Graphic by K8 Strassman

Gen Z Can’t Get Enough Gamification

Gen Z is the momentum generation. They are never satisfied with the status quo or the way things have been done. They are in a constant state of evolution — taking nothing at face value and never satisfied with leaving something the same for a long period of time.

To keep themselves stimulated, engaged, connected and in a constant state of transformation, they’ve turned everything into a game.

Just when you thought it couldn’t go higher, momentum for Video Games rose from an MFactor of 62 in February 2021 to a 76 this week. Even Deloitte is starting to catch on. Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Media Trends survey shows gaming (video games + esports) is Gen Z’s favorite form of entertainment. What their study didn’t show: Gen Z is fueling momentum for “gamification” across all areas of their lives — not just video games.

THE TAKEAWAY

Brands and businesses that want to win over Gen Z need to meet them where they are and lean into what captures their attention. They are a multi-hyphenate group and their interests are ever changing. Understanding why Gen Z finds gaming so entertaining brings you closer to understanding what they value:

  • Gaming requires active engagement — Gen Z doesn’t care for passive couch surfing or movie watching
  • Their favorite games are becoming increasingly more mobile & on the go — they can play wherever they are, not just where they have a TV and console
  • Gaming is becoming increasingly more social — connecting them with friends old & new
  • The ever evolving, fast paced nature of video games suits Gen Z’s need for constant stimulation
  • They get to be in control: customizing what’s on screen & personalizing the experience

The Decode

Roblox, a gaming platform and app that offers players a broad array of user-created games and events, is surging in momentum and popularity because it is challenging traditional video games.

Roblox has 32.6 million daily active users, a majority of which are under age 13 — that’s nearly double the 2019 average of 17.6 million users.

Why is Gen Z so engaged?

Rob Kostich, president of Activision Publishing and the head of the Call of Duty franchise says: “We started announcing cross-progression, crossplay, new season pass, changing our monetization system. The big thing we wanted to do was get the community together and get them having fun. Now it’s become the focal point, the central point, the welcome mat if you will for the franchise as we go forward.

Why is Xbox the Gen Z console of choice?

What is PlayStation doing to compete?

Immensely popular streamer Valkryae has made a name for herself in the video game / streaming world that has been long dominated by men. By opening up and being authentic to her audience, Valkryae has attracted legions of Gen-Z fans that tune into her streams daily.

For context: “Rae is the fastest growing live streamer in the entire world, and now the biggest female gaming streamer in the world” according to Stream Hatchet.

  • In March 2020, over 650,000 fans viewed her playing the space-cartoon multiplayer game Among Us.
  • Now she’s a company executive — this week she was named as one of six owners of 100 Thieves, the e-sports team juggernaut and lifestyle brand in Los Angeles.

What draws Gen Z to watch Valkyrae?

Unlike traditional sports, Esports is an all-inclusive sport, as it also appeals to those with disabilities and allows everyone to compete on the same level. Esports allow for the ability to field larger, diverse teams that open opportunities for many to make strong connections with people they would have otherwise never met.

ON THE DOWN

Gen Z + TV (…or any show that’s not Marvel)

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M