Forget the metaverse, the drum explores how gaming is the real advertising opportunity

The 3 billion gamers worldwide are spread over millions of games that meet every need on almost every device imaginable. Meanwhile, in the shadows, brands jealously covet the attention, the dwell time and the interactivity of these spaces… Ads are coming, but will gamers accept them? The deep dive of drum games advertising explores.

Our Deep Dive metaverse earlier this year showed that marketers are excited about the possibility of advertising in immersive digital worlds and spaces. It’s been lost on many that these wondrous feats are already possible in video games – technically. Many marketers use “metaverse” as shorthand for “game” and it does a serious disservice to an industry which, I shouldn’t remind you, is the largest entertainment medium in the world. So why is “game” such a dirty word?

Maybe “metaverse” is the buzzword that will spark the gaming gold rush and we should live with it. Or perhaps, at the boardroom level, marketers were burned by the game when they first experienced it in the pixel age. Or, even worse, they think it’s a niche nerd thing decades after that belief should have been dispelled.

Either way, instead of looking ahead and speculating, The Drum is here to celebrate and explore the opportunities in the game. We’ve rounded up the best and the brightest in the industry to help you chart your way through this space.

And don’t rest on your laurels – a recent study found that 93% of media buyers plan to buy in-game ads by 2025. That’s great, and probably the right decision. But I have it all figured out that there’s a vast chasm of knowledge here and a whole host of assumptions to dispel, so it’s my immense pleasure to task The Drum’s editorial team to do just that in the coming week (and beyond).

So let’s explain the industry (minus the jargon and spin). And with that in mind, if you’re at the start of your in-game ad journey (and there’s absolutely no shame in that), let me start with my in-game ad cheat sheet.

And finally, here is just a small taste of what you will get from Deep Dive:

  • How to buy in-game ads

  • Media agencies explain how they’re reorganizing to buy in-game ads

  • Lego game brand building strategy

  • A guide to recruiting gaming talent

  • Lessons consoles need to learn from mobile when introducing ads

  • The resurgence of advergames (games created by advertisers)

  • Biggest in-game ad fails

  • Why You Shouldn’t Call James Whatley’s Game ‘The Metaverse’

  • An explainer of the 2022 esports opportunity

For more on all the different ways brands can advertise in games, from virtual billboards to product placements, social lenses and even their own games, check out The Drum’s Gaming Advertising Deep. Dive.

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