As the popularity of video games surged during the pandemic, several major fashion brands shifted the focus of their marketing efforts into the gaming world. The Entertainment Software Association reported that in 2020, women now account for 41% of gamers in the US. Additionally, a Newzoo research indicated that growth in the gaming world is not just in terms of gamers, but of audience as well.
The world of esports is currently enjoying viewership that is expected to reach 729 million in year 2021. Since video gaming is now very much a part of pop culture, it’s but logical for the key players in the fashion world to make themselves visible in the midst of the gaming industry.
In an interview with Hyper Beast, a fashion curator website, research expert Dr. Kristopher Alexander said it does not come as a surprise at all. The population of video gamers worldwide grew by as much as 75% since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020.
Dr. Alexander, whose focus on research at the Ryerson University in Canada is on game user and esports production, explained that the population of consumers from ages 36 to 39 had the most money to spend on video games. Moreover, the population of people between the ages 18 and 35 are the ones who have the most time to engage in video gaming.
Examples of How Fashion Brands are Infiltrating the Video Gaming Culture
Some brands started out with modest collaborations like trophy sponsorships, esports uniforms and naming apparels after popular game characters, Others have expanded into crossing over between fashion and gaming by offering games aimed at directly engaging with consumers. The latter follows the approach used by digital gaming platforms, which is that of nurturing a sense of community among consumers. Related studies show that most video gamers think of engaging in fashion and clothing retail as a cumbersome activity.
Brands that started collaborating with game developers even before the pandemic include
1. Louis Vuitton with Riot Games for prestige skins in the 2019 World Championship Finals of the League of Legends.
2. Valentino and Marc Jacobs displayed some outfits in Animal Crossing
3. Burberry created skins for Tencent’s Honor of Kings. Only recently, Burberry launched in-game accessories released as a series of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) for the online game Blankos Block Party.
4. Another recent collaboration is Riot Game’s partnership with UNIQLO for a line of League of Legends graphic tee-shirts.
Fashion brands that created their own gaming worlds include:
1. Burberry, which now has its own collection of fun video games in its website. The most popular is B-Surf, a Mario Kart-like racing game.
2. Balenciaga presented its 2021 Fall Collection by way of an interactive video game captioned as “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.”
3. Off-White collaborated with New York street artist Katsu in releasing a mobile video game titled OffKat as part of its “OFFKAT Fashion Art Project.”
4. Gucci integrated a number of classic arcade-style game in its app.
5. GCDS, an Italian streetwear brand, launched its Spring 2021 collection by way of a virtual reality runway that features famous gamers and popular game avatars. The virtual runway becomes playable after the fashion presentation.
Actually, the idea of diversifying into the gaming industry was first ventured into by luxury car-seat maker DXRacer, when it developed gaming chairs for esports gamers. The company has since established its gaming chairs as the gold standard.
However, since video gaming has become the most popular form of entertainment, various brands and models have proliferated in the gaming chair market. In Ireland, the gaming population has been drawing attention as having attained phenomenal growth since the pandemic.
The growing number of Irish gamers looking to buy the best and at the same time affordable gaming chairs, visit gamingchairsireland.ie for more information about Kirogi Gaming Chairs a 100% irish-owned supplier of gaming accessories.