Don't put gaming in the corner


Earlier this week we hosted the first of our newly launched U+I Think events, a series of talks designed to challenge perceptions, drive inspiration and help our industry think beyond property. This time we invited Nicky Wightman, Director of Global Occupier Trends at Savills, to lift the lid on gaming – the industry that’s revolutionising our business.

She started by busting the stereotype of a typical gamer – with a higher average age and a 60/40 male/female split, gamers are not just teenage boys playing in their bedrooms. In fact, gamers make up a global community of 2.5bn people worldwide, contributing to an industry worth $150bn.

But what does that mean for real estate? Aside from the design and construction of spaces dedicated to gaming and esports (stadiums are now being built across the world to host huge events), Nicky explained how gaming is blending sectors and physical and digital spaces more than ever before. For example, Atari has announced plans for a number of gaming hotels in the US, Super Nintendo World is launching in Japan this summer a gaming and music hub is opening in Sweden next year. The trend for ‘competitive socialising’ activities (such as Bounce and Flight Club) will also become more pervasive and gamified.

As more brands move into gaming, more people will engage with it, and with that comes a huge shift and commercial opportunity. Technology might be continually evolving, but it’s clear that the property sector can no longer afford not to participate with this growing movement. What this means for placemaking across out towns and cities will be fascinating.