When kids talk about Ruben “Rubius” Doblas and his gaming streams on Twitch, they speak of him as if he were Stephen Curry. They analyze the gamer’s every move in the battle royale game “Fortnite.” They quote his kill ratios and stats. They emulate his tactics as they dream of becoming competitive gamers.
Gaming has become a radically different world in under a decade. Streaming gameplay pulls more viewers than all the major sports leagues. Esports alone draws a bigger audience than MLB, the NBA and the NHL. Only the NFL eclipses it. Additionally, the industry has recently undergone a major shift in its business model: from one-time, single-game purchases towards “gaming as a service” via subscriptions to game libraries. This lowered the cost barrier to play, increasing the number of players, and fueling streaming viewership.
Watching from the sidelines was Facebook.
With its 700-million-person gaming community, Facebook needed a share of this market. It was one of the few markets big enough to grow the company’s advertising revenue.
Facebook Gaming, offering both games-as-a-service and streaming, staked a unique positioning. While Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, aimed their cloud gaming strategies at big-budget “AAA” titles, Facebook focused on the world of casual free-to-play games.
But, a major obstacle blocked this expansion strategy: Facebook wasn’t credible in gaming, let alone known for it. The last time it had tried to be a major mass-market gaming platform was the FarmVille era a decade ago. Yes, they had a differentiated product. But, unless Facebook could diversify its perception, no one would notice.
Working closely with the Gaming team, we created a unique identity for the product. It blended Facebook’s core brand equities with gaming’s visual codes and cues. In the creative process, an unlikely hero emerged: the glyph. A simple, modular symbol, the glyph anchors the brand’s expressive system, bridging the world of Facebook and gaming to signal that the social media company could also be a legit gaming company.
- Ben Crick
- David Nguyen
- Anna Sternoff
- Christian Widlic
- Kristen Harkonen
- Kris Wong