It is massive and is growing exponentially every year.
It is massive and is growing exponentially every year. Just look at eSports and the success of mobile games: these are both incredibly popular, profitable industries that continue to evolve as technology advances.
But there is one type of gaming that may not immediately spring to mind, the type of multiplayer game that not only brings people together in physical environments but also harnesses their competitive spirit by allowing them to collaborate and compete against others while making real memories and sharing the whole thing on social media. Now is the perfect time to take notice of this rapidly developing field. In today’s post I will discuss what “social gaming” is and explore why it could be the future of your night out.
We went in deep into learning about the social gaming landscape in more detail when serial entrepreneur and founder Tim Wilks reached out with two exciting projects for us; An elevated rebrand for Lane7 (adult-focused social gaming) and a new brand creation of Level X (a family orientated social gaming).
By social gaming I mean – a virtual or physical game that is played within a dedicated space with a group of people, usually supported by an onsite bar or restaurant and an opportunity to extend to play other multiple games. These venues are the perfect all-in-one, where the notion of time disappears, there’s something to discover for everyone and typically a few hours are locked in for everyone to enjoy.
We could see from the beginning of the projects that the UK was falling behind countries like Japan or the US in the upkeep of social entertainment trends and tech. While major UK locations like London, Manchester and Birmingham have paved some way for social entertainment, it really is still in its infancy. I predict that it won’t be long until we start to see offerings like Lane7 and Level X spreading across the country to more rural locations.
I anticipate this industry to grow and is grounded in a few things, firstly as a Millennial myself I share the collective desire of my generation to remain in touch with our inner child. We don’t perceive growing up like our parents and want to retain that childlike sense of enjoyment. Why does play have to stop once we have more responsibilities? Along with the exposure of the global crisis, a place to escape for a few hours and forget is very much appealing.
I am eagerly anticipating the merge of interior, technology and games, getting stronger and becoming more experimental, heightening the possibilities of fun and social connection in a whole new way. This desire has boiled up even more since being deprived of social bonding due to the pandemic.
Along with the amount of personal data consumers choose to share with outlets such as Lane7 in the future, I see the social gaming offering becoming more personalised and niched into an experience that’s particularly targeted at the preferences of an individual or a whole group.
Think bespoke offers and bespoke nights all automized on preferences, or experiences continuing even once you’ve left the venue.
With multiple social games on offer in one space there will be an opportunity for low and no alcohol-consuming Millennials and Gen Z’s to really immerse themselves in the entertainment for the whole evening, removing the need to move to new locations and providing multiple opportunities to complete, play and share drinks and meals. But remember you still will need to create new news be that in events, food offering or new games.
Another learning and prediction I have taken away from our work with Lane7 and Level X is the expectation of quality from consumers. A premium and well-executed interior will keep consumers coming back, whilst businesses that struggle to keep seamless, high quality service and experience will become stale against providers such as Lane7. Consumers expect a high level of tech, outstanding finishes, seamless experience from booking through to the end of their night.
The smooth running of the space is equally as important, visitors won’t forgive technical glitches that interrupt the experience and especially when immediate gratification is expected.
At KISS we see every project as a new opportunity to learn and apply this knowledge across other categories, it is a powerful tool for us and our clients to stay ahead of the curve. So get ready to see more of these multi-use sensorial spaces hitting the high streets, most likely replacing retail venues in the high street. The use of technology and experiences in these spaces open up insights into product placement, immersive experiences and how other brands could tie IRL experience with the multiverse including the evolution of AI learning mixed with personal data could elevate social moments in the future.
If you fancy chatting about how our experience could spark future ideas for your brand do feel free to slide into our DMs! Smile and remember to KISS (keep it simple stupid).