Newzoo Expects 2020 Global Games Market To Reach $159 Billion

This year, the global video games market will reach $159.3 billion, a 9.3 percent increase year-over-year, according to Newzoo’s annual global games report.

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the already steadily rising gaming market.

Since stay-at-home orders were implemented, most game segments have seen an increase in engagement and revenues. Mobile games, the largest segment in 2020, will generate $77.2 billion in revenue—$63.6 billion from mobile games and $13.7 billion from tablet games—growing 13.3 percent YoY. Console games, despite being adversely affected by the pandemic, will generate $45.2 billion, a 6.8 percent growth YoY. Downloaded/boxed PC games will reach $33.9 billion, a 6.7 percent growth YoY.

The only segment that will see a decline is browser PC games, at $3 billion. This 13.4 percent decrease YoY is a result of browser games transitioning to mobile.

By the end of 2020, Newzoo says there will be 2.7 billion gamers worldwide—2.5 billion playing on mobile, 1.3 billion playing on desktop and 800 million on console—an increase of over 135 million from the previous year driven by emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Dominating the global games market is Asia, which will generate revenues of $78.4 billion, accounting for 49 percent of the market and representing a 9.9 percent growth YoY. The 1.4 billion total players there will account for 54 percent of all players worldwide.

The second largest region by revenues will be North America, which will account for a quarter of this year’s global games market at $40 billion, or an 8.5 percent increase from last year. However, the US will have the fewest players of any region this year (210 million).

Europe, the second most mature gaming market after the US, follows closely with $29.6 billion, a 7.8 percent growth. There are 386 million players there.

Gaming will increase in Latin America by 10.3 percent to $6 billion, making up four percent of the market this year. The region includes 266 million players.

The Middle East and Africa will reach $5.4 billion, a 14.5 percent increase. Combined, the regions have 377 million players.

Many new players in the aforementioned growth markets, however, have entered gaming via mobile, whose free-to-play business model makes it difficult to convert them into payers and eclipses the growth of paid games on mobile. In-game transactions accounted for 98 percent of mobile game revenues. Newzoo sees the figure reaching 100 percent in the coming years.

Newzoo also expects full-game revenues to be marginalized by the increase of in-game revenues, which will be a focus of publishers and developers as subscription revenues replace full game sales.

By 2023, Newzoo predicts the games market will reach $200.8 billion, with the number of players worldwide surpassing the three-billion mark.

Given the inherently social experience they provide, gaming platforms will continue to undergo a cultural shift into fully functional social networks. Whereas before younger generations ditched traditional media for social media, now they’re leaving behind social for the interactive experiences gaming can offer. Amid lockdowns, gaming became even more popular as people searched for alternative ways to socialize.

Another trend expected to shape the games market is next-generation consoles like Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 leading to new business models. If these brands’ cloud gaming services can replicate the experience of playing on next-generation consoles, a monthly fee will act as an alternative to a console’s upfront cost.

Gaming has also proved to be a viable alternative to in-person events. In April, Fortnite displayed this ability to bring people together in lockdowns when it hosted a virtual Travis Scott concert, which drew in 12.3 million viewers.

The globalization of China’s games market will also influence the industry. In 2018, China’s games market was disrupted by a nine-month-long licensing freeze. To offset the fallout and lost revenue, Chinese game companies shifted their focus to overseas markets after having long operated in a vacuum. As a result, Chinese companies are now creating development studios for all platforms around the world. 

Findings are based on a survey Newzoo conducted in February and March 2020 among over 62,500 invite-only respondents, between the ages of 10 and 65, across 30 countries.

Where The Next Wave Of Creativity And Innovation For Mobile Games Will Come From

Coming on the heels of the pandemic, mobile games are leading the growth of digital game consumption. According to App Annie, 2020 will be a blockbuster year for mobile games; spending is on track to extend its lead to more than 2.8 times over PC gaming and 3.1 times more than home game consoles. For last week’s LA Games Conference, a panel of industry leaders discussed where the next wave of creativity and innovation for mobile games will come from and how they see the industry evolving post-pandemic and beyond.

Here we share some highlights from the panel, which was moderated by Ayzenberg president Chris Younger and featured Lisa Anderson, SVP, Studio Operations, Jam City; Andrew Paradise, CEO, Skillz; Chris Petrovic, SVP and head of corporate strategy, M&A & business development, Zynga; Soojeong Song, gaming vertical lead, Google; and Mark van Ryswyk, executive VP, Glu Mobile. 

On Seizing The Moment

“To your point about this aggregate increase in play time, when we look across our portfolio, we’re seeing a marked movement in terms of the amount of play time across casual and core products. It’s particularly pronounced in the casual space. One of the reasons for that is there are a lot of consumers looking for forms of entertainment right now. These are non-traditional gamers discovering games for the first time. Shelter in place has allowed us to access this new audience, which is demonstrating the same behaviors of our existing player base.”

Mark van Ryswyk, executive VP, Glu Mobile

On Cultivating Community Through A Cause

“Late last year, we launched an initiative called Gaming for Good and we’ve raised over $500,000 to date, with half the funds in Q1. Our bigger partnership in April was with Extra Life, to partner to raise funds for children’s hospitals to combat COVID. It’s a double-win because it’s helping causes around the world engage with younger audiences in a new and important way. At the same time, it’s driving higher retention and engagement for our consumers—they’re happier to be able to play for a cause.

—Andrew Paradise, CEO, Skillz Inc.

On Conversions After COVID-19

“One bigger long-term trend I see is conversions will be a key opportunity. We’ve already seen a rise of super-casual games. Moving forward, to capture a wider audience, I see the blurring of lines as games borrow from each other to combine the best of both worlds. We’re seeing a shift in business models as well. In April, we saw that casual games, which are classically ad-funded, saw an in-app purchase increase in revenue. Whereas social casino games saw an increase in ad revenue. Games have begun to blend their monetization strategies while players shift behavior as well. Studios will continue to converge this hybrid model to appeal to a broader audience coming to mobile.”

Soojeong Song, gaming vertical lead, Google

On Finding Other Revenue Streams

“A fascinating thing that’s happening for Skillz and the businesses on our network is that during the pandemic we’ve seen a huge acceleration, particularly with offline brands, in areas like sports or retails where they’re looking to build a more meaningful digital presence and engage with video game content. I think you can expect us to be announcing a number of meaningful partnerships with brands and deeper brand integration into the games on the network over the next few months.”

—Andrew Paradise, CEO, Skillz Inc.

On Enhancing The Channel Mix

“When we think about the playbook moving forward, we’re looking at growing social channels like TikTok and Snapchat, as they continue to improve their ad serving capabilities, as an area we want to continue to test as well as traditional avenues like television. We’ve been running some spots for [Disney] Emoji Blitz and so far we’re seeing some really encouraging results there. It’s really a mix of looking at new opportunities from a channel mix standpoint as well as some of the more traditional things.”

—Lisa Anderson, SVP, Studio Operations, Jam City

On Meeting Consumers Where They Are

“I think it behooves all of us to be able to support the notion of making our games available to wherever consumers want them. That model has proven itself time and again in other parts of the world, specifically Asia. The world is increasingly recognizing that games are such a connecting force and that it’s helpful for platforms to have games as an offering because of the unique interactivity and social density that they offer. We’re excited as game makers to be able to bring that to whoever.”

Chris Petrovic, SVP and head of corporate strategy, M&A & business development, Zynga

On The Discovery Journey

“Re-engaging players has been really important, so reminding them why they enjoy our games with initiatives like Play Apart Together. Jam City did its own version of that with our Care-A-Thon which is designed to give back to our players. When shelter in place went into effect, we reached out to our players letting them know we’re here for them and that we’re listening to their feedback. We were surprised to see how much it resonated with them.”

—Lisa Anderson, SVP, Studio Operations, Jam City

Mark van Ryswyk On Why The Pandemic Is A Unique Moment To Reach New Consumers

By the end of Q1, Glu Mobile’s revenue increased 12 percent year over year to $107.3 million and bookings saw a 15 percent increase year over year to $106.5 million. Design Home, the Glu franchise that lets players live the life of an interior decorator, hit a new all-time record—11 percent year over year growth at $46.8 million. Glu’s other female-focused franchise, Covet Fashion, also thrived with record quarterly bookings.

With the pandemic becoming a source of competitive advantage for mobile game companies, we spoke with Mark van Ryswyk, executive vice president of Studios at Glu Mobile, where he oversees Glu’s casual products, leading the Crowdstar and GluPlay Studios. The portfolio includes the successful “DASH franchise” as well as Crowdstar’s Design Home and Covet Fashion. Van Ryswyk shares why he believes the pandemic is a unique moment to reach new players, how the cancelation of fashion shows this year will impact mobile games and how the pandemic is shaping the creative experiences Glu delivers across its games.

What do you predict will be the changes that will affect creativity and innovation in the mobile games market during and post-COVID-19?

This is a unique time in the mobile games space, and the most important thing is to have awareness and empathy for our audience. When we listen to our players, anxiety is running high, and games provide a safe refuge, which we need to deliver on. Over the next year, we will continue to seek out how we can understand evolving consumer needs and discover how games can deliver meaningful play and value.

As consumer appetite for online entertainment has grown, shelter in place creates a unique moment to reach new consumers, who don’t consider themselves to be gamers or are seeking out mobile games, sometimes for the first time.

This is a new opportunity to rethink how the gaming industry can introduce and familiarize concepts, such as gaming economies and participating in a social space. 

How much of Covet Fashion and Design Home’s audience comprises female players and how does Glu cater to their creative experiences?

Glu takes player privacy very seriously. We don’t collect demographic information from our players in our games. Based on user research, surveys and community interaction – we serve a wide demographic across both games from ages 28-45-years-old. Our mission for both games is to enrich people’s lives through creative play. Players are drawn to the idea of styling digital clothing, furnishing beautiful homes and remain captivated (sometimes for years) by our games stunning artwork, a sense of autonomy and creative expression.

Covet Fashion saw its strongest Q1 ever this year and Design Home had record quarterly bookings. How will the pandemic change the role that its gamers play in the growth of mobile games?

In the casual games space, players typically do not consider themselves gamers, yet they enjoy playing games such as Design Home, Covet Fashion or Candy Crush. Shelter-in-place has created a new opportunity to reach this audience and introduce them to the casual games space. I believe this audience will continue to drive growth of the mobile market as they seek new and entertaining experiences that are more relevant to their interests and passions. The continuous growth of lifestyle games, such as Covet and Design Home, reflects this belief, as they provide a creative outlet and opportunities for players to learn and connect with others. 

During shelter in place, Design Home players have shared sentiments that are thinking about their home surroundings more than ever, and compared to remodeling and refurnishing a real home, Design Home offers a playful means of entertainment and creative expression. 

Over the last few weeks, Covet Fashion has also seen a rise in engagement as players have shared heartfelt sentiments that the game provides a relaxing comfort and creative escape into the world of fashion and styling. The Covet Fashion team rose to the occasion to make it easy for players to give thanks and celebrate the essential workers by participating in game challenges to style delivery workers, grocery store managers, hospital workers and nurses. 

With fashion month likely to be canceled for the rest of 2020, how do you think the digitization of fashion shows will impact mobile games?

With fashion shows and in-person events canceled, consumers will refocus their attention to new creative channels. Fashion games like Covet Fashion will continue to evolve beyond an entertaining and creative gaming platform to a disruptive, influential and innovative force in the fashion world. Brands will seek new channels to reach consumers, such as partnering with fashion games and apps. Already, Covet Fashion fosters deep integrations with over 150 brands, including Badgley Mischka, French Connection and Calvin Klein, driving passionate consumers to deeply engage with brands by discovering the latest fashion trends, exploring their brand identity and building long-term familiarity with their products through competitive styling.

Glu has plans to extend Design Home to the PC web browser by this summer. How has cross-platform play contributed to Glu’s success?

Design Home is always exploring new ways for players to live the life of an interior designer. We have heard from players they are interested in expressing their creativity across a larger canvas, beyond the existing experiences on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. We are currently planning testing of an early version of Design Home as a web browser experience and will have more details to share at a later date when the final experience is available.

Andrew Paradise On The State Of The Mobile Games Market

Q1 2020 was the largest quarter for mobile game downloads ever, with over 13 billion installs across Google Play and the App Store. That upward trajectory continued as the average weekly mobile game ad spend surged from about $700,000 in February to over $1.4 million in March and reached even higher levels in April at just under $2 million. 

But the industry didn’t need the pandemic to prosper; in 2019, Sensor Tower estimated that players spent about $61.7 billion on games. That represents a 12.8 percent increase from 2018 and its $54.7 billion total. Now where do mobile games go from here and what does that post-pandemic journey look like? Ahead of this week’s virtual Los Angeles Games Conference panel on the growth of mobile games, we spoke with Skillz Inc. CEO and founder Andrew Paradise about his thoughts on the changes affecting creativity in the arena, what role fundraising tournaments have played in COVID and the mobile game trends he foresees emerging.

What do you predict will be the changes that will affect creativity and innovation in the mobile games market during and post-COVID-19?

Since the pandemic began, the mobile gaming sector has fared better than most forms of entertainment because the majority of our content can be built remotely, whereas many other types of entertainment require large groups to work in studio or office settings. Recent months have shown how resilient mobile games are, both as an industry and a form of digital entertainment. As cities and economies have shut down around the world, Skillz players have turned to their favorite games as much needed entertainment, while our developer partners continued building and launching new games from their home offices. I think this pandemic is also showing us how powerful mobile gaming is as a way to stay connected to friends and family. After hours, I love to compete with my friends in some of our favorite games. It’s a fun new way to socialize after a long day of video calls.

What role have fundraising tournaments played in Skillz’s response to the pandemic?

Skillz has a proud history of leveraging the power of our platform to give back to important causes. During this pandemic, we mobilized the Skillz platform to fund Red Cross blood drives across the country and raise money for 170 children’s hospitals fighting COVID. We have long helped nonprofit partners like the World Wildlife Fund and American Cancer Society reach younger, mobile-first demographics, quickly launch large scale digital fundraisers, and engage new donors through fun, competitive games. The Skillz commitment to giving back is core to our company’s values, and we are honored to be part of the fight against this pandemic.

What area of the mobile games market do you feel has been most impacted by COVID? How is Skillz addressing this?

COVID-19 has tragically disrupted the global economy, but like all forms of digital media, mobile gaming has become an important form of comfort and entertainment during the pandemic. The Skillz business has remained strong, and we’ve seen increased interest from brands looking to leverage our platform as a new way to reach consumers now that stay-at-home orders have disrupted many traditional marketing models.

How is Skillz further bridging the gap between disruptive ads and a seamless player experience?

Skillz offers a new way to monetize mobile gaming content that’s proven to be 5-20x more effective than traditional models. Legacy monetization models like interruptive advertising and in-game purchases can put developers at odds with players. Skillz enables developers to focus solely on what they love and do best: building great games.  Skillz helps indie developers build multi-million dollar franchises by enabling social competitions in their games. We provide an easily integrated solution with patented technology to rate players’ skills, ensure fair player matching, and protect against fraud and cheating. 

What kind of creativity and innovation is required for the mobile games market to become more accessible and enjoy sustainable long-term growth post-COVID-19?

The great news about mobile games is you can take them anywhere! If people sheltering in place discover a Skillz game they love playing, in all likelihood they will continue playing that game when they are back on the go. Most importantly, games are not specific to the traditional stereotype of “gamers” – in reality, everyone plays games. Our developer partners continue to inspire us with creative game concepts that expand the popularity of our platform. For instance, a recent hit game on Skillz reimagined Bingo and shot to the Top 25 in the App Store. 

Gaming Live Streaming Activity Balloons Amid Pandemic

Game live streaming activity has ballooned during the pandemic: on average, weekly viewers of live streams have increased by 70 percent year over year and watch time has increased by 35 percent year over year. That’s according to a report from Torque Esports, “Stream Hatchet Q1,” which explores COVID’s impact on streaming audiences including what gaming entertainment people are watching and how.

Gaming remains one of the world’s biggest entertainment platforms, with 4.9 billion hours of live-streamed content watched during Q1 2020, a 35 percent increase compared to 2019, according to the report.

As the coronavirus lockdown continues, the average viewers watching video game live streams have increased more than 100 percent in April.

Twitch still holds a majority of gaming platform market share; 65 percent of all gaming content is watched on Twitch, down from 76 percent in Q1 2019. This year’s viewers have watched over 15 percent more hours on Twitch.

YouTube Gaming has seen steady year over year growth, seizing 22 percent of the live stream market in Q1, up two percent year over year. Viewers watched 51 percent more gaming live streams on YouTube Gaming year over year.

Facebook has displayed the fastest growth, taking 11 percent of the gaming platform market share in Q1, up from no share in Q1 2019. Viewers watched a whopping 900 percent more gaming live streams on Facebook in Q1 2020.

In April, Facebook announced the early launch of its dedicated Android gaming app called Facebook Gaming, which features a “Go Live” feature that enables users to share gaming streams directly to their Facebook page. Facebook reportedly has 700 million monthly users engaging with gaming content.

Mixer’s numbers, however, have been dwindling, even despite Twitch mega-streamer Ninja joining the platform in October 2019. Mixer viewers watched eight percent less gaming streams in Q1.

In the first week of April, Riot Games released the closed beta of Valorant. Breaking live streaming records, the game amassed more than 323 million hours watched during its first four weeks of video game streaming—twice as many as Apex Legends, the second-largest launch in video game streaming. In its second week of streaming alone, Valorant generated 131 million hours watched, one million more hours watched than all the other top five games combined in their second week.

Esports racing content has also seen a massive spike in popularity during COVID, growing by nearly 1,000 percent in Q1. Audiences of racing games like iRacing and Formula 1 have increased from 700,000 to over 6.8 million in April year over year.“Do we expect some of these numbers to level off in the long run? Yes, but the interesting thing is that virtual sports content will be something that leagues will continue to investigate . . . We know this by the level of inquiry we’re receiving from brands, companies, publishers, and leagues,” said Stream Hatchet co-founder and CEO, Eduard Montserrat.

Social Distancing Campaign Picks: Week Of April 20th

What a crazy time to be a visual storyteller. We’re generally out in the world, surrounded by inspiration and bombarded by stimuli. Of course, we still have our devices, we still spend lots of time devouring news of the virus and we still binge an infinite number of great shows. Nevertheless, social isolation due to coronavirus is having an impact. Something very different is going on here that is akin to Thoreau separating from the world at Walden Pond to get to something deeper and more meaningful.

Throughout quarantine, I’ve been following brands that are trying to find an authentic and thoughtful way to connect with their audiences. What do you do when you can’t write a script, hire a director, put a crew together and go shoot and edit a story? You have to be open to exploring new ways to create moments for telling those stories. 

Here at Ayzenberg we’ve been on the R&D path since the very first week of the “lockdown” and are already pitching ideas to clients on how to adapt to this new reality. There are incredible opportunities to tell a story that is screaming to be told, one that is authentic and socially resonant.

Each week, I’ll be sharing my take on a few brands that have been brave enough to put something out there that really hits all the marks.

Ikea – Make Home Count

Ikea’s 55-second home-made spot celebrates “the simple joys that come with making home count,” spotlighting parents reading to their son, a woman watering her plans and a little boy sitting on his working-from-home dad’s lap. This was the first spot I encountered that really had a clear perspective on what we were all going through. I love how Ikea positioned the glass as half-full.

Why it matters: Right now, our heads can’t help but be filled with fear of the unknown and it’s so easy to let that consume us. Brands that focus on what’s really important—the things that make us who we are and our connection to the tribe—in such a poignant way will stand out amid the pandemic. It’s also a reminder that whatever you are doing today or tomorrow, to just make it count.

The details: I love that creative agency TBWA\Singapore asked their staffers to film themselves at home to capture all of these human moments and to showcase the fact that our homes have now become our playgrounds, our schools, our offices and all things in between.

Goodby Silverstein – Toilet Paper

In this video that advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners posted to its Instagram channel, staff are shown at home passing a roll of toilet paper to each other on a conference call, accompanied by the message, “Please don’t squeeze or hoard the Charmin. Pass it on!” Apparently the idea spawned from the way the agency was using video conferencing in a 5×5 grid to conduct their internal meetings. I also love that they used the Benny Hill theme song to give it it’s appropriate tongue-in-cheek tone. So fun!

Why it matters: For me, in its simplest form, this is a celebration of who we are as creatives and why what we do matters. Yes, the video was solely created as a morale booster for the agency, but the takeaway here for brands is to use a comedic vehicle to comment on what is happening in our world—in this case, people who panicked at the news of the lockdown and hoarded more toilet paper than needed. I doubt a toilet paper shortage is anything any of us have seen in our lifetime, so good on Goodby for entertaining us while landing an important messagedon’t just think of yourselves, be kind and share.

The details: As the father of two middle schoolers, I was amazed at how quickly and seamlessly we were all able to transition to work from home and school from home using video conferencing technologies. This piece showed up right as the toilet paper shortage issue was affecting everyone, and what’s really inspiring is that this team decided to use their video conferencing technology, while working from home, in a playful way to land the message that some things that we take for granted can easily take on new meaning in our lives. Hats off to ya’, Goodby!

Activista – Social Distancing And Classic Album Covers

After noticing people were ignoring stay-at-home orders amid coronavirus, founders of the agency Activista, Beto Fernandez and Paco Conde, redesigned vintage album covers to help enforce the safer-at-home message. The ensuing project, which they named 6 Feet Covers, displayed acts of social distancing through updating images that already resonate in popular culture. For example, they revamped Abbey Road to show all four Beatles spread out down the road instead of in the crosswalk together.

Why it matters
: Activista landed the stay-at-home message in a more personal way that highlighted the seriousness of staying inside—a balancing act marketers must achieve in today’s climate to ensure they’re showing consumers they’re doing their part to respond to the pandemic without being insensitive.

The details: I’m an unapologetic classic rock fan so I was instantly drawn to this work. Unable to create content from scratch, Activista took a very simple and artful approach to mirror the new normal and promote the important message of staying home to flatten the curve. Be it ‘The Beatles’’ Abbey Road or ‘KISS’’ Destroyer, these iconic images have been in my life for as long as I can remember. Seeing them now through the lens of proper social distancing protocols just nailed it for me. The power of Activista’s idea is that it carries that spirit forward into our current reality.

(Editor’s note: AList is published by

Podcast Ads Have More Pull Than Marketers Think

Seventy percent of frequent podcast listeners considered buying a new product or service after hearing about it on a podcast, according to a study from Edison Research and the PodcastOne, “Super Listeners Study.”

As podcast usage continues to rise, it’s important for marketers to know who they’re speaking to when advertising on podcasts. Here we’re breaking down the preferences of these super listeners and how podcasts influence these consumers’ buying behavior, according to the study’s findings.

Many podcasters are also cord-cutters as 79 percent of respondents regularly use streaming video services, followed by 63 percent who use internet-only music streaming services and 58 percent who use cable or satellite television. Forty-five percent of respondents said it’s very important that they watch or listen to a program whenever they want. Forty-nine percent said they have a paid subscription to an internet-only music streaming service, followed by 27 percent who have a paid subscription to an audiobook service. When asked what their primary reason is for having a paid audio listening subscription, 43 percent cited having more control over the content they’re listening to.

Podcast listeners are more attentive to ads heard on podcasts as 44 percent agree that they pay more attention to advertising on podcasts than on other forms of media. Thirty-seven percent said that podcast marketing is the best way for a brand to reach them. Although these super listeners generally avoid ads, they agree that podcast ads are an effective way to reach them.

In June, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicted that US podcast marketplace revenues will double by 2021, reaching $1 billion. While the number of people listening to podcasts as well as podcast marketing dollars are increasing, marketers should be selective about the podcast to advertise on. Only 16 percent of respondents strongly agree that the products and services they learn about on podcasts are generally relevant to them—that’s one percent less than for social media, which 17 percent said display products and services relevant to them. 

The advantage of podcasts is that listeners are more willing to consider products discovered there. Compared to other places where they might hear ads, 46 percent of respondents said they’re more likely to purchase a product after hearing about it via a podcast ad.

Findings are based on 1,032 online interviews conducted in February and March 2019, consisting of 56 percent men and 44 percent women, spanning all generations. All respondents reported listening to podcasts for at least five hours weekly.

Wendy’s Continues Quest To Attract Gamers, Becomes First Sponsor Of GIPHY Digital Arcade

Wendy’s launched three branded video games on Giphy’s new digital arcade, “GIPHY Arcade,” making it the first sponsor of the shareable micro-game platform. The branded games, which appear in a section called “Wendy’s World” on the arcade landing page, are nods to arcade favorites such as “Space Invaders” and “Breakout.”

Users can add creative touches to Wendy’s games in the arcade’s “REMIX” section, with the option of adding stickers and mixing and matching characters and music. On the arcade’s desktop version, players can choose from over 30 backgrounds and 20 different songs. Comparatively, the mobile version of the arcade creates a game based on a list of questions that users must answer. Integrated with Snapchat and Instagram, the GIPHY microgames can be shared with friends in messages and social media posts. Games from Wendy’s and NASA are among the first to be featured on the arcade’s home page.

The arcade also features premade games, formats of which are reminiscent of games of the past. Some games that users can play straight away include “Frankenstein Lives,” Big Mouth-inspired “Avoid Lola” and “Galactic Glutton.”

Wendy’s has seamlessly inserted itself into the gaming world through a variety of activations targeted towards gamers. With over 2.5 billion gamers across the world and mobile gaming growing 10.2 percent year-on-year to $68.5 billion, Wendy’s is playing its cards right. Earlier this year, the brand live-steamed its digital avatar on Twitch to promote a Baconfest initiative. Prior to that, Wendy’s launched a Twitch campaign called “Keeping Fortnite Fresh,” which led to a 119 percent increase in mentions of Wendy’s across its social media platforms. More recently, the brand introduced a Wendy’s-themed table-top role-playing game called “Feast of Legends,” available for free in PDF form online.

Warner Bros., Pinterest Partner On 360-Degree Campaign For ‘IT: Chapter Two’

Warner Bros. Entertainment partnered with Pinterest to launch a 360-degree experiential campaign for the launch of its horror movie IT: Chapter Two, released on September 6. The first of its kind for both companies, the campaign brought to life IT’s twisted funhouse at a Hollywood location that was open from August 15 to September 8. Free reservations to visit the funhouse, called “The IT Experience: Chapter Two,” booked up in minutes but guests were also able to gain entry via a stand-by line. 

For those who couldn’t experience the Los Angeles funhouse, Warner Bros. created a custom 360 scan in partnership with Pinterest and Matterport. The scan gave fans a glimpse of the real funhouse experience via a series of custom angles and clickable hotspots to explore all angles, from desktop and mobile. The digital experience features audio and immersing pinners who appear as though they’re actually standing in the town of Derry, where the movie takes place.

To access the 360 scan, Pinterest created a promoted video pin which pinners can tap from their feed and swipe up to experience the funhouse, with the added option of sharing it with friends.

The “IT Chapter Two Art Show,” an exclusive exhibition of fan art in Los Angeles, featured another campaign element to increase discovery. Outside the exhibition, Warner Bros. hung movie posters that included Pincodes that, when scanned, took gallery visitors to Pinterest boards containing digital versions of the art and behind-the-scenes videos of behind-the-scenes videos of the art making process.

Given that entertainment is one of Pinterest’s fastest-growing categories, it’s likely that Warner Bros. wanted to capture the attention of the platform’s 22 million users who engage specifically with horror movies. Currently, Pinterest has more than 11 million boards—like “Movies to see—”dedicated to movies. After seeing entertainment ads on Pinterest, 70 percent of Pinterest users took action by watching a new show or attending a movie, and two-thirds have discovered a new movie or show on Pinterest. The platform as a whole reaches 42 percent of people who saw a movie in theaters in the last six months and 56 percent of people who use streaming services.

Unexpected Brands Celebrate National Video Game Day With Tributes And Creativity

September 12 is National Video Game Day in the US, inspiring brands to celebrate with their audiences. Naturally, all the major players took advantage of the internet holiday to remind consumers of offerings and brand legacy. A few non-endemic brands joined in the fun too, using a mutual love of gaming to raise awareness or simply show solidarity with fans.

Arby’s: Choose Your Weapon

Arby’s has made a reputation on social media for its artistic prowess with cardboard food packaging. For Video Game Day, the restaurant covered an arcade gamepad with Arby’s branded cardboard and recreated weapons from various game franchises including Chun Li’s wrist spikes (Street Fighter), Lara Croft’s ice climbing axe (Tomb Raider), Sora’s Keyblade (Kingdom Hearts) and Ezio’s knife gauntlet (Assassin’s Creed).

Cartoon Network: Select Your Player

Cartoon Network created an 8-bit video game “screenshot” that allowed fans to imagine what a fighting game would be like using the brand’s characters. Audiences responded with their ideal “fighters” from shows like Steven Universe, Mao Mao, Teen Titans Go!, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time and more, although several pointed out the absence of OK K.O. Let’s be Heroes!, a cartoon based in a world heavily inspired by video games.

Red Bull: Fruit Ninja Parody

Okay, Krav Maga isn’t Ninjitsu, but technically, neither is slicing fruit with a katana. Red Bull, ever-present in the video game scene, posted a video of a man’s impressive Krav Maga skills superimposed with graphics from the popular game Fruit Ninja.

The brand immediately made fun of itself for capitalizing on the internet holiday, linking to the Reddit thread “fellow kids,” so named after a meme of Steve Bushimi attempting to pass himself off as a teenager.

Honda: 30 Years And Going

Honda wanted to remind gamers that its vehicles have been recreated in video games for over 30 years. The brand is also active in esports, sponsoring Team Liquid and becoming the exclusive automotive partner of the League of Legends Championship Series.

To celebrate its gaming legacy, Honda released a video highlighting vehicles going back to the 1996 Civic Ferio.

Faygo: Cap-Man

Soft drink company Faygo paid tribute to classic arcade games with a parody of Pac-Man called Cap-Man. The image recreated the iconic Pac-Man game board, replacing ghosts and power-ups with Faygo products.

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Cap-man. #videogameday

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Internet Holidays: A Marketing Playground

It’s not just you, everyday seems to be a hashtag holiday on social media. That’s because savvy social brands choose their participation wisely—sharing tributes, jokes and promotions that align with its core values and online persona.

Other recent examples include Werther’s life-sized Candyland game board for #CaramelDay and Heinz’s “fruit or vegetable” debate for National Tomato Day. Other brands have taken to creating their own internet holidays such as Netflix’s #StrangerThingsDay and Pabst Blue Ribbon’s National Mural Day.