in joining the gaming revolution, but you’re unsure where to start, reach out to iion for guidance. 

We facilitate full-funnel advertising in this dynamic new space, helping brands connect with gamers worldwide. 

Level Up: Why You Should Add Game Advertising to Your Marketing Strategy 

How to Master Gaming Advertising 

Advertising in the gaming world is a different ball game. It's crucial to create content that resonates with gamers, or you risk distancing your brand from this vibrant community.

This is what you should keep in mind: 

1. Understand your audience 

When Dead Space 2 hit the shelves in 2009, they tried to market the game with the slogan “Your mom hates Dead Space 2”. This was followed by a series of reaction videos, where they invited gamers’ moms come into the studio to film their reactions to the new release. 

However, this approach missed the mark. The game's primary audience, mostly adults over 18, were more interested in the gameplay itself rather than watching someone else's mom react to it. 

The marketing strategy leaned on a stereotype, failing to accurately reflect the actual player base.

So, when crafting your marketing strategy for the gaming community, it's crucial to do your homework. Understand who your audience truly is and what resonates with them.

2. Offer value and rewards 

In 2021, when EA Games launched Call of Duty: Vanguard: Vanguard, Mountain Dew, Doritos, and Game Fuel teamed up for a clever promotion. 

Gamers were encouraged to buy products from these brands to get promotion codes for "double XP" and "double weapon XP" to a leg-up in the game.

This campaign was a win-win. Brands connected with gamers, products flew off the shelves, the game gained traction, and gamers enjoyed bonus rewards for their participation.

3. Monitor and measure performance 

To know if your campaign is hitting the mark, you need to track its performance. Start by setting clear goals and milestones, then monitor how your campaign measures up.

Keep a close eye on ad avoidance, saturation, and fatigue of your audience to ensure the message resonates and they are genuinely connecting with your brand. 

Leveraging technology such as Amplified Intelligence can help you gauge the quality of engagement by measuring the level of attention given to the advertising.

It’s also important to get feedback directly from gamers about how your creative messaging has driven brand lift. Survey software, such as  Cint's Brand Lift Study, can provide these insights.

To make your life easier, iion has teamed up with both these software companies. They're integrated right into your iion dashboard, simplifying the process of measuring your campaign's success.


The rise of gaming as mainstream entertainment presents brands with unique opportunities to engage with audiences. 

Big players like Microsoft are diving deeper into the gaming world, highlighting the incredible potential the gaming industry presents.

If you want to keep your target market engaged, you need to adapt your marketing strategy to include gaming advertising. 

Doing this successfully involves understanding the gaming community, providing value and rewards, and monitoring campaign performance. 

Take your brand to the next level in the gaming revolution – partner with iion for expert guidance and full-funnel advertising in the exciting world of gaming. 🚀

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the growth like in the gaming industry?

The gaming industry has experienced significant growth, outpacing other forms of media in terms of revenue and audience engagement, making it a promising and thriving sector. The gaming industry's growth is fueled by a number of factors. Here are three of them: 

  • Mobile games have become popular: The rise of mobile gaming has become a significant revenue generator and widened the industry's reach. People can now access games from the palm of their hands. 
  • Gamers enjoy watching eSports: The emergence of esports has added a new dimension to the gaming industry's growth, attracting a massive audience and lucrative sponsorships.
  • Technology is constantly improving: The integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies has opened up exciting possibilities for immersive gaming experiences, driving further growth in the industry.

2. What is the percentage growth of the gaming industry?

According to Statista, revenue in the gaming industry will reach more than $384 billion in 2023. Between then and 2027, the gaming industry is expected to grow by 7.89% year-on-year. 

3. How has technology affected the gaming industry?

Technology has revolutionized the gaming industry by enabling more immersive experiences, advanced graphics, online multiplayer capabilities, and accessibility across various devices, leading to increased engagement, broader audiences, and continuous innovation in game development. 

4. What is the future trend of the gaming industry?

The future trend of the gaming industry is expected to be characterized by continued growth, and technological advancements such as virtual reality and cloud gaming. 

There will also be an increased focus on mobile gaming, esports becoming mainstream, and further integration of gaming with other forms of entertainment and emerging technologies.

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