However, a closer look at this collection throws a few Questions, the answer of which can say a lot about the state of the gaming market and the intended audience. Because Ikea is now gaining access to a market worth billions.
Why only now?
In 2020 alone, people in Germany have around 1.2 billion Euros spent on gaming peripherals. These include, for example, keyboards, mice and chairs made especially for gamers. This is a market that is constantly growing and diversifying. Internationally, these numbers are, of course, much higher. The markets in North America and Asia not only bring the companies significantly higher income, most of these products are also produced there.
Consequently So a question arises : Why is Ikea, the world’s largest furniture chain, only really entering the gaming market in October 2021? Of course, there was one or the other product aimed at gamers before that. But on a grand scale, it only starts with the collection that they created together with ROG. Therefore, the billionaire company has so far left the gaming peripheral market to smaller players like Razer. Together with companies such as Secretlab, they have created products such as gaming chairs, keyboards or headsets that should appeal to a very specific customer: the (!) Gamer.
On the product photos of the gaming collection from Ikea you can see screeching colors at first glance. The products thus fit perfectly into the market, which was built around a male customer, the stereotypical gamer. He plays video games in his gaming room and wants to show everyone with his gaming products that he is a gamer. The manufacturers of gaming furniture have created a market that creates its necessity itself: Because it is suggested everywhere that gaming peripherals have to be colorful and “spacey”, gamers are also looking for precisely these products.
Because outside of certain keyboards or mice that might be appropriate in competitive gaming gaming furniture is mostly nonsensical products. A gaming chair differs from a desk chair mainly in its gaming motifs. And because it is often more expensive and less valuable. But the market determines the demand: the gamer needs a suitable chair. It is precisely this demand that Ikea would now like to serve. Or?
Why so different?
A more precise one A look at the gaming products from Ikea shows that these largely dispense with the exaggerated gamer aesthetic. Colorful lights may be dazzling on the advertising images, but underneath you can see furniture that is one thing above all else: simple. This means that these products stand out in a market that may be changing slowly, but primarily wants to impress with its glaring aesthetics. The gaming chair only has one colored stripe. The table should impress with its functionality. And even the cup holder may seem like a gamer energy drink cliché, but it’s actually just a simple cup holder.
The gaming market is becoming more and more diverse. In Germany 48 percent of the players are female. The average age is around 37 years. 24 percent of gamers have a university degree. This shows that this cliché of the gamer in his dark little room is no longer true – probably never was. The much wider audience makes itself noticeable in the games through the fact that female, queer, non-white developers also work on them. But it is also noticeable in the products that exist around these games.
Ikea seems to have timed out a point in time when the gaming furniture market emerges from the niche it has created itself. You address customers who like to play video games but don’t want an apartment that screams: I’m a gamer: in. A supposed identity that was primarily created by gaming PR in order to be able to sell more products. It is still questionable whether someone who likes to play video games really needs a “gaming table”. But at least the aesthetics of the products that are supposed to appeal to these players are changing.
What is certain is that a company like Ikea has carried out an in-depth market analysis and now sees the right time to serve the gaming market with its own collection . It can also be assumed that Ikea will offer more items for sale if the first 30 sell well – and it can be assumed. There is great interest in Ikea’s gaming products.
It will be interesting to see how much Ikea will change the gaming peripheral market. The suppliers of gaming furniture and other products in the division have been striving for some time to address a broader market. Companies like Logitech offer gaming accessories that should definitely not look like “gamers”. It is very possible that Ikea will give this movement a big boost d. When buyers see gaming products in the store that may make their hobby more enjoyable, but that are not brightly colored and bright, they may also want to buy these products. And if this market of so-called “casual gamers” is further developed, sales of gaming peripherals can again be increased significantly. Nevertheless, the question remains: Do you really need a special chair to play video games?