I’m rushing into a wedding trip as we speak. My friend is promising love to another person for the rest of his life, while I’m writing shit about video games… not sure if I’m at rock bottom or an ultimate high. Confusing times. Hello everyone, hope you enjoy this one.
Made by Franco
🌶️ The Secret Sauce
It’s 2018, I’m with the FNATIC content team about to drop the Champion x FNATIC limited edition Worlds hoodie and it’s a bit more expensive than usual.
I was wondering how long it would take to sell out, and my boss (at the time) told me two things:
It sold out in 9 minutes. You might say, “bro NFT projects are selling out in 30 seconds, 9 minutes is an eternity”. That’s exactly the point though. If you’re into NFTs, you know that behind the trend and people trying to make a profit, the most important element is the community. People want to be active and recognized in communities, digital and IRL.
Obviously, being a winning brand helps to build loyalty but it’s not enough. It’s common to see esports teams with titles still struggling to explore new verticals. Now imagine young teams without titles. It’s more difficult than pooping and peeing at the same time, damn… I’m sorry, it's just been a long day.
My boss was always thinking about utility. Before the launch, he organized opportunities to win tickets to Worlds, a landing page with an interactive 3D model of the hoodie, and fans involved in a magazine. It’s not a coincidence. Most brands would stop at replying to Discord questions. Sometimes you have to give profit away in order to build creative trust. 3D models ain’t cheap. It’s like when you go to the supermarket and avoid the good hot sauce to buy a cheaper one; deep down you know you fucked.
The common currency today is to hire streamers and let them do the work, right? “Hey, let’s launch a new shirt and tell X to talk about it on stream”. Don’t be lazy now, what happens when your core streamer gets bigger than the team and wants to go independent?
Well, if you have focused on the community so far, you can let that streamer go and the change won’t be that bad. But if you haven’t, the streamer is now in a strong position to ask for equity.
Sometimes that will work, like FaZe x NICKMERCS. Both are huge and have hundreds of verticals. But it’s rare, and it comes from a long time relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, we used streamers for marketing as well, but the campaigns always felt bigger than the personalities. How? For example: after the hoodie, we learned that FNATIC fans were very engaged with 3D work. So, new campaign + streamer = community driven project.
Loyalty is not an easy thing to achieve. However, a good way to start is that when you have to sacrifice something in order to survive as a company, don’t get tempted to look at community ideation first.
💣 New Games & Trailers
🎙️ Podcast of the Week
The lovely lads at Esports Club hit me up to talk Weekly and gaming. Here’s the episode, it’s in Spanish. Honestly, I’m liking the podcast vibes, so if you have one and wanna talk about some shit, Twitter would be the best way to reach out.
🏆 Esports Highlights
🏠 Home Sweet Home
Alright, IKEA will launch their gaming section in October. Gaming-themed furniture and accessories with some help from ASUS. This activation will probably be tested in some countries first and then go global. I just think IKEA has a dope opportunity to play around VR, AR and digital assets in the future. Why haven't they partnered with a company like Cyber yet?
🏦 Personality Bags Update
📖 Reads of the Week
25 Photos of Nintendo’s 130 Years Rise.
What Does it Mean When a Game Uses Art Deco?, by Maris Crane.
🎞️ Gaming x Film
👜 It’s for the Curious
The BALENCIAGA x Fortnite collab isn’t a surprise at all, and it makes me happy for them because when the VID-19 started they were one of the first ones with enough curiosity to abandon their traditional ego and seek help in digital mediums. However, we had other players who were a bit more curious, Louis Vuitton and Gucci didn’t wait for a pandemic to get involved. The better news for the industry? New elite brands will come, and because the first-ones-to-do-it ship already sailed, the entry fee will be better products and campaigns.
🧰 Craft of the Week
A ship in Minecraft, via Reddit.
🎯 (Quickly) Explained: Blizzard’s Tea
Blizzard had been hanging out with a few rotten humans, explained in this edition. The outcome?
SEGA IKEBUKURO GIGO CLOSED ITS DOORS - A MEMORIAL THREAD 👇
BY ADAM FITCH
100 Revenue Streams
The longer I operate in esports, the more I come to the conclusion that competing is just a marketing spend —not only for publishers but organizations too. It’s hard to make money as an org, there's a lot of cost in signing players, keeping them happy, sending them around the globe, bonuses, and so on. The way in which the likes of FaZe Clan and 100 Thieves are monetizing are outside of competing; esports is a means of generating attention and building fan affinity.
Speaking of 100T, they're often referred to as an "hoodie org" —an apparel company that happens to compete on the side. They've tapped into the magical 'hypebeast' dynamic held by streetwear brands like Supreme over the years, but now they're building a more reliable, constant stream of income. Their 'Foundations' line is always available to purchase and generated $2.5M in revenue in just its first month. Estimated profit margins vary depending on the sources, but let's say 100T are making 10% profit —that's $250,000 in the inaugural month. As they continue to grow in popularity and thus increase demand for their apparel, there's a real possibility they could be making over a million dollars each month from their standard clothing. Now that's what we like to see!
Let’s stop for a second and accept the fact that we never understood what the fuckwe were doing in this game.
Sep 23 - 24 / Good Game Fest
Sep 25 / TUDUM by Netflix
Sep 30 - Oct 3 / Tokyo Game Show 2021
Oct 1 - 7 / Valve’s Steam Next Fest
Oct 2 - 10 / Melbourne International Gamesweek
Oct 7 - 10 / EGX
Thanks for reading!
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