Media & Digital


12 Nov - 2019

As the video game industry continues to grow and expand its target market, the capabilities needed to gain a competitive edge are changing, and The Smiley Company is reaping the rewards

With more than 2.5 billion gamers across the world, spending more than an estimated $152 billion on games in 2019, the video gaming market is growing at nearly 10% annually, creating enormous opportunities for brands and retailers to extend their products into a wide range of categories.

Video games companies continue to seek new ways to drive market growth, and the licensing industry is offering them a route that creates compelling content that enhances the gamer’s experiences at lifestyle touchpoints.

Nicolas Loufrani, CEO of The Smiley Company, says, In this competitive and rapidly changing market, video gaming companies and licensed brands are benefiting enormously from collaboration. By creating rich, connected, and personalised experiences, brand collaborations keep gamers engaged, as part of a broader franchise development strategy. This is not just increasing the financial rewards for video gaming companies, but also creating the captivating content that is enhancing the gamer lifestyle.”

This is very much the case for recent partnerships between PacMan X Rubik’s, and Rabbids X SmileyWorld, as both Bandai Namco and Ubisoft has sort to utilise Smiley’s ability to create on-trend style guides that resonate with consumers. Both gaming companies have also looked to leverage Smiley’s creative design direction, full-service marketing support, and in-depth cross-category knowledge of what customers want. The perfect example of this has seen the recent launch of an exclusive line of AI Wearables developed by De Kryptic to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man and Rubik’s, which highlights the opportunity for on-brand innovation between the gaming and licensing spaces.

“We are seeing more opportunities coming our way, which is driven by demand from our licensees and retailers.”, adds Loufrani, “But as with all our collaborations, you have to ensure there is a natural community fit for both brand and game to create the authenticity with the consumer.” 

The authenticity of the Pac-Man X Rubik’s partnership has already seen deals secured with JCorp, Fashion UK, and Brisco Apparel, while the industry warmly received the recently launched dedicated style guide for Rabbids X SmileyWorld at BLE.

Smiley has also just signed a global licensing deal with Microids, who are developing a new Rubik’s game on PC, Playstation, Nintendo, and Xbox next year. With more partnerships to be announced next year, Smiley continues to trailblaze this space.

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