Brands have recently entered the esports and gaming sphere. They have already founded creative partnerships, changing the gaming world and turning it into their own playground.
If money makes the world go ’round, brands are the energy supply that spins it. The companies we identify with and choose to stick to constantly influence our decisions—whether we realize it or not. Every aspect of our daily life is branded, from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the entertainment we consume. The gaming industry is an entertainment niche growing larger by the day, which brought companies to try to inject their brands into what we’re playing.
Given gaming’s hands-on and immersive touch uniqueness, companies are constantly developing creative and innovative ways to draw gamers’ attention. Through gamers and esports, they can interact with fans of their brands like never before.
A great example of popular brands getting injected into gaming is the recent collaboration between makeup giant MAC and EA’s The Sims 4. The Sims game series, for those of you who came out of a rock to read this article, is a life simulator where you can do almost anything — start a family, buy a mansion, work your dream job, and burn that mansion to the ground.
The player can make a custom-crafted “Sim” to their liking. They choose what they look like, their personality, and even their goals. For the first time ever, players have a makeup choice designed by MAC’s Director of Makeup Artistry, Romero Jennings, to enhance their Sim’s looks. These iconic styles are an in-game feature and are also available to purchase on MAC’s online store.
Expansion of Games
Diverging from makeup to full-blown worlds, The Sims 4’s most recent collaboration was with a little indie film called Star Wars. An expansion to the base game, released in early September, lets you travel to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge world. The journey to Batuu expansion allows you to virtually travel to Disney Parks’ Star Wars-themed area.
The best part about this expansion, apart from going there, is that you can take part in the actual activities within the real-life land. Your Sim can construct a lightsaber, build a droid, drink at Oga’s Cantina, and much more. Now, there’s no sweat if you can’t physically go there (thanks to COVID-19); you can go there virtually!
These brand collaborations are not only affecting the games themselves but the community that plays them. Ninja, a favorite among streamers, has hopped between more streaming services than frogs do lily pads before finally returning to his original home of Twitch. In celebration of that, he collaborated with Adidas for a brand-new signature sneaker collection called “Chasing the Spark.” Yes, these sneakers are just as colorful as Ninja’s hair.
The Gaming Community
A considerable part of the gaming community is, of course, gamers and esports. For those of you coming to us from your rock, esports is, put simply, the highly competitive gaming world. Here, many sponsored teams have a chance at competing on both national and international levels for fame and fortune, usually in a tournament-style way.
One game well-known to the esports world is Riot Games’ League of Legends. It was announced in June that one of the foremost League of Legends teams, Fnatic, is teaming up with Gucci to release their luxury watch.
These are just a few examples of how brands are recently taking hold of the gaming industry. It seems like every day, we hear of a new collaboration between the two industries. This collaboration’s future will likely lead to many more exciting and creative ways to merge gaming and branding.
Additionally, brands are entering the live video stream, including gamers’ streams, to engage with viewers, a channel that will undoubtedly evolve in the next few years.