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news / In conversation with Joey David Tiempo, Founder & CEO, Octopus&Whale

Spikes Asia speaks with Joey David Tiempo, Inaugural Jury President of the Gaming Spikes, about the growing trend of using gaming platforms as a channel for creativity in APAC, and of course, the brand new Gaming Spikes.

The Gaming Spikes is a brand new Award at Spikes Asia 2024. What's the importance of celebrating creativity within gaming and how will this impact the industry?

The gaming industry has surpassed movies and music in terms of revenue, and the driving force behind this success is creativity. It’s a game-changer, literally. Now, games are doing more than just keeping us glued to screens; they're shaping our culture, sparking media trends, firing up fans, and kicking off big conversations. Gaming is at the forefront of interactive entertainment and highly-evolved marketing, opening whole new playgrounds for creatives and marketers to explore.

How are marketers in the Asia-Pacific region embracing gaming?

Asia-Pacific leads the global gaming scene, boasting the largest player and revenue numbers. China, Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia are major players, shaping the worldwide market. Here, gaming go beyond leisure; it’s woven into the social fabric, influencing both entertainment and education. Everybody is now a gamer, not just Gen Z, and marketers are tapping into gaming's reach. They're opting for real connections over polished content, using platforms like TikTok and Twitch. Brands are creating virtual worlds within gaming platforms such as Roblox and QQ, offering new versions of products that can be purchased and used online.

In Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, social media glues active players (who play games) and viewers (who watch people play games). Even those without gaming equipment can be part of the conversation, whether by engaging in fan-created content, or watching celebrities livestream their gameplay.

How can brands effectively engage in the gaming space?

Gamers hate advertising. Anything disruptive to their gameplay will be met with skepticism. Brands that approach with respect and a true value-add will win the game. It's about savvy engagement—when done right, gamers become brand champions, creating and amplifying content.

The broader ecosystem of gaming extends beyond the games and active players; it involves influencers, fans and their communities. To win at gaming, brands must participate in this ecosystem with respect and authenticity, and commit to enhancing the experience. By engaging with fans on their level, brands can forge lasting connections with gamers.

What are the most exciting current developments in Gaming as of right now and how do you expect them to pan out in the future?

Integration of gaming in subscription services such as Netflix Games and Apple Arcade, allowing members to play games on various devices without needing high-end hardware, using their mobile phones as controllers. Gaming is now mainstream entertainment and presents a rich ground for brands to experiment in.

The democratisation of game development, exemplified by tools like the Unreal Editor for Fortnite, equips brands (and fans) with the tools to co-create and expand gaming multiverses, bypassing expensive negotiations of game development companies.

I am most excited about AI in gaming. AI is being used to create characters in video games to act as if they have a mind of their own, reacting to players in real-time. This makes games more immersive, complex and unpredictable. Will NPCs be the new influencers?

Games are also adding more and more advanced accessibility features for those with disabilities. Gaming’s pushing boundaries to welcome everyone, proving this world’s not just about winning – it’s about including. The future of gaming is clear: inclusive, connected, open to all.

What's your advice to anyone who would like to win a Gaming Spike in 2024?

Play and connect with other gamers! I never imagined there would come a time when I could tell the office I need to play for work. This is the time!

Acknowledge the complexity of gaming culture; it’s a tapestry of varied genres and interests, not a monolith. Forget the playbook that won you ad awards; gaming demands nuanced, innovative approaches. And remember, in this arena, engagement and fan response are transparent metrics of success. Keep it real with the results. Don’t blow things up.

The Spikes Asia Awards is open for entries.

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