Unlocking the power of brand engagement in gaming and experience design

Landor’s Benjamin Fujita-Summers explores the connection between gaming and brand in experience design

A few of us in the industry can still remember a time when your visualiser would be reaching for the watercolours, not a keyboard.

Visualisation was purely an exercise in the pursuit of beauty to gain emotional buy in – it was a ‘final deliverable’. With the development of photorealistic rendering, this process has ascended to a boss fight level of fanatical visual accuracy, best critiqued by one of my mentors as “you’re just rendering the sugar into the tea now”.

However, when Epic Games (the company behind the Unreal gaming engine) acquired emerging archviz software Twinmotion in 2019, it announced a welcome shift from accuracy at all costs towards immersion and interaction – a trend we are seeing overwhelmingly across the tech spectrum.

We’re now witnessing gaming experiences and gaming development becoming more intuitive – this evolution in simplifying the learning process makes creating game type experiences more accessible than ever before. I feel this shift is crucial for three reasons.


Firstly, the visualisation workflow has been significantly shortened. This efficiency means more time can be dedicated to design, reducing the hours spent agonising over production of final visual output.

Real-time ray tracing (a now critical feature to achieve realism in gaming) is quickly decimating the hours lost to rendering downtime in favour of live navigable models.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) also plays a role here, opening up possibilities for production without years of software training. I particularly welcome the ‘sketch to render’ AI processes – reliance on traditional visualisation software has produced a generation of designers that can’t sketch – a skill which to this day remains the most powerful design tool of them all.


Secondly, and arguably more interestingly, we can now create experiential simulations across a wider band of the design spectrum. This includes the testing phase with gaming type experiences allowing us to design for testing in a more iterative, meaningful way than ever before.

At Landor, we apply immersive simulation tests to validate our designs – facilitating the decision making process and relieving the burden of personal preference.

This allows for testing consumer mind states across different types: those receptive to inspiration and suggestion, those seeking options and information to inform their decisions and those navigationally driven, but would ideally tempt back into the inspiration mind state.

We can react, adapt, and refine based on real-time feedback, enhancing predictability of outcomes and allowing for pre-release refinements based on testing results.


Finally, let’s travel all the way back to 2021, before AI dominated all design commentary and speculation. Remember the hype around Metaspaces?

While the hype hasn’t yet fully translated into the fluid experiences promised, this application of gaming tech is promising in how it can overcome the geographical and temporal limitations of in-store experiences, and attract and engage fresh audiences in a creative playground that serves both brand stories and products.

Gaming’s increasing intuitiveness and immersive capabilities, combined with the increased tech adoption from the Covid lockdowns, are paving the way for truly meaningful meta spaces.

Fashion brand have led the way here with meta experiences for brands such as Valentino and Marc Jacobs being followed by more mainstream brands as H&M and Glossier.

For me, the excitement lies in the potential for accessibility, personalisation, sustainability, and as a designer – quite frankly – the invigorating ability to bypass the laws of physics.

According to a report by Newzoo, the global games market expected to generate revenues of $189 billion in 2024, indicating the massive influence and reach of this industry.

As gaming technology continues to evolve, it’s increasingly set to redefine how brands create their experiences. The implications of gaming technology on the world of brand experience are both immediate and longterm.

Some developments are leaping forward, while others are on a longer cycle to reach maturity. But the message is clear: “Watch this space, great things are happening.”

By Benjamin Fujita-Summers, Executive Director for Brand Experience at Landor