At first glance, this article’s headline might make it seem that Bloomberg’s and WP’s investment into the gaming news sector marks the onset of “big media” into the increasingly popular and lucrative video games market. To me, this onset is more of an evolution. Will this change the gaming media landscape, PR’s approach, or the gaming-related content?
Large media companies have been investing into this industry for years, owning some top-tier gaming sites such as GameSpot - just purchased by Red Ventures as another example of continuing investment into gaming media - and creating notable gaming pages on leading tech sites; such as The Verge, owned by Vox Media.
For most of those in gaming or digital entertainment PR, these sites are definite top targets to hit, but the majority of our media lists still are comprised of enthusiast sites that generate a good majority of our coverage - unless you are working on a AAA franchise, game, or have a cross-culture phenomenon like Fortnite. If the latter is in play, that’s when the list opens up to the likes of CNN or The New York Times. If it’s AAA, that’s when you work with your friendly targets in gaming mainstream media – IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, etc. But most of the time, it’s your trusted gaming sites like Shack News, COG Connected, and Hardcore Gamer that you go to for regular coverage.
Bloomberg and WP’s investment brings excitement of a new kind. Not only because it continues to validate the “The gaming industry makes more money than the music and movie industries combined” defense when our “normie” PR counterparts wonder if working in gaming is a smart move, but because of the treasure trove of possible non-game launch stories and features to now pitch.
Now that larger gaming sites have evolved to cover the ever-growing inclusion of gaming in the mainstream, like in blockbuster entertainment and top technology trends, it is promising to see large news sites evolve and invest into gaming. This gives us gaming PRs more of an opportunity to grow beyond the core of game launch campaigns to include more thought leadership, industry trends, culture impacts, innovation and more. And if media’s promise to cover indie gaming holds true, then there is a world of possibilities for in-depth coverage from less-known voices.
So, long story short: get ready for me to pitch you once again Elise Favis, Jason Schrier, and all the gaming reporters that are now in place at these large sites. I can’t wait to work with you again.
Still, gaming journalism has long been dominated by more niche publications. For over a decade, outlets like Kotaku, IGN, and Destructoid have published commentary, reviews, and investigative work focused on games and the gaming industry.