The world has significantly changed now, all because of the virus that is COVID-19. There are many things that people are used to doing that they cannot do anymore. The simple act of leaving your home has now become a full step-by-step procedure. With many people at their homes, many have turned to their smartphones and computers to hang out online. Social media websites are always busy with activity, as this is the best way to catch up with friends and loved ones right now.
If you are working for a digital marketing agency, this would be a lucrative time because there is a big chance that one of your campaigns could get attention. There are a lot of eyes that are glued to the internet, and you have to get a slice of that pie. Even video games are getting into it. Holding virtual events seem to be the future where the world is headed. Will you be ready for that?
The Draw of Video Games
The draw of video games cannot be understated. It is the biggest form of entertainment, earning more than the movie industry. This means that a large population of the world, in one way or another, are playing. It initially appealed to tech enthusiasts, and the generations went by it slowly seeped into the mainstream. The variety of players has never been wider. Since video games are extremely popular, even non-gamers could somehow get exposure to what they can offer.
Gaming is a convergent industry. This is where even the biggest personalities from the realms of music get to work on big projects. If you want to cite examples, just turn to the different genres of games. Sports titles are home to licensed soundtracks. The biggest AAA event games employ the best voice actors and motion-capture artists. Occasionally, they even get established Hollywood names to contribute.
Keanu Reeves is the latest to jump aboard, with his likeness and voice being used in the first-person RPG Cyberpunk 2077. Veteran composer Harry Gregson-Williams has lent his talent and created musical scores for some of the biggest game franchises around — Metal Gear Solid and Call of Duty. The pedigree is there, and people are paying attention.
In-game advertising has been an old practice. You see them show up even in the games of yesteryear. But how does it relate to the future trend of video games holding virtual events? Players allow themselves to get immersed into the fantasy world presented by what they are playing. When they see an advertisement in the game, it is admittedly jarring especially if its execution is really out of place.
There are game titles where advertisements can fit well, mostly on sports titles. Seeing your favorite brand of soda or chips along with your avatar on-screen is like reaching out to the outside world when you have become so invested in the virtual one. You are appreciating and acknowledging the existence of what you are seeing, but at the same time, you just want to stay and play the game. A virtual event takes that idea further to another level.
The Pandemic Factor
The end of 2019 inconspicuously introduced to the world something it was not prepared for — a pandemic. At the tail end of that year, the WHO confirmed that is has been receiving reports of a rising number of pneumonia patients from Wuhan, China. It was initially unknown what caused the cases to escalate to this serious respiratory condition, but it was later determined to be a new strain of coronavirus. The virus spread so fast that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, governments all over the world have implemented drastic measures to control it.
Starting in the second quarter of 2020, many people have stayed at home to prevent spreading or acquiring COVID-19. The world seems to have taken solace in spending time online. The cyberspace has also contributed a lot in terms of keeping a lot of things moving along. Many employees were allowed to work remotely, and schools were conducting lessons via video conferencing. The pandemic is a big factor in why the spotlight is now being pointed at the internet and its versatility.
Virtual Events: The Present and the Future
Just recently, the online battle royale game Fortnite garnered buzz because it has held virtual events in-game. These involved big names in entertainment. Rap music fans had a treat watching him hold a concert in the game world. For the movie buffs, they were the first to see a trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s latest movie, Tenet. This can change how players behave
Where before they are able to jump in anytime whenever they feel like fragging other players, these scheduled events make the game a new kind of social and marketing platform. The hype it generates draws in new people, and the personalities who wish to promote their latest work here are assured of a large audience because of the game’s loyal following.
Virtual events do not have to be limited to just video games. Fortnite definitely is ahead of everyone else with this idea, as it is now on almost all gaming platforms. While the system requirements for its PC version are attainable, its mobile version requires a capable smartphone. In addition to that, it is currently embroiled in a conflict that involves the two main storefronts, Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store.
It would be nice to see another program dedicated to hosting virtual events with a more accessible interface and something you can run on more affordable hardware. On the other hand, while expensive, virtual reality or VR could be the pinnacle platform for holding these events. It would be hard to beat its immersion factor, as no other hardware will make you feel like you are really inside a fantasy world.
Until a vaccine for COVID-19 is created, no one knows for sure when things will go back to normal, or if it ever will. The internet has taught us that the world can still move on, you just need a little creativity to pull it off. It gives people a new avenue for entertaining events, and this is something worth getting excited and happy about.