Fandom’s 2022 State of Gaming Study
Study Uncovers Gamers Negative Perception on NFTs; Consumer Buzz Around the Metaverse; Truth on Subscription and Bundling; and Key Drivers for eSports
San Francisco, CA – September 12, 2022 – Fandom, the world’s largest fan platform, unveiled its 2022 State of Gaming report, diving into the hottest topics, trends and issues facing the gaming industry including NFTs, Metaverse, Subscriptions & Bundles and Competitive Gaming. Fandom is home to 115 million highly engaged gaming fans across 17 million pages of content within over 100,000 gaming communities. By coupling Fandom’s robust, proprietary data with a custom global study, Fandom puts the biggest topics in the gaming industry to the test by examining real consumer behaviors and the true fan POV.
Key findings in the study reveal that gaming consumers have a negative perception and distrust of NFTs, with only 7% think it’s an important part of the gaming landscape. Unlike streaming consumers, less than half of the gaming consumers see value in subscription and bundling. There is an industry misconception on gamers and the metaverse. Brands need to meet fans where they are – on specific games and platforms like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox – and create smart branded environments that add to the fan’s experience in a meaningful way. And the gaming community’s interest in eSports is growing, with 61% of consumers interested in competitive gaming content beyond just tournaments and livestreams.
State of Gaming: NFT’s – Click Here For Executive Summary
Fandom’s State of Gaming: NFTs uncovers a considerable disconnect between what the industry, brands and marketers think is important to gaming fans concerning NFTs – and what consumers really want.
- Overall, NFTs have an overwhelmingly unpopular perception among gamers, with the vast majority finding them not necessary whatsoever. In fact, only 7% of consumers think NFTs are an important part of the gaming landscape.
- Additionally, only 13% are interested in their evolution in gaming or find them to be an interesting incentive for community involvement.
- The majority (72%) have a very negative perception around NFTs because they are:
- Unwise investments monetarily (46%)
Unknown risks (i.e. long-term value, buying/selling potential, unverified assets etc.) (40%)
- Still too new of a concept (35%)
- Unwise investments monetarily (46%)
- There’s also a significant knowledge gap – only 67% of consumers have either a basic or no understanding of NFTs and only 9% of gamers own NFTs.
- Only 13% of gamers claim that NFTs and other blockchain technology will springboard innovation in the gaming space, and 88% claim that being able to pay-to-win in any capacity is bad for the player.
- But – once users were presented with the potential benefits of NFTs in the gaming space without the NFT label associated with them, perception shifted. Fans told us they are most interested in the following opportunities that NFTs in gaming could provide:
- Players being able to create their own items accessible to all players in-game (47%)
- Being able to earn unique items that you can use in-game (37%)
- Having items transferable in between games (32%)
STATE OF GAMING: METAVERSE – Click Here For Executive Summary
Fandom’s State of Gaming: Metaverse uncovers several misconceptions of the metaverse, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of how advertisers and brands have traditionally played in this space versus how consumers really want them to show up.
- Fans claim that the metaverse positively impacts real-life skills such as:
- Creativity (67%)
- Self Expressions (50%)
- Social Skills (48%)
- Players are spending more time gaming in the metaverse than ever before – but the metaverse is not as far reaching as it seems.
- Players spend most of their time exploring a game’s metaverse for which they are already familiar; they tend not to venture into a metaverse without a previous relationship or connection.
- While the concept of the metaverse isn’t new, it has increased in attention because of adjacent advancements in technology like Web3, as well as pandemic-triggered digital adoption and coverage in the mainstream media.
- For those who do play in the metaverse, the top reasons why include:
- Explore worlds with which they’re mostly familiar (72%)
- Compete with other gamers (45%)
- Connect socially with other gamers (41%)
- Control and ownership (39%)
- Still, brand integration trails behind other consumer interests in the metaverse:
- 54% of players are excited to see the metaverse evolve
- Only 33% expect to see real-life brands have a presence in the metaverse
- Only 28% claim that brands having items in the metaverse would change their perception in real life
- Players are much more excited about the potential for creator-led content in metaverse spaces vs. advertiser funded content
- 30% are excited about content funded by advertisers vs. 64% excited about content created by other players (User generated content)
- So while there is a lot of excitement and positive sentiment around gaming in metaverse environments – brand involvement must be player-led to be successful
- Where then can brands make their mark? The majority of consumers (72%) are open to using the metaverse for non-gaming experiences and activities, including:
- Socializing with others (37%)
- Watching TV and Movies (35%)
- Listening to and watching concerts (26%)
- Shopping (17%)
- Celebrity meet-and-greets (13%)
- Sporting events (9%)
- Ultimately, 76% of fans say they have played games in the metaverse, with 48% having spent more time gaming in the metaverse than they have in the past.
STATE OF GAMING: SUBSCRIPTIONS & BUNDLES – Click Here For Executive Summary
Fandom’s State of Gaming: Subscriptions & Bundles report addresses how the fragmented market across subscription-based offers and gaming bundles has caused confusion and dissatisfaction among players, ultimately leading them to not see the value of gaming subscriptions – a major blocker for mass adoption.
- Despite the spike in bundles and new subscription offers, less than half of consumers (41%) see the value in these types of offerings. This is different to streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and others where content library and original programming are the key indicators for subscription.
- Similar to streaming services, players are getting fatigued with all the options in the marketplace, with 53% confused by all of the various subscriptions and bundles that are available for gaming.
- As a result, the majority of consumers (57%) believe that gaming subscriptions are not conducive to the way they play games:
- 30% of players only like a handful of games
- 25% don’t play enough games to warrant a subscription
- 14% say there currently isn’t a single service that has offers all the games they want to play
- Only 30% of consumers subscribe to a gaming subscription service with the current leaders:
- Xbox Game Pass (53% of those who subscribe to a service)
- Nintendo Switch Online (44% of those who subscribe to a service)
- Playstation (21% of those who subscribe to a service)
- 42% of consumers would consider subscribing to a service if they were given incentives such as:
- Accumulate points for free games (58%)
- Receive discounts on digital purchases (48%)
- Earn points for in-game purchases (46%)
- To help justify the cost, 73% of gamers are open to bundling their gaming subscription with another service (i.e. entertainment, fashion, meal etc.) – yet players are 33% more likely to want to bundle with an entertainment subscription service as opposed to another gaming service.
STATE OF GAMING: COMPETITIVE GAMING – Click Here For Executive Summary
Fandom’s State of Gaming: Competitive Gaming report addresses how enhanced gameplay and connecting with the community are the leading reasons why fans turn to competitive gaming and esports.
- 40% of the people surveyed watch competitive gaming content in some capacity.
- Of those that watch, the leading ways fans interact are:
- Live streams (69%)
- Tournaments (57%)
- Yet, 61% of consumers are interested in competitive gaming content beyond just tournaments and livestreams:
- Post Match Breakdowns (57%)
player breakdown (54%)
- Pro-player interviews (41%)
- Influencer Co-streams (40%)
- But what is the leading motivation for people turning to competitive gaming/esports in the first place? Leading reason are
- Perfecting their own skill (65%)
- Community (53%)
- As a result, 78% of fans are more likely to follow genres that they actually play, prioritizing interests for specific games (66%) over streamers (34%) and teams (17%).
- Surprisingly, first-person shooter & fighting genres lead the fan-favorite gaming category, with battle royale coming in third. According to fans, top competitive gaming genres are:
- First-Person Shooter (i.e. Rainbow Six, Counter Strike, COD etc. (48%)
- Fighting (i.e. Street Fighter, Tekken, Super Smash Bros.) (36%)
- Battle Royale (i.e. Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legend) (36%)
- 90% of gamers claim that game content is a crucial part of game play.
- Knowing that players are leaning into esports and competitive gaming as a way to become a better gamer, what other content is important to their game play? Players rank:
- Guides (90%) and Character Lore & Tips & Tricks (87%) videos are most important to improving their own gameplay
- Players rank streamers (77%) and live streams (66%) the least important game content
The 2022 State of Gaming report identifies macro-level entertainment patterns and trends based on a survey of 15,000 Global Fandom users. These insights were validated and deepened through Fandom’s robust user data – more than 300 million monthly unique visitors, 40 million pages of content across 250,000 wikis – and qualitative and quantitative insights from Fandom’s proprietary fan panel. This methodology provides a 360-degree view of what’s happening in the gaming landscape through the eyes of Fandom.
The 2022 State of Gaming was fielded July 1st -7th, 2022; key findings are based on global data.
Fandom is the world’s largest fan platform where fans immerse themselves in imagined worlds across entertainment and gaming. Reaching more than 300 million unique visitors per month and hosting more than 250,000 wikis, Fandom.com is the #1 source for in-depth information on pop culture, gaming, TV and film, where fans learn about and celebrate their favorite fandoms. Fandom’s Gaming division manages the online video game retailer Fanatical. Fandom Productions, the content arm of Fandom, enhances the fan experience through curated editorial coverage and branded content, its Emmy-nominated Honest Trailers and the weekly video news program The Loop. For more information follow @getfandom or visit: www.fandom.com.