PlayBrain, a Tokyo-based creative agency focused on gaming, has launched an online platform for the gaming community, Dekki. Currently in beta mode, the site operates in English and Japanese and aims to bring together gamers wishing to discuss gameplay strategy and create original game-related content. It also offers a new avenue to brands looking to reach this segment in a less intrusive way than has become the norm.
Michael Sheetal, PlayBrain’s founder and CEO, said one of the main concepts behind Dekki is that users of gaming forums “are tired of being bombarded by banner advertising” and advertising in general that appears in front of content.
This makes advertisers “annoying and inconvenient rather than helping users experience what they came for”, he said. “I strongly believe this [annoying] advertising is on its way out. We can see the first signs of that as companies such as Netflix emerge as platforms without advertising, and other platforms like Twitch.” Brand involvement in Dekki will revolve around sponsored content and influencer marketing.
Sheetal said the gaming community is “not yet ready to subscribe in large numbers for a social content site”. Instead, Dekki will operate as a “frictionless content platform” whereby advertisers add to the experience rather than detract from it. He said the first initiatives would launch soon, but did not name the brands.
Dekki’s community currently centres on the game Hearthstone, but Sheetal said many more games will be supported in the future. The site hosts its own Twitch and YouTube channels, and its editing engine works in a similar way to Medium. It runs on cloud technology, which Sheetal said enables speed and scale at a low operating cost.