While the unitiated may think of gaming and immediately picture Super Mario and space marines, the universe of video games has grown to encompass a diverse array of worlds that kids and adults alike have become immersed within. Hot off the yearly gaming apocalypse that is E3, gamers feel a renewed sense of vigour and are ready to engage in more ways than ever before with their favourite titles.
The gaming space continues to evolve with the introduction of new consoles. This year has already seen the launch of the Nintendo Switch, which is bringing lapsed gamers back into the fray with a creative concept: taking home console gaming portable with tablet technology. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to innovate with a system launching in Q4 packing raw computing power superior to even current industry leader the PS4 Pro in the form of the Xbox One X.
But outside of traditional consoles games are capturing the hearts and minds of those that wouldn’t usually consider themselves ‘gamers’. Mobile games continue to hook players from all walks of life, so much so that even big hitters like Nintendo are getting in on the action. Disney has also placed stakes in the mobile game business with the gamification of their collectable soft toy line Tsum Tsum, which has recently crossed the $1 billion mark.
Video games are art and games developers are artists; it’s great to see this recognition in the mainstream. The increased presence of video games in the licensing industry serves to increase this recognition.
Dan Amos, Tinderbox
Meanwhile, following in the footsteps of mega-hit Minecraft, homebrew phenomenona like Slither.io and Roblox are perplexing older gamers with their addictive gameplay and support from influencer personalities.
Already this year we have seen a slew of exciting licensing deals for some high-profile titles including Hasbro Gaming’s partnership with Nintendo for Monopoly Gamer, J!NX’s eSports-themed apparel lines and Evolution snapping up indie game sensation Hello Neighbor.
Dan Amos of Tinderbox Licensing enthuses his optimism for the games licensing space, saying “I’m excited to see the continued rise of video games in pop culture both as an art form but also as a preferred choice of entertainment.”
"Video games are art and games developers are artists; it’s great to see this recognition in the mainstream," adds Amos, "the increased presence of video games in the licensing industry serves to increase this recognition."
A recent study from IDATE DigiWorld reveals that in addition to growing in popularity, games are also undergoing a ‘dematerialisation’. With digital distribution and online-only games becoming increasingly common physical games are becoming less relevant. Additionally, games with ongoing seasons of downloadable content and updates are further solidifying the ‘games as a service’ mentality. With physical game collections slowly becoming a thing of the past, there is an empty space left for gamers who enjoy the tangible gratification of representing their passion for a game in physical form.
This is a thought process shared by the licensing agencies that are currently bringing gamers joy with their creative and on-brand product lines. Throughout July we will be highlighting some of the hottest brands that will dominate the licensing space in 20717 and beyond as well as the firms and agency you need to know. Check back to licensing.biz throughout July and get your head in the game.