As movie trailers go the way of more production and less voice, there’s a new trend in gaming that holds a lot of promise for voice over actors who love trailers. Gameplay and cinematic trailers – produced by video game developers and publishers in order to demonstrate an upcoming or recently released game – are a really hot and exciting part of the market that continues to grow. They are mostly created before a game release so potential players can whet their appetites before they can play the game for themselves. And if you’re prepared to compete, video game trailers are a genre you may want to sink your teeth into.
The video game industry has a steadily growing audience who believes they get more value for their money buying games compared to DVDs, movie tickets, and music. In fact, the gaming industry globally is estimated to be worth around $159.3 Billion as of 2020. A 9%+ increase from 2019. Over 4 Billion of that is in the US, while the largest growth is seen in Latin American and Asia-Pacific countries, adding opportunities for bilingual talent. Moreover, due to the pandemic, this sector is primed for even more exponential growth as younger consumers find themselves ever more attached to at-home entertainment….a trend that will likely continue even when things return to normal.
Traditionally, video game advertising has mostly focused on print, or in some cases digital displays. But within the past decade and certainly more within the past few years, video game creators have begun releasing both cinematic and gameplay trailers and expanding the scope of their marketing to include social media.
While it is sometimes true that actors who are cast in the game will voice the trailer, that isn’t always the case, and there is a real opportunity for VOs in this growing market. So you’ll want to be prepared. Although the primary purpose of video game trailers has been to build hype and drive sales, the trend is for them to be stand-alone short pieces of cinematic art. In fact, some game trailers can easily be mistaken for movie trailers for their scale and stunning visuals. This means the voice over needs to be part game actor, part promo actor, part trailer voice seasoned with perhaps a dash of old school announcer occasionally. It’s not an easy combo to perfect.
If you’re not a gamer, you’re going to want to spend some time on YouTube where video game trailers abound to get a feel for what is being produced.
Ultimately, game trailers may well be the new movie trailer in terms of prominence and high-profile production values. If you are a traditional trailer or promo player, or a newer talent who has an edgy voice that can cut through the mix, it’s an on-trend genre worth checking out!