What the Gaming Industry Means for Digital Marketing

As a data analyst and an avid gamer, I recently had the unique opportunity to run some research about the gaming industry – specifically online gaming, gaming sites, e-commerce, etc. Gaming is a hot topic in the world today. Whether it is parents telling their kids to put down their gaming controller or CEOs, CIOs, VPs, or analysts talking about the latest gaming trends and opportunities, gaming is part of the world as we know it. With an expansive data set and Adobe Marketing Cloud, I brought to light some interesting insights around a couple facets of gaming.

Currently, one of the largest scenes in gaming is the “free-to-play” MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre. I analyzed four of the largest and most popular titles (League of Legends, DOTA 2, SMITE, and Heroes of the Storm.) While they all have their own nuances, the only thing you should really need to know is they are extremely popular around the world. We wanted to compare the MOBA data to some of America’s favorite traditional sports: NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. The NBA leads with the most Facebook likes – over 27 million – and an average of 3 million social mentions a month. What might surprise you, is MOBAs come in a close second with 19 million likes.

This level of likes for MOBA surpasses what the NFL, NHL, and even MLB currently has. Knowing the size, breadth, and popularity of these sports organizations, it’s even more impressive considering the average age of MOBA titles is roughly 3 years old – still in its infancy.


You might wonder why this matters? For marketers, does the gaming industry give you a new opportunity to reach an audience that you haven’t previously considered?

As a whole, gaming visits by device have increased 8 percent year-over-year, with tablets making the largest jump (23 %) and smartphones decreasing (8 %). So not only is there an increase in interest in gaming related content, but there’s also a shift around how people are accessing that content. Having access to these types of insights about the gaming industry (or other industries) could potentially impact how you reach your customers/prospects, your mobile strategy, optimizing your tablet experience or determining if you should keep or cut your mobile app.


Another interesting insight I gathered was around live streaming. As you may know, live streaming is a huge player in the gaming world. Millions of people gather on Twitch or YouTube Gaming to watch their favorite game be played. Yes, you read that right, people literally watch other people play games. As part of my analysis on gaming, I analyzed social mentions around the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (MGSV), released in September, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, released in May – one of this year’s Blockbuster movies. Zeroing in on the release day for each title, I wanted to see how this video game compared to a blockbuster like The Avengers – a $250 million movie.


From a social mentions standpoint, MGSV nearly doubled Avengers social mentions on release day. At least some of that social firepower is due to the live streaming power of the gaming industry. In the gaming world, developers/publishers are reaching out to these gaming personalities and showcasing their title prior to release. Then, on release day, hundreds of streams are showcasing the games – which undoubtedly drives additional social engagement. This brings up an interesting question about live streaming. What is your company doing with it?

To see more of the research that I did on this project, feel free to check out the full report here.

While the report is cool and the research was fun (especially for a gamer), the data is only as good as what you do with it. How could you use data like this to better drive your business?