This article is part of a VB Lab Insights series paid for by Amazon Ads.
The world around us is evolving quickly. And the gaming industry is no exception. Despite a post-pandemic slowdown in 2022, the gaming industry is gearing up for a comeback. As per a recent Ampere report, the global games market segment is expected to return to growth in 2023, reaching $195 billion in global sales, up from $188 billion in 2022.
“The video games industry continues to build momentum going into 2023. Consoles are more readily available, VR headsets are moving from niche to mainstream, and there are many tentpole titles launching in the next two quarters. All of which lends itself to greater interest in the category,” said John Coppock, Head of Video Games at Amazon Ads. “Looking ahead, advertisers who understand the evolving customer shopping journey will be better equipped to reach the right audiences with messages that resonate.”
Here are three trends for video games brands to watch as they prepare for 2023:
Games are a popular gifted item on Amazon
Video games are among the most popular gifted items on the Amazon store. Amazon video game customers give gaming-related gifts at a 35% higher rate compared to the average Amazon customer. We also see that video game gifting jumps during the late summer months and continues to increase through the end of the holiday season.
Marketers can help their brand resonate with customers by leveraging gift-giving messaging and by using upper-funnel advertising solutions such as Streaming TV Ads and online Video Ads throughout tentpole events such as Prime Day, graduations, and the holiday season.
PC and Virtual Reality (VR) shopping interest continues to rise
Customers’ interest in PC and VR games show no signs of slowing, and presents a big opportunity for brands.
We looked at top non-branded gaming shopping queries in 2021 and saw that “PC compatible games” jumped from outside of the top 10 in 2021 into the number two spot between January 2021 and January 2022. “PC games” also fell within the top five. Modern gamers are eager and curious to explore alternative forms of gaming beyond the traditional console experience. Brands can use Amazon Ads’ multi-objective solutions, such as Sponsored Products, Display Ads and Video Ads to reach shoppers interested in alternate forms of gaming outside of traditional console experiences.
Pre-order remains important
Reaching pre-order inclined audiences remains an important strategy heading into the holiday season and 2023. We asked current gen gaming customers in a survey conducted by Kantar what motivates them to pre-order. Over half (57%) of those surveyed noted that the day-of delivery was the most important factor when placing their orders. Another 52% noted that in-game bonuses and incentives drove interest in locking in a copy early. Whereas, factors such as scarcity and guaranteeing a copy were among the least common responses. The takeaway for publishers is that as long as there is a clear customer benefit, they may likely see an increase in pre-ordering.
We also dove into the shopping patterns of pre-order audiences on Amazon. Pre-order customers spend 1.3x times more on gaming-related items in the 90 days after purchase when compared to customers who buy day-of release or after. This presents an opportunity for gaming advertisers to remarket to pre-order audiences who are inclined to invest in their gaming experience. Amazon DSP and Sponsored Display ads allow marketers to reach these customers both within and beyond Amazon’s store.
As 2023 is fast approaching, brands have an opportunity to deepen their engagement with both their existing and new customers throughout their shopping journey — both on and off Amazon. Visit advertising.amazon.com to learn more. Amazon Internal Data, January 2022–June 2022, US  Amazon Internal Data, January 2022–June 2022, US  Kantar and Amazon Advertising Next Gen Gaming Consoles US P2P Study April 2022
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