The 2021 E3 conference again highlighted the impact video games have on entertainment and culture. Fans eagerly awaited the release of many new installments of popular franchises. For brands looking to connect with an audience of over 2.8 billion video game players worldwide, opportunities exist in the television and film franchises that are more regularly becoming extensions of the gaming world. As recently as April of this year, Mortal Kombat became the highest grossing R-rated movie of the pandemic earning $22.5M in its opening weekend as gamers rushed to enjoy their favorite characters in theaters and on HBO Max.

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BEN Takeaways

Growing Franchise Alignment
Video games have long influenced the entertainment industry and vice versa. This trend is only increasing with the latest examples coming from crossovers like the newly announced Pirates of the Caribbean expansion, Sea of Thieves or Ubisoft’s movie tie-in, Avatar: Frontier of Pandora. What’s more, we are seeing an increase of TV shows and movies picking up their storylines from video games. The hit Netflix series, The Witcher and the Spring film release of Mortal Kombat are just two recent examples of studios connecting with built-in fanbases.

A Commitment To Diversity
Understanding that diversity in the creator space matters and is particularly important in order to deliver experiences that resonate with different audiences, game developer Take-Two Interactive spoke specifically about the importance of encouraging diversity within their hiring to grow their ability to build characters and content that better connects with all players.

Games As Virtual Travelogues
Whether players want to traverse Mexico (Forza Horizon 5), snowboard the best mountains (Shredders), or explore long feared landscapes (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl), new releases show a commitment to offering players a view of the world in another year where international travel is likely to be limited.

Video game playing has become a pervasive pastime worldwide with the number of players only continuing to grow. 2021 is seeing the number grow by 4.5% and projections from gaming research company Newzoo see additional growth of 5% in 2022 and another 4% in 2023. With the world topping 3B gamers in a mere 2 years, it’s clear that video game play is driving culture in all areas of entertainment.