Users of ByteDance’s hit social networking app TikTok proved to be passionate about gaming in 2022, with gaming-related videos racking up more than three trillion views according to the company’s Gaming Trend report.
The report delves into the app’s gaming fanbase to examine different ways that it’s used to drive engagement. Of particular interest is the GameEdit trend, where gamers on the app are “leveraging their own creative skills to share fan edits that drum up hype and awareness for the characters and titles they love”. The report notes that fandoms on TikTok “aren’t satisfied with passively consuming content from their favourite forms of entertainment.” These videos have led to one in three TikTok users searching for more information from a product or brand after seeing videos related to them shared by TikTok users.
Genshin Impact proved to be particularly a popular source of content, with videos tagged as #GenshinEdit receiving 4.1 billion views over the course of the year.
78% of users worldwide agree that it’s okay for brands to experiment with new ways of creating content, and the same percentage state that the best brands on the site are those that “help users make creating and sharing videos fun”. To this end, brands are taking advantage of TikTok programs such as voice filters and AR effects to help bridge the gap between gaming and real-life scenarios. Additionally, some brands are utilising mascots and virtual characters to allow for users to create fun and organic content.
The power of fun
The report highlights the fact that gamers and developers on the platform are on a level playing field, allowing for connection and even sharing ideas. This allows developers to use the platform to meaningfully engage with fans, and game makers and brands alike “are finding success with playful, humorous content that shows they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
TikTok users worldwide are 1.4 times more likely to report higher purchasing intent thanks to humour in a product’s sponsored videos, highlighting the potential of this approach as opposed to simply reporting stats and figures.
Moreover, 75% of TikTok users agree that the platform offers them a sense of community by allowing them to find others who share their interests. In the games space, popular hashtags include #WomenInGaming (830 million views throughout the year), #GamerMom (169 million views), and #CozyGamer (687 million views).
A further 70% of users say that they feel a closer connection to fellow users on TikTok compared to other social media platforms.
The gaming lifestyle
The report notes the potential of TikTok’s ability to create and highlight new challenges and trends, extending a game’s life cycle and encouraging players to revisit it after completing the story. #Nuzlocke - a popular form of Pokémon challenge that imposes a series of fan-made rules - saw 287 million views, while games tagged #Speedrun saw a massive 5.3 billion.
Finally, the report examines gaming as a lifestyle or aesthetic in its own right, as opposed to simply an activity. Users are interested in seeing a “behind the scenes” look and getting a glimpse at the gaming rituals, setups, and personal stories of creators. TikTok also highlights the potential that this shift in attitude has in unlocking new crossover opportunities with other interests as diverse as fashion, home decor, and even food. This could potentially let game makers identify trends in the fanbase and open the door for official collaborations, such as branded content.
We listed TikTok parent company ByteDance as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022. We’ll be unveiling our list for 2023 in the coming months.