Reach today’s video gamers on a whole new level

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

Man and woman playing gaming console

Video games have come a long way since the days of Ms. Pac-Man out-maneuvering pesky ghosts. Nearly 161 million people1 in EMEA call themselves gamers today, including diverse audiences from hardcore esports athletes streaming their every move, to parents (and grandparents) tending to their virtual farms on their phones.

Gaming is no longer a niche hobby. The pandemic has only accelerated play, with 10 million new gamers picking up the controller in the past year2. As we long for human interaction, games have proven to be an invaluable source of connection driven by console and mobile innovations that bring people together and give brands new opportunities to reach engaged audiences. Live music venues may be closed, but Diplo can still show up for an impromptu concert in Fortnite.  


Gaming is big, diverse and growing.

Visualising the pandemic’s influence on gaming:

  • 10 million new players across EMEA (+7% YoY)3
  • 400 million mobile game downloads in March 2020 worldwide (most in one month since 2014)4
  • 31 million units sold of Animal Crossing worldwide (⅓ in its first 12 days of release)5

With the launch of next-generation, cloud-based gaming makes gameplay even more accessible. Whether it’s the chance to play friends across platforms on Fortnite or multiplayer gaming across mobile, desktop and console on Xbox Live, there is more choice and opportunities for camaraderie than ever before. These consumer-friendly experiences, not to mention the innovation on the horizon with 5G and immersive AR that will allow for console-level graphics on any device, as well as almost-zero lag and always-on connectivity wherever you are, give brands a wider range of options to connect with consumers as they make entertainment choices.

Reaching the growing audience of gamers starts by understanding who’s at the other end of the controller. We’ve identified four main types of gamer, differentiated by the devices they play on and the depth of their involvement.


Who are today’s gamers?

Types of gamers


GWI insights show that casual gamers, who commonly play games on a mobile device, are the only audience segment with a majority of the player-base being female (53% across EMEA). Younger female gamers (16-34) are more likely to play (video) games to relax or to relieve stress (48% vs 43% of all adults). This audience is also +25% more likely to use gaming for socialising vs all adults (29% have played an online game with their real-life friends).

44% of console gamers have kids, and this device will often become the entertainment hub of the home and family, not only used for gaming, but also watching content.

PC gamers are the oldest with 61% over 35, male skewed (68%), affluent and in the market for car, property and major tech products. They are driven by wanting to be part of a community and get a sense of achievement.

Streamers and competitive gamers are the youngest gamers audience, mostly made up of Gen Z and millenials (64%). They are motivated by being part of a community and immersing themselves in a new world (3x likely to talk about games online, 4x likely to have a VR headset).

Brands can leverage this data and the complexity of gaming universes to reach nearly every audience imaginable. With 57% of EMEA gamers playing on mobile6, brands can create meaningful content experiences both in and around the game.


Connecting with gamers

Through in-game advertising, brands can reach audiences at scale through a range of display formats and strategic placements that increase awareness. With so many consumers turning to games for connection, smart brands find ways to become interactive, like the games themselves. Like we’ve seen with sensations such as Pokemon Go, using game mechanics to inspire real-world actions is a great way to incentivise players along quests in outdoor environments or digital arenas.

Racing game Verizon Media advert


“We can bring gamification to a whole host of brand activities, and also bring brands into the world of gaming.” - Monica Majumdar, Head of Strategy, Verizon Media


Verizon Media is uniquely positioned to help brands develop cutting-edge content and ad experiences. We reach over 92 million gamers7 in EMEA across our digital properties, and each of the 2 billion data signals8 we receive every day help tell a story that you turn can into action. Our DSP includes inventory from a variety of mobile, PC and console games, and our innovative in-house creative team at RYOT Studio has developed gamified campaigns and console partnerships for some of the biggest global brands. We’re also helping brands become major players with esports audiences, creating next level content formats designed specifically for streamers.

And with Xbox as part of the Verizon Media ecosystem, we have access to over 14M monthly active users across EMEA9 and 50% of them are over 3510. We know gamers because we see gamers log in every day as they journey across Verizon Media platforms to play, research, and buy gaming content with millions of fellow enthusiasts.

Now is the time to level up your brand and start getting in the game with millions of players. We know what it takes, and we’ve assembled a team of experts from Verizon Media and a network of gaming solution partners to go even deeper with insights and strategies to reach this growing audience. We call it ‘Level up your brand’, and you can watch the full webinar on-demand.

Watch on-demand


1. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019

2. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019

3. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019

4. Source: App Annie, mobile game downloads (IOS & Android) EU5+Nordics

5. Source: Nintendo Co, LTD 2020 Financial Report - Feb 2021

6. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019

7. Source: Verizon Media, Internal data

8. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019

9. Source : Global World Index, Q1 & Q3 2020

10. Source: Global Web Index - Played a video game on any device - EU5+Nordics Q4 2020 vs Q4 2019