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Does game branding matter?

Posted on 9th Mar 2010 at 11:30 by Richard Swinburne with 44 comments

Richard Swinburne
Just a quick one today: I'm wondering who out there buys products because they have a branding association with their favourite game?

We've seen a few World of Warcraft bits from Belkin, Steel Series and more recently Creative. These products may offer some tangible benefit to WoW users but do they and ones like it sway your purchasing decision over other products? Likewise, if you don't care about their game branding would you buy them anyway if the product does what you want?

Let us know your thoughts!

44 Comments

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Matarsak 9th March 2010, 12:49 Quote
In a word? No.

Unless it comes under the more broad category of looks mattering, in which case yes. But having a specific label or name on it means nothing to me; function and form (in that order) are all that matter.
matee 9th March 2010, 12:53 Quote
When looking at branded products I'm thinking I have to pay an unnecessary premium for the license I don’t care about. For the same amount of money I should be able to find better, unbranded hardware.
l3v1ck 9th March 2010, 12:54 Quote
I have never bought a game because of brand association, and I doubt I ever will.
Silver51 9th March 2010, 12:55 Quote
Game branded products look cheap and tacky, the Happy Meal toys of the gaming world. I'd avoid them in favour of an alternative product.
Chainsmoker 9th March 2010, 12:57 Quote
I automatically overlook any branded/licensed hardware without giving it too much thought.
Partly as I use my system mainly for other things than gaming, so something like a specialised keyboard would be a nuisance. But the key reason is that I'm struggling to think of a branded piece of kit that isn't either overpriced, inferior quality, or just plain ugly (although they're often a combination of the three).
dire_wolf 9th March 2010, 13:13 Quote
No, infact it's something to avoid when buying a peripheral, I'd never buy something that had a game tattooed across it, same as I'd never buy anything made by Thermaltake, it's just cheap tacky rubbish. I can see how something like the Z-board would be quite handy but I always like the feel of a decent keyboard so that one is out for me too. I'm currently using a Logitech G9 corded laser mouse, and a Logitech Wave keyboard which are aimed at gamers I suppose but were bought because of the decent specifications and build quality (something that game associated branding products lack)
Dr. Strangelove 9th March 2010, 13:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matarsak
In a word? No.
+1
mi1ez 9th March 2010, 13:49 Quote
no
Flibblebot 9th March 2010, 13:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangelove
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matarsak
In a word? No.
+1
+2

I can't think of a single situation where a branded piece of kit was better than an unbranded piece of kit. Most of the time, the only thing the branding brings to the table is a higher price.
Xtrafresh 9th March 2010, 14:02 Quote
Let's go against the grain here, i'd say yes. Too bad there aren't that many products for "my" brands, but it's still something that can give a product a certain aura of WANT.

There's no inherent quality in a branding sticker, but there is perceived value. If i enjoy using a product better because it has a nice logo, that's value to me, no matter how unsubstantial or subjective it is. Isn't this also the reason we engrave characters of our favorite game in sidewindows?
pimonserry 9th March 2010, 14:46 Quote
Depends, say I was in the market for a steering wheel, and the best one had a Ferrari logo along with a manufacturer's logo (e.g., Logitech, Saitek, Microsoft), then if it was the best at a reasonable price I'd still buy it.

But not because there was a Ferrari logo on it.
wuyanxu 9th March 2010, 15:04 Quote
maybe, it really depends, if the price is right and i really like the game, then why not?
PureSilver 9th March 2010, 15:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dire_wolf
No, infact it's something to avoid when buying a peripheral

+1

Whether it's Gran Turismo-branded steering wheels or WoW T-shirts, I can't think of a single item that was improved by game branding. (Sorry - this probably isn't what the advertisers want to hear, is it...) The sad facts are that if a product cannot stand upon it's own merits - i.e., it needs association with a game to sell - then it's not worth buying.
BLC 9th March 2010, 17:09 Quote
If I cared about branded products, I'd be using a Mac.

Game-branded peripherals? Tacky.
Farfalho 9th March 2010, 17:50 Quote
If it does all the things I'm looking for and it's the best even within the price range, why not?!

Buying just because it has some kind of ad to a game I like or don't, it isn't enough for me to buy it, it has to do what I want.
NuTech 9th March 2010, 17:52 Quote
No, if anything I subconsciously ignore game-branded hardware.

Right or wrong, I automatically assume that more effort has gone into acquiring the brand rights rather than product development. Then there's all the other issues that have already been raised, it looks cheap/tacky/dated etc.

Although not PC related, for some reason this article reminded me of Xbox 360 faceplates. How many Xbox's do you really see without the default faceplate? In the end it turned out to be a pointless idea inspired by 1990's mobile phones that nobody cared for. I guarantee, if asked, most people would prefere a non-removable fascia that's more durable and not as plastic-y.
Rkiver 9th March 2010, 17:55 Quote
On average I'd go with no. I buy logitech for my keyboard and mouse and steering wheel.

For flight controllers though, Saitek all the way. None of these appear to be branded however.
Skippylee 9th March 2010, 17:57 Quote
I'd agree, it's a waste of money.

In fact I work for a company that has sold branded products and non-branded products. Both products were identical (apart from the branding obviously) and the non-branded product easily out sold the branded. Which didn't surprise me at the time.
CharlO 9th March 2010, 19:32 Quote
No, complete waste of money. But sure, if somebody would pick a present he would choose the one related to the game you like most (not minding the money that is)
Ninja_182 9th March 2010, 19:43 Quote
I did own a Halo 3 branded 360 controller, that was drink influenced purchase on release night.

I would probably buy a branded mouse mat if it was subtle, for example if Steelseries were to say do a black QcK pad with an Eye of Horus (to tie in wonderfully with the update to DoW2) in dark grey. But most importantly it must not cost more!
bigsharn 9th March 2010, 20:58 Quote
Not in the slightest... I bought some Mountain Dew WoW game fuel stuff once, but that was for the want of the new flavour...
Sloth 9th March 2010, 21:21 Quote
In some ways, yes. The brand is a symbol of pride, if you're proud of playing WoW the SteelSeries mouse could quite understandably appeal to you. Personally I wouldn't buy branded peripherals unless they were the same quality and price, but just looked different. Example being the special Pokemon Yellow Version gameboy color, with a blue back, yellow front, and pokemon graphics around the screen. Can't remember if it cost more than normal ones, but I sure had some bragging rights... while lining up the little IR transmitters mocking the other kids for their boring gameboys :D
thehippoz 9th March 2010, 21:25 Quote
all eye of the beholder stuff.. what one person likes another thinks it's garbage
B3CK 10th March 2010, 07:29 Quote
I would buy a branded piece of kit, only if a mod had it in the design plan.
Bindibadgi 10th March 2010, 09:48 Quote
Thank you all!
phuzz 10th March 2010, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
If I cared about branded products, I'd be using a Mac.
+1
Cyberpower-UK 10th March 2010, 12:29 Quote
Your recent testing and my experience shows that 'Branded' PSUs are consistently better than generics and the same goes for RAM.

But unless you add an overlay to a keyboard for a particular game I don't see added value for game branded peripherals.
Jamie 10th March 2010, 13:22 Quote
When Modern Warfare 2 was released there was a branded headset for the PS3. It was inferior in every way to the Sony headset and I know one person who bought it shortly threw it in the bin and get the Sony one.
Squallers 10th March 2010, 15:59 Quote
I own a Gran Turismo branded logitech wheel (dual force GT) and I did buy it mainly to play GT5 (whenever it comes out) but I didn't buy it because of the branding. It was because I couldn't stretch to a G25/27 and after them it was the best wheel I could afford which was compatible with PC and PS3.

However as a rule I'm always sceptical of game branded hardware as all it generally does is inflate the price
Pete J 10th March 2010, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
If I cared about branded products, I'd be using a Mac.
QFT
NethLyn 10th March 2010, 17:58 Quote
Given how demanding it is, the publishers of ARMA 2 should have branded a PSU.

Otherwise the branding on a Creative soundcard is irrelevant, being the dominant consumer soundcard maker up until integrated sound started getting good, Soundblaster's what I would buy anyway.

It's different for external peripherals though - my next gamepad will be the PC version of the 360 model, as the one upside of GFW is that 99% of games with a gamepad option should just work and I'll hopefully never have to buy another one until I have the console.
Fizzban 11th March 2010, 12:57 Quote
Generally if a product is game-branded then it's one to avoid. Brands in terms of things like PSU's,RAM ect are good because you know what you are getting and if you know which brands to buy you know you are getting quality for your money. Sticking a game name on something is just a gimmick and usually get put on naff products.
Adnoctum 12th March 2010, 13:41 Quote
Although not game branded, has anyone bought any of the "Fatal1ty" branded stuff? Do you get any more FPS than non-Fatal1ty branded stuff? Then the branding is a bit pointless.
Tyinsar 12th March 2010, 16:38 Quote
Short answer: mostly no


Long Answer:

Same price & quality as non-branded + I like the game = might buy (IF I need one at the time)

Same quality as non-branded + $1 to $3 more + I really Really REALLY like the game = might buy (IF I need one at the time) (but I have to REALLY like it).

Anything else = will not buy. (unless it's cheaper but equal or better quality and I need one then I might buy (but also might mod off the logo))

I seriously don't understand people who buy things with huge corporate logos on them (especially clothing): Why should anyone (other than the company) pay to advertise a brand or pay extra to wear a corporate logo? - Although, I guess even I have bought such - but only in the very rare case where I really Really REALLY like what the brand stands for.
Jenny_Y8S 15th March 2010, 00:46 Quote
Game branded hardware? Peripherals?

OMG No Way!

Not even if it was a little cheaper, something would have to be dirt dirt cheap to make me accept it on my desk.

It makes me think of those novelty mice in the shape of cars or other such rubbish. Cheap & Tacky and aimed at kids or as novelty / impulse buys.

Let's face it, branded peripherals is like many things for kids (Just look in any shop). It's my twins 3yo birthday in a few weeks, they'll be getting bikes - I'd love to get them simple primary colours bikes but I know they would rather have something branded with their fave Cbeebies character of the month.
memeroot 15th March 2010, 09:40 Quote
The market for these things is not us
Unknownsock 16th March 2010, 11:59 Quote
I think the question should be, how many people are influenced subliminaly here :)
I'm sure alot of us are. Thats what marketing is right?
Xir 16th March 2010, 15:25 Quote
I wear a NOD T-shirt, does that count?
Fozzy 20th March 2010, 05:42 Quote
Sometimes but very rarely. Most "branded" products feel like cheap junk, but the other day I had the opportunity to play with the new razer mouse designed for MMO's and I think it's brilliant. The side buttons are excellent for specific macro's for wow or other MMO's. I think that it's only really useful for endgame raiding or pvp since those are the only applications I can think of that would require quick, accurate, multi-button combinations.

I think this applies for some of the game specific keyboards I've seen as well as the super-responsive mice designed for FPS gaming.

As far as buying a product JUST because it's advertized for a certain game the answer is no, I would not purchase that product. But if it meets a specific need then yes, I would consider the purchase.
knuck 21st March 2010, 07:21 Quote
the only item that could be very cool is a mousepad. The feeling would be exactly the same but one with a huge UT logo would be cool, like, let's say, with this one that I modified

http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/7871/ut2004logo.jpg

(I use it as a splash screen when the game loads)
The_Beast 21st March 2010, 07:37 Quote
Going with certain brands: yes


Game/franchise branding: no but exceptions could be made (like a mouse pad or maybe a t-shirt)
leexgx 21st March 2010, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Although not game branded, has anyone bought any of the "Fatal1ty" branded stuff? Do you get any more FPS than non-Fatal1ty branded stuff? Then the branding is a bit pointless.

norm do not buy branded things

i only got the Fatal1ty sound cards for the Xram on the sound card as i did use it at the time, using an Asus D2X (could of got away witht eh DX thought)

otehr post about thermaltake never had an problem with PSUs and cases (TK PSU are the only ones i trust as i know what i am Buying and none of them have exploded)
EvilMerc 21st March 2010, 15:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Although not game branded, has anyone bought any of the "Fatal1ty" branded stuff? Do you get any more FPS than non-Fatal1ty branded stuff? Then the branding is a bit pointless.

I have a Fatal1ty headset, and only because the reviews I saw were almost all positive. It's made by Creative, and all the Fatal1ty branding is is a small signature on one side and the black and red colour scheme. The rest of the headset is Creative tech, therefore good. It's far superior to my old Logitech headset which fell apart rather rapidly.

As for FPS, there aren't any Fatal1ty graphics cards/CPUs/RAM modules are there?? There's a soundcard but that's about it in terms of hardware that goes into the motherboard, only peripherals.
Instagib 23rd March 2010, 17:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMerc
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Although not game branded, has anyone bought any of the "Fatal1ty" branded stuff? Do you get any more FPS than non-Fatal1ty branded stuff? Then the branding is a bit pointless.

I have a Fatal1ty headset, and only because the reviews I saw were almost all positive. It's made by Creative, and all the Fatal1ty branding is is a small signature on one side and the black and red colour scheme. The rest of the headset is Creative tech, therefore good. It's far superior to my old Logitech headset which fell apart rather rapidly.

As for FPS, there aren't any Fatal1ty graphics cards/CPUs/RAM modules are there?? There's a soundcard but that's about it in terms of hardware that goes into the motherboard, only peripherals.


I've a Fata1ty 700w PSU. The only reason I bought it though was the shiny red light that goes well with the HAF 922. In all fairness, the lab test in which it featured, in custompc, rated it fairly highly.

I think there was a Fata1ty 9600gt once upon a time.
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