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2020 was a banner year for the gaming industry. Animal Crossing: New Horizons' islands became the most popular vacation destination and the famous Cyberpunk 2077 finally went live.

Even more exciting was the release of not one, not two, but three highly-anticipated devices – Nintendo Switch, Sony PS5 and Xbox X. The PS5 launched in mid-November and, in its first two weeks, became the biggest console release in history. And Xbox X has already sold more units than any other Microsoft console ever.

With this future-proof tech, the current game production process has envisioned new trends, with dozens of premium games getting a move on announcing their releases of next-gen consoles.

It has become apparent this past year that the gaming world is infinite and can follow through on the opportunities it promises to get people engaged. It’s exciting to watch the gaming industry transform, reeling in 3.1 billion gamers across the globe, and raising almost $175 billion in revenue as well as boosting momentum around this sector.

To keep gamers engaged, immersed in and driven by these virtual worlds, marketers need to shift their focus away from the notorious “clash of the consoles” to ensuring compatibility and cross-platform play. It’s becoming an essential part of how users perceive gaming.

If Travis Scott’s Astronomical concert in Fortnite showed us anything, it’s that the future is cross-entertainment, and that the hotly-debated ‘metaverse’ hints at its potential in more tangible ways. This presupposes new business models that allow game studios to monetize consumers across platforms, channels and fandoms, and draw synergies between them.

That is why more and more advertisers are joining the gaming trend, tapping into the worlds of video games and esports to reach a vast array of audiences. Non-endemic brands are forming successful collaborations with game influencers and organizing campaigns both in and out of video games, allocating sufficient sums to gain brand affinity among gamers. From Red Bull sponsoring the virtual F1 Spanish Grand Prix, to Gucci and Tennis Club outfit merchandise, and Riot Games allowing the first Mastercard in-game ad in its League of Legends – the creative potential of gaming seems limitless.

While gaming is here to stay, can you guess where it’s heading? What’s in it for studios and brands? How can they take advantage of the opportunities currently available in a timely manner?

In our inaugural ‘Anzu Talks’ live webinar series held on Tuesday April 27, Shawn Layden – former chairman of PlayStation Worldwide Studios for Sony Interactive Entertainment – will be joined by Anzu CEO and co-founder Itamar Benedy and Esportz Network podcaster and multimedia journalist Mitch Reames to discuss the future of gaming, and how the gaming market provides a perfect opportunity for game studios to generate new revenue streams. They'll also look at how brands can leverage this emerging media channel.

Click here to register your attendence.