Guest column | 2019: Hand in hand, gaming and brands

Having spent the last decade in creating and packaging content, working with some of the top most creators from Bollywood , Music and Comedy, there is one thing that I know for sure – the power of original content. The last year has been an eventful and insightful one for us at CHNO Media ,collaborating with brands and creators to bring innovations in the gaming industry. While in India, the momentum around gaming content has just begun, there’s so much that has happened internationally (gaming being a slightly more evolved market in Chinese, American and European Sectors ). As the quantity of sponsorship deals by both endemic and non-endemic brands grew multi-fold, what’s interesting is the type of innovations brands have made to associate with games and gamers. Here’s my list of favourite 10 most interesting gaming content pieces, integrations or IP’s: >Taking a look at the most amazing gaming content and marketing innovations this year that happened internationally , let me give a high five to the entire Auto sector recognising the power of gaming and getting associated with gaming brands. All the major manufacturing brands have realised the best way to make early impression with fans who may not have developed loyalty to any other manufacturer is to associate with esports and gaming. Team Liquid announced its deal with Honda with a new series of branded content , titled “Level Up”. >Nissan drove in with the announcement that they were sponsoring OpTic and Faze and in turn the teams will produce video content around esports and its respective players. >According to Youtube rewind, Minecraft became the most watched game across the world and it celebrated its 10th anniversary by bringing in PewDiePie back to the game for the first time in years. PewDiePie was pivotal in pushing Minecraft forward into a landmark year in what’s been an iconic decade for the game. The game’s increased viewership went hand-in-hand with PewDiePie’s decision to return to Minecraft in June of this year. >Amongst the creator led branded content deals, Epic Games collaborated with family-based gaming channel FGTeeV to create a branded content piece  about its award-winning title World of Goo, which received over 6.5 million views. >Ubisoft, who teamed up with YouTuber MassiveG to create an interesting gameplay video for Ghost Recon.  This is a brave marketing strategy to sponsor a video on another game. However the thought behind this was to capture the Fortnite FANS and it worked for the publisher with over 2. 4 million views. >Moving into the big IP’s of the year, two of the biggest gaming lead IP’s were the League of Legends World championship on YouTube and Mixer followed by the The Free Fire world championship on YouTube . >Nike made their move with their sponsorship of the LPL (League of Legends Pro League) on a four year agreement. This deal involved all of the players, coaches, managers and referees wearing exclusively Nike gear on game days. The LPL is the premier League of Legends tournament in China, so it marries nicely with Nike. >The popular esports organisation CLOUD9 also announced that they were partnering up with BMW, the German car manufacturer and with PUMA.  PUMA became the official apparel and game day trousers and shoes provider of Cloud9’s LCS team. >Apple TV+ released its series Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, the video game spoof series which tracks game developers as they “navigate the challenges” of running a major video game. They also announced the second season of it even before the release of the first season – Power of knowing your audience. >The biggest innovation of the year which changed how we consume games, the Fortnite Finale with an in game concert. Millions of people  tuned into a concert by DJ Marshmello in the wildly popular Fortnite. Marshmello who is an electronic music producer and DJ performed live in the game in a virtual reality spectacle that was lauded by fans. Footage of the performance posted on social media showed in-game avatars dancing enthusiastically throughout the 10-minute show, in which weapons were disabled. According to the game’s developer, Epic Games, it had more than 200 million registered users worldwide in November, making it the world’s most popular video game In a nutshell, With the explosive growth of the India gaming industry,  in comes a huge opportunity for brands and publishers to partner with creators and gaming communities to tap into everything BHARAT ! (This article has been contributed by CHNO founder Anshu Patni Singhi and AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views.)