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Brand Strategy Gaming Gaming Advertising

How brands can align their interests with the interests of gamers

By Aimee Pearcy, Journalist

February 9, 2024 | 7 min read

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With the gaming industry set to grow further in 2024, we explore how brands can capitalize on engaged audiences by aligning their interests with the interests of players to enhance the gaming experience.

Jean-Baptiste Godinot, executive vice-president, Christelle Llobet, vice-president of operations; Thierry Lecat, vice-president of production, and Hugues Ossart, senior global marketing director at Gameloft

Jean-Baptiste Godinot, Christelle Llobet, Thierry Lecat and Hugues Ossart of Gameloft for brands

Gaming advertising presents many new and creative ways for brands to reach a growing audience of highly engaged consumers. With advertising revenue projected to nearly double between 2022 and 2027, and to reach $100bn by 2025, advertisers across the globe are paying attention.

Video games aren’t just for children – in 2023, the average video game player was 32 years old. Meanwhile, 53% of video game players identified as male, while 46% identified as female. For brands, gaming provides an opportunity to reach a diverse audience.

Jean-Baptiste Godinot, who has been appointed executive vice-president in charge of Gameloft for brands – a department of Gameloft designed to help the brand to monetize games through advertising – explains that many brands are ramping up their efforts in the gaming sector, and that powerhouses like Gameloft for brands must always make sure to align their interests with the interests of players.

He pins the success of gaming advertising on the interactivity of gaming. “People are engaged in an experience that makes them happy,” he explains. “This is an exceptional and unique context where ads can come and help enhance your experience.”

Godinot will work alongside Christelle Llobet, vice-president of operations; Thierry Lecat, vice-president of production, and Hugues Ossart, senior global marketing director at Gameloft, to take in-game media and creative services for brands to the next level.

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Virtual playgrounds

Brands are recognizing the value of integrating their content into popular games like Roblox and Fortnite. Increasingly, they are finding that creating standalone games can be more challenging than integrating games into these existing popular platforms which offer significant exposure to large audiences that are already engaged.

For instance, in 2023, Roblox had 70.2 million daily active users (DAUs) and 240 brand activations, double the number from the previous year. With approximately 231 million monthly active users (MAUs), Fortnite currently receives less brand attention than Roblox. However, its metaverse expansion in 2023 promises to unveil a host of new opportunities.

Until now, Gameloft has focused on mobile advertising. Mobile is currently the most popular way to play games, with 64% of gamers reporting that they use their mobile devices to play. But in 2024, Gameloft will extend its mission to connect brands with players outside the mobile environment by bringing its expertise to PC and console ecosystems.

Right now, game consoles are closed ecosystems that do not allow content from third-party advertisers. However, Godinot predicts that it is only a matter of time before these platforms follow the examples of streaming platforms Netflix, Disney Plus, and most recently, Amazon by opening up their ecosystems to allow ads on their platforms.

Featuring ads in games presents a new set of challenges compared to featuring ads on streaming services. Godinot explains that one of the key challenges is how to make the ads effective without disrupting the experience for users. Another challenge is how to measure the success of non-disruptive ads – such as a non-clickable banner in a game.

Despite this, he says it is inevitable that ads will become a larger part of the gaming industry. “That’s a new source of income for them,” says Godinot. “It’s just natural that it’s going to be the case for all entertainment services eventually. That’s why we want to be positioned early.”

In 2023, Gameloft for brands launched COMBO! Kids, the largest in-game advertising media offer dedicated to kids and families. This offered advertisers access to more than 1 billion MAUs worldwide by providing opportunities in more than 100 mobile games, including Minion Rush, Angry Birds, My Talking Tom, and My Little Pony, among others.

AI testing

As we move further into 2024 Gameloft for brands is switching its focus to launching new specific offers for its slightly older gen Z, millennial, and gen X audience.​ It will also focus on exploring some of the new ways that it can utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to develop new games and improve brand offerings.

Lecat shared information about an innovative AI-based game the organization is developing. Targeted towards young children, it offers an interactive experience where children’s choices directly influence the game’s content. The AI system brings these choices to life by dynamically generating content based on the user’s inputs.

The game’s content is thoughtfully designed and evaluated by experts to ensure it is engaging and appropriate for a young audience. The primary focus of this game is to provide a creative and educational space for children. It leverages cutting-edge technology to create a meaningful and enjoyable experience that stimulates the imagination and learning of young users.

While AI is useful, Godinot emphasizes that human curation is still an essential part of the process. “It’s really in a very controlled context,” he says.

Lecat also discussed the use of AI in its game development processes. “Gameloft is leveraging AI to enhance the speed and efficiency of content production in game development,” he says. “This involves, for instance, utilizing AI to analyze player data, and adjusting game levels accordingly or for generating art assets and 3D models.”

Lecat emphasized that AI is not intended to replace the developers at Gameloft. He says, “Instead, the use of AI is seen as a method to expedite and simplify the development process and as a tool to foster more creativity within the development team.”

To find out more about Gameloft for brands, visit here.

Brand Strategy Gaming Gaming Advertising

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