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3 Trending Games Brands Should Be Capitalizing On In 2024

As the advertiser engines start firing up in 2024, gaming continues to cement itself as a stand-alone vertical of interest for every brand…

3 Trending Games Brands Should Be Capitalizing On In 2024

As the advertiser engines start firing up in 2024, gaming continues to cement itself as a stand-alone vertical of interest for every brand looking to drive relevancy this year.

Whilst many brands and agencies are primed and ready to start experimenting with new audiences segments on new platforms with new creatives, staying ahead of gaming trends is essential for advertisers to capitalize on the potentially viral opportunities across this expansive sector.

Here at Overwolf we have the privilege of spotting these trends before anyone else, with over 41M monthly gamers using our game extensions as they play thousands of different AAA games. So, as we enter a brand new year, we wanted to share our standout picks of trending games and how you can capitalize as a brand or advertiser in 2024.

1. Lethal Company: A Viral Sensation Horror Game

The Lowdown:
Lethal Company is a bizarre low-budget horror survival game launched in November 2023, where players are on the hunt to scavenge abandoned moons to sell scrap to the “Company”. In the last 2 months it has captivated a massive audience, with daily players reaching a monumental 240K figure. What’s more, the game achieved a top spot among Steam’s highest-rated games of 2023, securing a 97.32% positive rating based on over 100,000 user reviews.

It is one of those surprise hit games that’s taken streaming and social media by storm. There are now hundreds of thousands of viral clips and reactions across TikTok, YouTube and Instagram that are capturing the screams, shouts and laughs of gamers as they play and explore the scary world with friends and strangers alike.

In short, it’s hilarious to play with friends, and makes extremely good viral content on social media, which is driving even more people to play.

How to Capitalize:
Part of the reason games like Lethal Company go viral is the open-source ability for fans to add “mods” (aka modifications) to the game that make it more fun to play, without the developers needing to do any heavy lifting.

Currently on Thunderstore, an Overwolf-hosted third-party app for Lethal Company mods, we can see how popular packs have been downloaded by gamers over 5M times — unprecedented numbers for any mainstream title.

The most innovative brands wanting to capitalize could reach out to popular mod creators and collaborate on new mod packs that could showcase your brand in a fun and entertaining way, and make it part of this viral experience. Imagine McDonald’s creating the “McMoon” mod pack, giving players an entirely new “map” peppered with McDonald’s branding and iconography to explore and discover with friends. Considering the viral potential of the game itself with thousands of clips shared daily across social media, it could be an incredible opportunity for viral organic brand awareness if done successfully.

Alternatively, advertisers and brands can run fully-compliant IAB ads on Thunderstore’s platform itself to reach these gamers via Overwolf Ads. There are hundreds of thousands of Lethal Company players using Thunderstore daily to manage the mods they’re using, and aligning your brand directly can be incredibly impactful if done in the right way.

2. The Finals: The Next Big Thing in Competitive Gaming

The Lowdown:
The Finals is quickly becoming a giant in the first-person-shooter genre. With a mix of graphics and gameplay similar to Fortnite and Valorant, it’s USP of sorts is that everything in the game is destructible. You play in teams of three, competing in a game show-like arena where you’ll collect cash and bank it to win. What sets The Finals apart is the ability to crash through buildings, blow things up with canisters, and witness UFO invasions, orbital lasers, or ramped-up destruction modes mid-game.

Since its launch, the game has garnered a massive following of around 4.1 million players, with a daily average of 922K players.

How to Capitalize:
One obvious route to target this new viral sensation would be reaching out to gaming influencers who are actively playing The Finals and producing content on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. In this way, you may be able to authentically integrate your brand into content that influencers are already making. It’s worth noting that avid gamers and gaming fans use ad blockers across most social platforms so any sort of paid pre-roll ads that bid on The Finals related content won’t see great results versus working directly with an influencer.

A sharper and more direct way to target The Finals player-base would be to use Overwolf’s app extensions that players are already using whilst they play the game. Millions of gamers (7.7M to be exact) already use an application called Outplayed that’s installed on their desktop to capture gameplay whilst they’re playing that they can then share with friends on social channels. What’s interesting here is that brands can actually serve IAB compliant ads directly on Outplayed’s app extension that gamers have open throughout their gaming sessions, allowing brands to reach gamers *whilst* they’re playing.

This sort of innovative “In-Play” advertising on Overwolf is already being used by global brands and agencies such as KFC, P&G, Intel, Red Bull, Monster Energy, WPP, Dentsu, Havas and more. For more information you can head here.

3. GTA 6: The World’s Most Long-Awaited Game Release

The Lowdown
The sixth instalment of the GTA franchise is set to drop in 2025, and the gaming community is exploding with excitement. The last edition (one of the most successful grossing games in history) dropped more than 10 years ago, and it has remained a constant topic of discussion of when the follow up would be here.

Finally, back in December 2023, the official trailer of GTA 6 was released and went viral immediately, garnering 165M+ views on YouTube alone! It’s safe to predict that when it drops officially, it will be one of the biggest game releases of the entire decade.

How to Capitalize:
Whilst the game won’t launch until 2025, there’s plenty of opportunity until then for brands to capitalize on the viral excitement by associate themselves with the title through content, memes, predictions and stunts.

Fashion brands could launch capsule collections inspired by the game. FMCG brands could work with established gaming influencers to bring credibility to any content they produce related to the game. The trick here is thinking outside the box, working with gamers that truly understand the nuances and getting creative.