VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / July 24, 2020 / “Brands have an opportunity to get real engagement – to encourage people to consider, to try, and to buy their products” explained Matthew Pierce, Founder and CEO of Versus Systems, a Los Angeles based video game software company that is reinventing the in-game-advertisement (IGA) industry. Versus, which currently trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE:VS) and on the OTCQB as “VRSSF”, integrates reward-based IGA techniques that allow gamers to win real-world prizes based on their performance in virtual games. The past decade has seen a massive shift in consumer brand engagement, and Versus is at the forefront of implementing advertising techniques that appeal to the emerging consumer through genuine engagement and accessibility.
The community of video gaming brings together “Billions of players contributing as participants and players in a massive interactive media market” Pierce informed. This interactive media market is rich with opportunities for brands to target audiences, however, brands that misbehave in the media market run the risk of losing their invitation. Pierce adds to this in stating that, “… the best brands know that they need to reach players and consumers where they are – inside games and stories and virtual worlds – and they have to do it without disrupting those experiences.” In a $100 billion industry with 3.6 billion users, brands that fail to take this advice into consideration by continuing to disrupt user experiences will be unlikely to make it to the next level.
The development of congruent advertising techniques that prevent disrupting user experience was birthed at O-Labs, an incubator of legal and software industry leaders based out of Los Angeles. Industry experts, including Pierce, collaborated to find a solution that would allow reward-based IGA to become a reality. We “… knew that we had to do something that kept the player in the center. We have to make the experience more fun for the consumer” recalled Pierce. Through a great deal of research around player behavior, including player surveys, and opt-in geotargeting, Versus tailors prizes to targeted audiences, ensuring relevance amongst gamers of varying demographics. Through this, brands who advertise with Versus gain genuine engagement from targeted audiences, and are regarded more favorably by the billions of members of the gaming community as a result.
Gen-Zers, who have “…a spending power of $143 billion and will account for about 40% of global consumers this year,” are quickly climbing the ranks as consumer powerhouses. 74% of Gen-Z spend their free time online, with 69% of Gen-Z finding ads to be disruptive. This shows that, despite all this time spent online, ads are not resonating with this audience, and are not experiencing their desired return-on-advertisements because of their disruptive nature. A recent Forbes article shared that, “The next generation has tremendous power to change the retail and business landscapes. This group has unique needs and beliefs, along with a huge size and large purchasing power. In coming years, Gen-Z will become a powerful force in marketing and customer experience.” Brands that are early to adapt their advertising material to appeal to Gen-Z will have a massive advantage in the emerging market.
Versus published a recent case-study highlighting their ability to attract and retain this emerging demographic. The study featured an auto racing game, who’s developers came to Versus to discover solutions to increase ongoing retention of younger players. Their desired goals were to “Increase session time and player retention to generate additional revenue.” The solution Versus provided was to create rewards-based challenges within the game that catered to the interests of the players. “We want people to play for things that they’re interested in. Adding challenges makes all of our prizes aspirational and exciting” Pierce informed. Successful players had the option to choose a prize from recognized brands including Burger King, Walmart, and Lowe’s. The results? A 44% increase in the retention of a younger fan base, 15 minutes of brand exposure per game, and over 50% of users opting to play for rewards. Data such as this provides measurable metrics of success for brands that implement reward-based advertising in their IGA campaigns.
In addition, Versus is developing software and devices that make gaming more accessible. Game developers can download a Versus 5-step SDK integration kit for mobile games compatible with unity, iOS, and Android. Their website shares that, “Our SDK can be integrated into any mobile game, allowing players to start redeeming branded rewards immediately. Integration is a simple 5-step process and includes customizable UI.” With 75% of Gen-Z using smartphones over desktop devices, it is imperative that advertisers appeal to them on their smartphones. Versus also recently partnered with HP to develop the OMEN Command Centre, which is described to users as, “Your setup. Your victory. Your way. Customize, train, and win everywhere with your new gaming dashboard.” This device is the product of years of collaboration between Versus and HP, allowing gamers to bank their virtual victories within the device for future real-world redemptions.
The future of reward-based IGA is budding with opportunity, especially for industry leaders and early adaptors like Versus. “I love the storytelling, the challenge, the fact that it’s so social,” Pierce pointed out in regard to gaming, “I love so many of the communities that are built around games.” Pierce’s love for the gaming experience is evident in the care that him and the team at Versus dedicate to ensuring that gamers are disruption-free when playing, yet still exposed to advertisements that make the world of gaming possible. “As a business,” Pierce expanded, “it’s great to see the growth of gaming globally, and the demographics changing and evolving as more and more people play.” As emerging consumers begin to flex their economic power, Versus is providing advertisers with the proper platforms to share their stories in a developing online media market.
SOURCE: Versus Systems
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