5 Trends for Video Games Marketing and Gaming Market in 2023

‘Tis the time of year when lists of expected trends for conducting your marketing arrive and make, more or less, educated guesses about what to pay attention to, take under consideration while revising your comms strategy, and also what to avoid in 2023. As we can’t predict the future, here are some of my types for the upcoming year and what can be done to advertise your games more effectively. Even though they are based on data and my previous experiences, these are pretty much shots in the dark (who expected Twitter to take such a drastic turn this year in 2021), so, I’ll be also including my honest opinion on whether they will come to fruition and if it’s something that you should definitely include in your strategy, do if you have spare time or monitor if it even happens at all. Without further ado – let’s start the list.

Further Advancement of Vertical Short Video – it’ll definitely happen

TikTok, even though it’s considered a pretty young platform, took the world of social media and content creation into a new direction, focusing on a format that was used previously (on Vine, for example), but putting its very own twist on it, as loopable vertical videos weren’t a thing, really. Maybe we could consider Snapchat to be a social media that experimented well with vertical video, but that wasn’t the main focus of the platform, as their schtick was that the content disappeared after viewing, for the most part.

However, to get back on track, I believe that TikTok will continue to grow in 2023, as it’s becoming a mainstay even among some older users. Because of this, it will be an absolute must for most developers to be on the platform, to produce content that will be suited for it. Other platforms, especially Meta’s, tried to copy the feature with Reels. The thing with new(ish) features is that they will be made advantageous when it comes to organic posting, as in they will be favoured by the algorithm as compared to other, more traditional post forms. So, while I don’t think that trying to organically grow your audience on Facebook or Instagram with old formats will be a feasible effort, using reels and stories may be a decent idea when it comes to growing your audience. The same goes for Youtube with its Shorts. Maybe other platforms will also introduce their own formats of short vertical videos that will become more than a novelty in 2023, who knows? Anyways, using TikTok will become a must for most and why not expand, as you already will have pieces of content that will probably need only minor adjustments to how they look and other details, to be posted in at least 3 other formats (Stories, Reels and Shorts). It all boils down to recycling content, really, which is a great thing to do, as it helps with making heaps of content and you also should consider using it in your marketing.

More Focus Will Be Put On Cloud Gaming Publishing and It Will Become Easier for Indie Devs – 50/50, hard to say

Xbox Game Pass is slowly carving a piece of the market for itself, reaching 25 000 000 users in January, last year. Even though it’s odd that we didn’t see any announcements regarding the user base, we can probably estimate that it’s easily past the 30 000 000 users mark, based on the previous pace of growth. Maybe they want to make another announcement at 50 000 000 users. Whatever the reason is, XGP and GeForce Now are here to stay, it seems and they will grow, offering even better experiences in the future. 

This may prove to be interesting for indie devs, as playing in the cloud usually allows for a pretty universal experience, as most of the machines that are used on the service providers’ side are most likely of similar quality and offer similar performance. This means that if the infrastructure of service providers is homogenous, the devs would be able to develop games extremely optimised for cloud gaming. I’m not sure if this will be the case, but it definitely would allow the devs to, say, switch focus from making the game as compatible as it gets and just creating one version that’s built for one specific device. This kinda happened in the case of Apple’s M1 chips – they are pretty uniform and because of that, apps that are run on them can be extremely optimised.

As cloud gaming may prove interesting from the developmental point of view, I also imagine that it offers interesting business incentives for developers. XGP’s main screen is more or less a storefront and I expect that more indie games than before will be making it to the platform and will be nicely placed on the familiar grid in 2023. If Microsoft really believes that cloud gaming will be the future of gaming, they will certainly start offering more and more incentives for the devs, such as:

  • a fast-tracked version of publishing their games to XGP,
  • cloud gaming exclusivity deals,
  • more support when it comes to dealing with their storefront and development environment,
  • allowing for more ASO, as XGP may be considered a Steam competitor and they may want to experiment with such solutions.

Will these things happen? It’s kinda hard to say, as Microsoft surely have their plans and expectations set for their iteration of cloud gaming for quite a while and trying to figure out if they will make it easier to publish games there and if they will offer more support to the devs who decided to commit to their platform is just a guessing game at this point. Still, it’d be worth having an eye on them.

Twitter Ads May Become A New Hot Thing In The World Of PPC Campaigns – Likely, albeit not as a permanent fixture

Look, people talking about whether Twitter will fold or not may or may not have a lot of valid points. My bet is that Twitter simply will not be closed and I think that 2023 will bring some interesting developments to the platform. It may be hard to predict what will happen, as Elon Musk seems to be all over the place in terms of this company. However, a fair assumption would be to say that he’ll try to maximise the profit and a company can do that by minimising costs and maximising income. Aside from firing heaps of employees, thus looking for savings, he’ll most likely take some actions to increase the revenue. One of the primary ways social media platforms earn money is by advertisement and Twitter, to put it lightly, isn’t a great ad platform.

Their current ad ecosystem doesn’t allow for as good targeting as in the case of Meta, AdWords or even Reddit and the campaigns there usually are pretty expensive, and by this, I mean that the CTRs are kinda low and CPCs are pretty high, especially compared to other platforms. My bet is that Twitter will try and change this. However, I don’t expect them to roll out a new ads targeting system, that’d just make too much sense. What I think they will do, is they will most likely just lower the prices needed to achieve satisfactory results with their platform. This may not be very beneficial for them and, as soon as people realise what’s going on, they’ll jack the prices back up and it will fluctuate like that.

Will it happen? I think that in the case of this platform we just can’t be certain, but it seems plausible when we look at its predicaments as of late. I suggest including Twitter in your PPC A/B tests and seeing where it goes. I imagine that Twitter won’t be able to maintain its ad ecosystem in its current state forever and it may someday become good for our purposes. But it certainly won’t be in 2023 and we should rather look at what in practice will be discounts for having PPC campaigns there.

ASO Will Become A Necessary Skill For CMs and Other Marketing-Adjacent Roles – it will start happening this year, but it’s going to be a long process

App store optimisation can be thought of as storefront SEO, more or less. It’s a set of activities, such as optimising tags, publishing updates, buying placements and changing feature images/capsules in order to make the game more visible and to improve the in-store conversion rates. It may be important, but most of the time, especially in the sphere of PC and console gaming, it’s usually done once and forgotten, maybe some small adjustments are done here and there, maybe CMs will respond to bad reviews, that’s about it. This all will be making a shift, though. The reason for that is a crossover with another type of gaming and professionals hailing from it – mobile gaming.

Mobile games marketing is quite different to what we may see in the world of PC and console releases. Surprisingly, it is hands down the most data-driven of them all. Google and Apple don’t shy away from providing developers with info about how their products perform in the stores and are also extremely ad-friendly, allowing for measuring exact CPIs, something that most Steam and console marketers could only dream of. However, there are more and more people who have experience in dealing with storefronts on both mobile and traditional gaming platforms. And they will often strive to crank out every bit of data possible out of, say, Steam as if it was Google Play Store and they will also start making adjustments in order to push the storefront placement to its limits (and then some).

Such an aggressive ASO approach will become more prevalent in 2023, especially in the case of Steam, as their new placement spaces seem to encourage experimenting with tags and grant more opportunities to have a game highlighted in a new tab. However, ASO is rarely delegated to a person that only deals with it and it’s one of the skills that marketing generalists, CMs and SoMe specialists will be expected to perform and it’s a good idea to learn how to do it right to gain an advantage on the job market – I imagine smaller and mid-sized companies will slowly start expecting such roles to know about how to do ASO properly.

We’ll See Record-Breaking (Both In Terms Of Quality And Earnings) Web3/NFT Games – certain, but insignificant, more of a piece for market research

This will be a short one. I believe that NFT gaming companies will start realising that their games should be good and we’ll start seeing P2E games one could consider to be of high quality and they will most likely generate more money than they do now. They are bound to do that, as the market is headed towards some sort of maturity and stability. Most people, however, will still not see the appeal of such titles and will opt for non-Web3-based games. A big part of the problem with the titles is that most of them may be quite confusing for people not well-versed in the world of crypto. Because of this, I think that Web3 gaming companies will focus on drastically improving:

  • the quality,
  • accessibility, and
  • user experience

of their titles. Web3 gaming will still not be a significant part of the market, but I felt that writing about this, whether liked or not, new, and exciting for some, branch of gaming is appropriate. Unfortunately, I don’t see Web3/NFT titles becoming mainstream unless Steam and other storefronts change their policies regarding them and it will almost definitely not happen next year (possibly in the foreseeable future or at all as well).

Ok, so here are some of the predictions I have for both marketing in the gaming industry and the gaming market in the upcoming year. How do you think, will they come to fruition? Do you expect to bet on them? Share your thoughts and plans in the comments!



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