Web 2.0 has fast emerged as one of the key propellers of the uprising creator economy. The avenues that internet-based consumer tech companies have been able to construct for content creators have enabled them to generate livelihoods out of it. The relatability and resonance with their followers are their superpowers, fueled by a vast variety of content that they are empowered with. The quantum of opportunities offered by social media and web 2.0 has decentralized the way brands reach out to their consumers. There is a noticeable diversity in the content that the internet reels out to more than 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide. Much of the content is written, photographed or filmed by ordinary people like ourselves.
With about 80 per cent of the world population owning smartphones and more than 50 million people considering themselves as content creators across the globe, the creator economy has matured from being only centred around YouTube. The emergence of multiple short video apps, easy access to the internet and smartphones acts as integral facilitators for creators to expand visibility, reach and enhance earning possibilities, something that businesses and creators mutually benefit from. Creator economy is in fact an apt synonym for passion economy. It is driven by passionate creators looking to make their hobby viable enough to earn a steady income.
The unconventional creator economy has in fact made its way to the most explosive entertainment sector- interactive gaming. Building an audience for an industry as dynamic as gaming requires these creators to generate content that instantly catches attention, has social cache attached and stands out, given the thousands of game streamers and influencers are joining the online world. The arrival of a large community of game makers and content creators is at the centre of the gaming creator economy which pulls out huge amounts of traction from an extremely diverse audience.
Users are hooked onto games more than other mainstream forms of entertainment which essentially translates into it being one of the most fertile grounds for such upcoming and even well-established content creators. With 3.24 billion gamers across the globe and gaming being one of the major community-first familiar sectors, the creator economy has boastfully gained momentum over the years. The high engagement levels on game reviews, live commentary, live streaming, product promotions are primary reasons for the creator economy infiltrating this sector. Not only that, but game makers are also showcasing their know-how as content creators and along the way leveraging storytelling or live streaming to discover ways to monetize their contributions and distribute better, which acts as a distinguishable competitive advantage.
Now that gaming is spearheading the entertainment sector, even ahead of cinema and music, the creator economy tends to lean onto it and emerge indisputable superstars on social media. The industry has created some really influential creators who have been significantly creating an impact on the communities they’ve built. In India as well, big-time influencers such as Tanmay Bhatt, Carry Minati, Samay Raina amongst others are dedicatedly contributing to the gaming universe with their quirky -relatable content. Emerging as gaming enthusiasts, these influencers have been able to make intriguing content that has spiked the interests of viewers and beget likeability. People are more inclined towards the aspect of commentary with the content they watch, which is probably why Takeshi’s castle never fails to ring a bell. It is therefore a symbiotic relationship between creators and the gaming industry, to attain their shared objective of entertaining, given everybody plays some game or the other, either regularly or sporadically.
Some of these influencers even emerge as real marketing assets for game studios and distributors. The heightened frequency of content and collective creativity that the creators are able to bring forth is becoming an integral method to amass millions of views. A constant flow of new content encourages traction and has a positive impact on an average game life cycle. Moreover, from a cost-effectiveness perspective- this community-driven lower-cost marketing outlet is attracting a natural network of family, friends and fans.
Tapping into this need for bringing in culturally authentic, relatable and regularized content in the languages that one uses in daily lives, WinZO has infused the social element that it naturally relates with. Creating avenues for creators to meaningfully generate content for their fandom, the platform empowers micro-influencers across regional languages. The incentivization model that WinZO offers to its 50,000+ strong young micro-influencer base has enabled unnoticed influencers and content creators to attain a massive following and reach the centre stage. The earning potential that the platform has to offer has proven to be an intrinsic motivating factor allowing them to evolve as entrepreneurs themselves. This also gives them a chance for shaping their influencer career graphs distinctly. Incentivization on each step of engagement has created an active and young community of influencers, coming from Tier II-Tier V Bharat.
Beyond the fact that creators view these engagements as a source of earning, this democratic way of creating content gives an opportunity for individuals to become a part of a community and is considered as a conduit for self-expression. Rapid disruptions and evolutions in the tech space inevitably drive constant innovation. Over three decades, gaming experiences are becoming richer, players are engaging more deeply in an ever-expanding range of game formats. This essentially leads to massive opportunities building in the gaming ecosystem and ancillary industries associated with it. The creator space is heating up and the gaming industry will be a major contributor to it, an overlap that is not possible to overlook.
The authors of this article are Saumya Singh Rathore and Paavan Nanda, Co-founders, WinZO, an Indian vernacular game tech company.