Gaming today is big business – and continues to grow at pace. The global gaming market was valued at US$151.55bn in 2019 and is expected to reach a value of US$256.97bn by 2025, registering a CAGR of 9.17% over the forecast period (2020 – 2025).
With the outbreak of Covid-19, gaming has exploded. The March 2020 survey shows that video gamers in the United States reported that they spent 45% more time playing video games amid the quarantine than in the previous week. Esports is another emerging industry that manages to make more than a billion dollars a year. Now, since the pandemic, it has gained further traction. The increase in the first-time download of Twitch after the epidemic in March has risen to 14% in the USA and a staggering 41% in Italy.
So it all looks very healthy for the industry. But how does a growing gaming company attract and retain the best talent when there is so much competition?
106 Communications works with gaming and igaming companies globally to develop what’s known as their ‘employee offer’ and there are four things every company – whatever size – needs to get right.
An innovative value proposition
Last year, a thesis into ‘Talent Attraction in Swedish Gaming Industry’, two Masters students looked at Swedish gaming companies to try and find the secret sauce for attracting talent. Each company featured in the report tried to twist and turn to offer something innovative –
“We’re outside of Stockholm, so we offer a quality of life”
“We’re small and we pay really well”
“We all work from home, allowing far greater flexibility than competitors”
“We focus on unique high-end production”
“People are attracted by our founders”
“We offer interns a place to live as well as work”
“We offer retirement benefits!”
What was impressive about this is that these small, fast-growing companies knew that they had to find innovative value propositions for talent (the market has grown by nearly 200% in the last five years).
Real benefits – financial and non-financial
Of course, companies need offer a strong benefits package. For example, King boasts 10 employee benefits that would make most young developers green with envy. Tencent focuses on its all-hands meetings and parties, gyms, and environment. Activision pushes its medical benefits (after all, it is primarily North American).
But non-financial benefits such as flexible working, learning and development, working from home, or coaching and mentoring, are almost as important.
Clear purpose and values
Gaming has always attracted gamers and that won’t change. But employees are now looking to see how gaming companies are contributing into key issues such as employee wellbeing, diversity and sustainability – not simply with words, but actions.
This opens up the debate for gaming companies about their purpose. Entertainment has been important in a lockdown and gaming companies have benefited. But how does this translate into a wider benefit to society and connect with generations Y and Z, who are both colleagues and consumers?
Strong and supportive culture
When you’re all working from home, its important to replicate the culture that seemed so apparent in the fantastic offices you used to work in. It takes more than a ping pong table and an indoor slide. It requires leaders and managers to engage, support and listen to their people.
How do you answer the question, ‘what’s your culture like?’ when you can’t reference the office? Suddenly it’s down to how you treat and respect your colleagues, how you come together as a team and how authentic you can be in the workplace. Not how impressive your offices are!
Stress test your employee offer
The major disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis gives gaming companies a golden opportunity to reflect and come back stronger. Re-assessing your purpose, culture and employer value proposition will ensure it is fit for the post-lockdown Covid-19 world.
These are exactly the conversations we’ve been having with our gaming clients. We’ve helped one to understand what their values mean in a Covid-19 world and how they can use them to engage talent as well as colleagues. We’ve also scrutinised their purpose, to see how it stands up in a world where gaming is bringing much-needed entertainment to people in difficult circumstances.
If you’d like to explore your employee offer, get in touch with Henry@106comms.com He is the Founder of 106 Communications, an employee communications and engagement agency with a mission to improve the world of work.