If money makes the world go ‘round, brands are the energy supply to make it spin. The brands we recognize and choose to stick with are constantly influencing our decisions, whether we realize it or not. Every aspect of what we do on a daily basis is covered in brands, from the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the entertainment we consume. The gaming industry is a sect of entertainment that seems to be growing larger by the day, and because of this, many companies are trying their hand at injecting their brands into what we’re playing. Given gaming’s more unique hands-on and immersive touch on how we play, companies are coming up with creative and innovative ways to subject us to their various brands. Through the gaming community, they have the ability to 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 your 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 has the option to custom craft a “Sim” to their liking. They choose what they look like, their personality, and even their goals. For the first time ever, players have the option to choose makeup designed by MAC’s Director of Makeup Artistry, Romero Jennings, to enhance their Sim’s looks. The iconic styles featured in-game can also be bought in-store or on MAC’s website so you and your Sim can match — if that’s something you’re into.
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, which came out in early September, lets you travel to the world of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The expansion, titled Journey to Batuu, allows you to virtually travel to Disney Parks’ Star Wars themed area. The best part about this expansion is that not only can you go there, but you can take part in the actual activities that exist 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 COVID), you can go there virtually!
These brand collaborations are not only affecting the games themselves but the community that plays them. A favorite among streamers, Ninja, who has hopped from more streaming services than frogs do lily pads, has finally returned to his
original home of Twitch. In celebration of that, he joined up with Adidas for a brand-new signature sneaker collection called “Chasing the Spark.” Yes, these sneakers are just as colorful as Ninja’s hair.
A huge part of the gaming community is, of course, 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. Back in June, it was announced that one of the major League of Legends teams, Fnatic, is teaming up with Gucci to release their own luxury watch.
These are just a few examples of how brands are recently taking their hold on the gaming industry. It seems like every day we hear of a new collaboration between the two industries. The future of this collaboration is bright on that can, and most likely will, lead to many more interesting and creative ways to merge gaming and branding.