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European Gaming Congress 2024
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FANDOM EXPLORES THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF GAMING & SELF-EXPRESSION IN 2024 INSIDE GAMING REPORT

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Study Provides New Insights Into How Brands Can Authentically Engage With Gamers to Help Them Express Their Best Selves Off-Screen.

KEY FINDINGS

Gaming has exploded over the past decade, becoming one of the most dynamic and expansive industries across the globe. Fandom, the world’s largest fan platform, dives into the heart of the gaming community to uncover the evolving motivations behind why people game in its 4th annual Inside Gaming report. The 2024 Inside Gaming report – a proprietary study coupled with Fandom’s first-party data from its 350 million monthly unique visitors, 45 million pages of content and 250k fan-powered wikis – captures a notable shift: gaming is increasingly seen as a means for personal expression, exploring one’s identity and providing empowerment and confidence in one’s real life.

Dominant Gaming Motivations

  • While stress relief remains the top reason people turn to games, a striking 46% of gamers list creation, imagination, and self-expression as their main motivations for gaming, up 10% from last year.

Influence on Gaming Habits

  • People who are gaming for self-expression, creation & imagination are 30% more likely to increase their gaming time, feeling more drawn to the gaming world than ever before.

Games Driving Self-Expression

  • 60% of gamers claim that self-expression through gameplay is more important to them than ever before. Titles like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox lead in enabling personal expression through extensive customization options, open-world exploration, and other game updates

Exploring Gamer Identity

  • The report also highlights a significant gap between players’ in-game identities versus their real-life personas, with 80% of respondents feeling their gaming identity differs from their real-life identity.
  • However, half of respondents claim they’d prefer to be more like their in-game personality IRL and 72% would feel more favorably towards brands that help them achieve this.
  • This is especially true of 18-34 year olds, multicultural (specifically African American & Hispanic) audiences as well as women and non-binary audiences.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR MARKETERS

Emphasize Self-Expression:

  • Self-expression is a key driver for gaming engagement. In fact, 32% of gamers want their physical appearance to be more like their in-game appearance.
  • Brands that align with this motivation can enhance their connection with gamers. For example, this represents an opportunity for fashion & beauty brands to explore dedicated product extensions for gamers looking to explore this self-expression.

Create Brand Safe Spaces:

  • 64% believe that gaming communities are vital safe spaces where they can truly be themselves, presenting opportunities for brands to foster and cater to these communities.

Align with Gamers’ IRL Aspirations

  • Many gamers wish to integrate their gaming and real-life personas. Brands that help facilitate this integration can achieve deeper consumer relationships.
  • The study found that 48% of gamers want their IRL skills to be as strong as their gaming skills, opening up an opportunity for brands to explore how they can create ways to provide gamers with products that enhance IRL skills and provide a sense of accomplishment & achievement they get while playing.

 

“From character customization to cosplay and content creation, video games have empowered gamers to explore, express and enhance their identity – nearly two thirds of gamers claim it’s easier to be themselves with a controller in their hands,” said Stephanie Fried, CMO of Fandom. “With the growing significance of gaming as a means for self-expression and personal evolution, it’s crucial for brands to connect to these motivators to help players bring their gaming personas to life in the real world.”

For an interview with a Fandom executive to discuss the study in more detail, please contact Rachelle Savoia at [email protected].

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Methodology:

Fandom surveyed 5,000 entertainment and gaming fans globally to understand the ever changing entertainment landscape. The insights from the study were joined with proprietary insights from Fandom’s first-party platform data of over 350MM users, 45MM content pages across 250K wikis.

 

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NASCAR launches persistent world on Roblox where players can become racing tycoons

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NASCAR is once again taking the virtual racing world by storm, this time with the launch of “NASCAR Tycoon” on Roblox created by Dubit.

Building on the success of its previous “NASCAR Speed Hub,” this new experience promises to deliver an even more immersive and interactive NASCAR world.

Developed in partnership with the renowned metaverse studio Dubit, “NASCAR Tycoon” allows players to dive deep into the management and racing aspects of NASCAR, offering a unique blend of strategy and high-speed thrills in a distinctly Roblox-native way.

Players will have the opportunity to jump in the driver’s seat of cars styled after NASCAR’s Next Gen Cup Series vehicles, competing against each other and managing teams in thrilling races. Earning fame and fortune as they build their virtual tycoon, players can make passive income while they play. As players progress in “NASCAR Tycoon,” they will unlock exclusive perks such as building their own NASCAR racing teams, expanding their garages, collecting new cars, accessing customizations and attracting sponsors.

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The launch comes hot on the heels of recent Fortnite activations and follows the debut of NASCAR in Jailbreak and NASCAR Speed Hub last year – a virtual environment built by Dubit, for players to race around tracks linked to real-world races.

“We’re thrilled to launch ‘NASCAR Tycoon’ on Roblox, developed in partnership with Dubit, marking a key milestone in our ongoing efforts to authentically engage with the Roblox community,” said Nick Rend, VP of Interactive and Emerging Platforms at NASCAR. “This initiative is about more than reaching new audiences; it’s about deepening our connection on a platform where we see tremendous potential. By blending the excitement of NASCAR with the interactive and dynamic environment of Roblox, we’re enhancing traditional fandom in ways that are engaging, fun, and distinctly forward-looking.”

With over 300 million monthly active users, Roblox is ripe with opportunities for sporting organisations like NASCAR and offers a chance to engage with audiences in an immersive and interactive environment.

Andrew Douthwaite, Chief Commercial Officer at Dubit, shares his excitement: “We’re thrilled to bring the next phase of NASCAR to life on Roblox, building on the success of previous activations. NASCAR Tycoon allows Roblox players to experience the excitement of NASCAR racing like never before, blending the strategic elements of team management with the adrenaline-pumping action on the track. It has been a true joy working with such a forward-thinking, iconic sports brand in NASCAR, and we look forward to continuing to push the boundaries together”

Dubit has created Roblox activations, virtual merchandise ranges and experiences for global brands including Unilever, Samsung, Reckitt, Kraft, H&M and adidas.

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“NASCAR Tycoon” is now available on Roblox.

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“The Biggest Community in the World” Gathers at Gamescom

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When the grand kick-off show “gamescom Opening Night Live” begins on the evening of 20 August 2024, thousands of visitors on-site in the gamescom event arena in Cologne, Germany and millions of video game players online worldwide will once again witness the highlights of this year’s gamescom first-hand. Just how strongly games connect people across all continents will be made clear not only in the opening show, but everywhere at the world’s largest games event – which is why gamescom 2024 is taking place under the banner “The biggest community in the world”. Along with the trends being spotlighted at this year’s gamescom, this theme was presented at a press conference jointly organised by game – The German Games Industry Association and Koelnmesse.

Games are the most social medium of our time. Whether enthusiasts are playing them together or engaging in active exchange about them, computer and video games connect over 3 billion people worldwide – a number that is steadily growing. Together, players build entire worlds, put their skills to the test and overcome great dangers. Lifelong friendships take root and grow, across all borders. This makes games the best antidote to loneliness and isolation. Nowhere else do people work together as intensively, exchange ideas with such excitement or celebrate with such enthusiasm. The games community is especially open, creative and passionate, and this is nowhere more evident than at gamescom – the biggest event for “The biggest community in the world”. From esports tournaments in the event arena, to the cosplay village and old games in the retro area, to such new highlights as the cards & boards area and the artist area – everywhere at gamescom, people from all over the world celebrate game culture together. All of which demonstrates what a strong and unique community games create around the globe.

“Anyone who has ever been to gamescom themselves knows the unique feeling. You immediately recognise the joy, curiosity and passion in people’s faces. Long-standing friendships are celebrated and new friends are made – because games connect people in an incomparable way, creating the biggest community in the world. This social component of games is still overlooked far too often, yet it’s so valuable. In times when isolation has become a serious societal challenge and there’s more and more focus on what divides rather than unites us – in these times, games connect billions of people around the world every day in a special way. At gamescom this year, we therefore decided on a theme that highlights this unique community – the players of video games,” said Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – The German Games Industry Association, a co-organizer of gamescom.

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Gamescom 2024: Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Economic Minister Robert Habeck to Again Open World’s Largest Games Event

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Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck will attend the official opening of gamescom 2024. Koelnmesse and game – The German Games Industry Association announced that Germany’s cabinet member responsible for computer and video games will be present when the world’s biggest games event officially opens its doors on 21 August in Cologne. Habeck took part in the opening ceremony of gamescom last year as well, and on the following day viewed current developments and trends in the game industry during a guided tour of the event.

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