8 months ago, Travis Scott, an American rapper, had a concert in the video game Fortnite. YouTube views of recordings of the event had numbers in the hundreds of millions. Roblox, a gaming platform, has 164 million monthly active users1. Among Us, a multiplayer game in the mystery vein, had half a billion active users in November of 20202. The 2020 Super Bowl had 102 million viewers3.
All of these games have access to credit card information already provided for platform access/in-game purchases. I predicted on Something Digital’s Office Hours that Fortnite and its peers will start to lay the groundwork to conduct more serious commerce in 2021. The opportunity here isn’t limited to certain age groups either. The average American gamer is now 34 years old and the majority of families that play video games play them together at least once a week4. These are users, often with disposable income, across nearly every demographic category that someday soon will be able to make purchases of physical goods without leaving the game.
Imagine selling the Travis Scott Air Jordans (starting at over $1,400 on Stadium Goods) during the concert via QR code or video-game branded beers for games such as Grand Theft Auto at in-game bars that are delivered in real life by Drizly. Animal Crossing could sell posters or stuffed animals of in-game people and things. There are not of shortage of products that could be sold in this manner.
The opportunity is not limited to the actual games either. Many of the top gaming streamers have their own sponsorships. Don’t be surprised if these influencers are posting limited time links, mentioning referrals or even having on-screen buy buttons on streaming platforms such as Twitch (owned by Amazon) and Mixer (owned by Microsoft).
Gaming is a largely untapped commerce channel with audiences spending billions of hours on these platforms. The early brands to take advantage of this opportunity will likely mint fortunes and do so at a lower cost point than ad spends on Google, Amazon or Facebook. The ROI will be much clearer than with marketing spend at sporting events or television advertising.
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- Roblox IPO Filing
- App Annie Monthly Report
- Fox Press Release
- Entertainment Software Association