Introducing the What’s Next: Gaming Trend Report 2023 for METAP


Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Over the past year, we have watched users come to TikTok in order to engage, create, and connect through their passion for gaming. With over 3 trillion views on gaming content in 2022 globally, TikTok has become a place where diverse audiences are able to tell new stories, discover new games, and influence new cultural trends as part of a bigger community.
Today, we’re unveiling our first-ever What’s Next: Gaming Trend Report, an extension of our annual What’s Next Trend Report. This new report, which features data and insights exclusive to the METAP region, takes a deep dive into new consumer behaviors and shifts in the regional gaming culture on TikTok, with the goal of helping brands understand how they can engage with our vibrant gaming community and create successful gaming content on our platform.
The report breaks down key community insights into actionable takeaways and trend analysis, supported by data, to equip businesses with the tools they need to grow on TikTok. Sezer Degirmenbasi, Head of Gaming, Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Pakistan and Eastern Europe for TikTok said: “TikTok has truly become the place where gaming culture and entertainment intersect, giving gamers from every walk of life the opportunity to find their community, as well as discover, connect, and create in exciting new ways. With the new What’s Next: Gaming Trend Report, we’re excited to showcase the power of our global gaming community and demonstrate how brands can leverage the incredible engagement on our platform to reach and convert new audiences.”

In line with the wider What’s Next Report, the findings of the Gaming Trend Report are broken down into three key Trend Forces that underpin culture and content on TikTok, accompanied by the relevant signals for each of these forces that show emerging behaviors and interests. The three key Trend Forces include:

  1. Actionable Entertainment
  1. Making Space for Joy
  1. Community Built Ideas

Actionable Entertainment:

Gaming audiences on TikTok don’t just want to passively consume content. From fan edits and animations to cosplay, gamers inspire one another to bring gaming to life in their own unique ways, eventually moving in their journey towards genre-related product discovery. Here are the three key signals that reflect this trend:

  1. Home of the #GameEdit: Gamers on TikTok are leveraging their own creative skills to share engaging fan edits that drum up hype and awareness for the characters and titles that they love. 
  2. Bringing the Game to Life: New technologies on TikTok like voice filters and AR effects make it easier for users to blur the lines between in-game universes and real-life scenarios.

Our research also shows that the community embraces brands who are willing to experiment and create a more fun and engaging experience on TikTok.

  • 80% of METAP TikTok users agree that it’s ok for brands to try different ways to create content (2)
  • 80% of METAP TikTok users agree that the best brands on TikTok are those that help users make creating and sharing videos fun (2)
  • 1 in 3 METAP TikTok users say they’ve searched for more information about a product/brand after watching content that a TikTok shared about it (1)

Making Space for Joy:

When it comes to gaming, our community is won over with humor and content that highlights the relatable joys of being a gamer, including discovering new products and recommendations. Here are the three key signals that reflect this trend: 

  1. Playful Ideation: On TikTok, gamers and developers are on a level playing field, making connecting and sharing ideas a fast new norm to unlock creative opportunities.
  2. From Winning to Welcoming: By showing that there’s no right or wrong way to be a “gamer,” TikTok inspires meaningful joy and a sense of belonging and community among diverse audiences.

For brands, these signals provide critical insight into how to authentically and effectively show up on the platform.

  • With METAP TikTok users being 1.7x more likely to credit the humor in a creator’s sponsored video as a motivation for purchasing intent (3), brands can also find success by leaning into playful, humorous content that shows they don’t take themselves too seriously.
  • 76% of METAP TikTok users agree that they feel like part of a network of people with shared interests on TikTok (2), which means working with creators and supporting their creativity can help brands reach diverse audiences on TikTok.
  • 36% of TikTok users in METAP are motivated to buy for joy – to lift their spirits or as a treat/reward. (1)

Community-Built Ideals: 

The magic of TikTok is found in and across passionate subcultures. And gaming culture doesn’t exist in a silo – it’s an open space where different passions collide and gamers actively exchange ideas to get more out of their favorite titles and also connect with each other through their shared interest. Here are three key signals that reflect this trend:

  1. Endless Replay Value: When the storyline ends, gamers turn to TikTok for limitless inspiration to keep the fun going in the form of community challenges and creative modes.
  2. Gaming as a Lifestyle: Gaming has become a broader dedicated lifestyle or aesthetic, unlocking new opportunities for crossovers with diverse interests such as fashion, home decor, food, etc.

Based on insights from our METAP community, brands are encouraged to lean in and play a part in the larger community, ultimately helping users see new sides of their brand.

  • 80% of METAP TikTok users say they like it when brands come up with new challenges, trends, or memes for others to join in with (2).
  • 74% of METAP TikTok users agree that posts on TikTok offer a view into people’s real, everyday lives (2).
  • 75% of METAP TikTok users say they feel a closer connection to the people they interact with on TikTok than on other sites and apps that they use (2).

A note on What’s Next Methodology:

TikTok For Business compiled comprehensive insights from a variety of sources to better understand small, medium, and large-scale TikTok trends and what they can tell us about culture and creativity on the platform. This included commissioned third-party research as well as first-party data analyzing platform performance on TikTok between October 2021 and October 2022. 

Through the various categories included in the report, we provide a retrospective on what happened in gaming on TikTok in 2022 and a perspective on the growth opportunities for 2023. 


(1): TikTok Marketing Science (METAP Results) Creators Drive Commerce Study, 2022, conducted by Material

(2): TikTok Marketing Science (METAP Results) Community and Self-Expression Study, 2021, conducted by Flamingo

(3): TikTok Marketing Science (METAP Results) Creators Like Me Study, 2021, conducted by Hotspex

About TikTok:

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, Mountain View, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul, and Tokyo.