Video game audiences have seen significant increases over the past few months, and new console releases aim to sustain this massive user base through the holidays. While the highly-anticipated launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S loom on the horizon, Facebook (via Oculus) and Nintendo are also delivering record console sales, providing video game publishers with an abundance of opportunities in targeting active gamers new or old.

COVID turned the world upside-down, and while many industries faltered, video games experienced a significant and ongoing boost, due in large part to lockdown limitations grounding folks at home. And it wasn’t just a boost in current gamers; many who had never gamed before now found themselves regularly incorporating gaming into routines—according to Deloitte, a total of 32% of US consumers tried a new digital activity during the pandemic, with both streaming and console game usage rising.

Coinciding with this influx in video game audiences come the holiday launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles. Already breaking sales records in preorders, we expect to see these powerful home consoles sustain gamer activity and audience momentum through the holidays. And with each company introducing subscription services (Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Sony’s PlayStation Plus), subscribers can remain active in the same game across multiple devices.

It’s not just Sony and Microsoft audiences that are growing—Nintendo’s Switch has been trying desperately to meet its excessive demand over the past few months, with holiday sales expected to soar. And Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has attained 5x the level of preorders over its last iteration, accessibly priced $100 cheaper than the previous model. The Quest 2’s reliance on a Facebook account is viewed as being an expansion of the social media platform itself, providing the groundwork for users to build immersive and interactive social VR gaming communities via the upcoming Facebook Horizon. Whether it evolves the social media platform or ends up being the next PlayStation Home remains to be seen, but Horizon’s robust interface is already amassing accolades, and the relatively affordable price could help drive VR gaming further into the mainstream.

Facebook’s Horizon Interface

With many in the video game industry remaining somewhat optimistic, eMarketer predicts natural industry slowdown as lockdowns inevitably subside, so video game companies, through new products and features, are pulling out all the stops on maintaining their current momentum as long as possible. We expect to see these active gamer audiences continue to contribute massive engagement numbers through the holidays and into the new year, providing digital marketers with plenty of opportunity.

For gaming marketers looking to capitalize on the increased online traffic, our audiences can provide necessary navigation across devices and platforms, ensuring messaging hits the most relevant game fans. We use social media engagements to create affinity-based audiences that can take campaigns beyond what basic data can provide. Audience targeting is crucial during this influx of online shoppers, and our social insights can help guide campaigns through the noise.  Give us a shout today and find out how our audiences help deliver the right crowds: audiences@affinityanswers.com.