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Business of Esports TV: The HP Spring Collection

(Livestream #134)

In this segment, we discuss HP launching their new line of Omen products and their new brand Victus.

The Business Of Esports brings you news, debates, and all the information you need to know about the gaming sector, the world’s fastest-growing market. With Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi leading the charge, and a variety of special guests, BoE TV is the only place to find insider information on the esports industry!

Check out the full livestream here:

Paul Dawalibi 32:12
Let’s talk about hardware for a second. And this story i thought was an interesting business conversation around this one. And the headline here is HP launches Omen gaming products, and new Victus mainstream gaming brand. And the article basically talks about how HP I’ll just read it here is unveiling a bunch of spring gaming products that straddle its own brand for hardcore gamers, and its new Victus brand for mainstream players who are more sensitive about prices. Now, without sort of getting too much into this announcement and what you know, what all the products are doesn’t really matter. But I think what’s really interesting here is we’re seeing a major gaming brand. HP has olman. Now, sort of price discriminate by launching a lower cost brand. Yeah. I, the question really is around, you see this in a lot of more mature industries, right? You see this in industries where the the customer bases are massive, and you need sort of perfect price discrimination to sort of reach everybody. And so you have multiple brands, and but it’s the first time or I’m sure there are other cases, but it’s one of the first times I’ve sort of I’ve taken notice of this. And I’m curious if you guys like this move. Again, there’s a question of dilution here around like, you know, is it just too many brands now? It’s HP, its own man, it’s Victus. It’s like, what are we talking about? And yeah, can you really push them all? Or do you guys love this? Because it addresses a segment that maybe would not not look at gaming hardware otherwise?

Jimmy Baratta 34:16
I mean, I love he doing I mean, we read about the HyperX acquisition, right, which was big, big news for HP. And I don’t think I’ve really heard about them besides Omen too much in the space recently. I love the play for a few reasons, one cheaper gaming peripherals. I mean, do you know how much my mouse cost is outrageous, and how many kids can’t compete on MPC, you know, in PC eSports just because they have like a really crappy mouse or a crappy keyboard. So I love that they found an entry point into this space, they thought hey, we can actually undercut a lot of our competitors in a big way. Because these guys are jacking up their prices and will offer you know, we’re not gonna offer mid tier gear at high tier prices. We’re gonna offer a low tier gear at To your prices, and it’s going to do just fine. So long as you have the LED backlights and a fancy little logo, like it’s probably going to serve the same purpose. So I think a lot of kids are gonna buy it, you know, expect to see this in Costco, right and, and grab a bundle.

Paul Dawalibi 35:16
So you see like the expansion of brands like seeing more brands targeting different segments of the gaming hardware buying market.

Jimmy Baratta 35:26
I like any company that is widening access to our industry and and providing cheaper and easier or rather cheaper equipment for other people that otherwise couldn’t afford it, but want to be interested, if not for that price barrier. It’s consistent with gaming as a whole right with games, getting rid of the $60 paywall, and instead going free to play with microtransactions. So I see it compro not not exactly the same, but I see it comparable, where they’re serving the same type of interested user that just can’t afford a $5,000 rig.

Paul Dawalibi 35:59
Lindsay, what’s your thought on this?

Lindsay Poss 36:02
My first thought is, I wonder how much they’re doing this to compete with Microsoft, just because Microsoft has been pushing the Surface as a gaming laptop, especially to teams. There’s that commercial that I’ve seen 9000 times now comparing apples computer and Microsoft’s computer. And at the the last thing is, and of course, it’s fast for gaming. And the big point about the big part of that is the price point is also significantly lower. So not that I think that age people look directly at Microsoft and say like, Oh, we need to do that. But I do, I do think that there’s more people kind of getting into this space and advertising to that audience of maybe like, sad, teenage 13 to 25 ish, that kind of age where their parents might still be buying it kind of thing. And I think that I think that it’s interesting to see this trend of companies, specifically adding products that while they might not be the highest quality for gaming, there’s at least some element that says this is good for gaming. I think that just shows how much the industry is having an impact on how people purchase things. So that’s it’s good news for the gaming industry as a whole. And I do wonder how much HP is sort of sticking its a sticking its nose out there head off. I don’t know, whatever metaphor you want to use, but throwing its hat into the ring when it comes to accessible gaming laptops.

Paul Dawalibi 37:25
How much do you think was driven by the HyperX acquisition here? Like, you get this HyperX DNA into the business? Do you think they were the ones driving this forward? Jimmy, you mentioned that? I don’t know. Yeah, I mean, I was coming from them or

Jimmy Baratta 37:39
I think I think something like this probably requires more time and more thought and so when the HyperX acquisition was announced, they were definitely already looking at other ways to penetrate this space. And that might have just been the first deal that came across their plate or the first one that they could not afford because they obviously have enough money but the first one that they felt right about right, so I don’t know if that’s what got there, you know that what that whet their appetite, but it was it was probably the first in a long list of hopefully a long list of announcements that we’ll see from them. Yeah,

Paul Dawalibi 38:12
let’s put our marketing hats on for a second I just Lindsay Do you remember it was I think was a previous live stream where we had a conversation around Booga number Booga had his that was the

Lindsay Poss 38:21
other thing I immediately thought I was bogus why that Fortnite and how successful it was, it was crazy successful. Yeah, that was so the two things I thought when you showed me this were Intel’s commercial and Booga’s line at Five Below. And Booga’s I was targeted more at the streaming aspect of it, but I do think that all peripherals, like there’s a there is an incentive to make all peripherals more accessible. Whether it’s for streaming or for pad playing.

Paul Dawalibi 38:44
And to be clear HP here is going to be making not just peripherals but like also the gaming laptops and gaming PCs and things like that. But my question was really around do we think Victus which is this new lower cost gaming brand for HP? Do we think this works without like a Booga behind it? And or do we think we will see an influencer sort of backing this and, and and do you and then the third question is does that influencer have to be different than or in some way than the influencer? Who would be backing like an Omen? Right? Like could does this I’m just making it up right does Timthetatman push Omen? But then you get like a Booga for like the low cost. Like I don’t know and what does that say about the type of influencer I’m curious how you guys think about the influencer role in this new line.

Jimmy Baratta 39:32
If I could take a stab so so what I’ve seen in traditional sports, is you have guys like Shaq who used to have a signature shoe, it was with Reebok was a high end shoe was full price. And now you know Shaq is still making a killing off of issue is you probably haven’t heard of them maybe a lot of our audience have. These are $20 sneakers and target right these are you know these are low end. Easy to afford sneakers and Shaq is four time NBA you know finals champion. In gaming I don’t think you need to find a mid tier or a micro influencer to market a cheaper product. I think it helps right to have a whole army of influencers and advertisers. But I honestly I think they’ll find whoever they can get that would that wants to rep that likes the deal right? This is this is an ad driven this is a revenue driven industry and he streamer do so I guess the question is, are they going to sacrifice potential performance for the paycheck right?

Paul Dawalibi 40:32
Yeah, but so this is why the book The Booga one was interesting, right? You have a guy at the top of the Fortnite game right, the best Fortnite player in the world right and now he’s using five a $5 mouse and and I always question like, is he actually using it right like when you know the cameras on his face what’s actually on his desk? I don’t know. But do you need a guy or girl like I use that interchangeably but you need do you need someone who is performance champion to sort of shed the stigma of low cost right?

Jimmy Baratta 41:08
I don’t think they’re gonna get around it I don’t think you launch a low cost gaming company and say it’s just as good as our you know, is our highly or is our you know, overpriced competitors. I don’t know if that’s the marketing angle. I think the angle is like, Hey, this is good quality, right? It’s affordable. And everyone you know, if you if you don’t know what to buy, look at us first because we’re we’re a cheaper bet. I don’t know if they again though. I don’t know if they go for the buggers. The number ones the if these gamers are going to sacrifice their potential competitive edge for what probably is a lower tier product, right. I think you can still get a lot of mid tier and still Timthetatman right? Like Tim gets, even just Blevins on your show two weeks ago. Was it now? She who she took shots at Tim right? and a couple of others. I

Paul Dawalibi 41:57
took shots at Tim.

Jimmy Baratta 42:02
But right like you have all these popular mainstream entertainers that aren’t necessarily number one in Fortnite like Booga but that are still you know, drawing massive audiences that they might not notice that much of a difference. Anyways.

Paul Dawalibi 42:16
Lindsay, before we move on, do you have any thoughts on this one?

Lindsay Poss 42:18
I also I wonder. Yeah, and I my thought is, I wonder who has the purchasing power in this situation, I suspect a lot of times its parents. Or not a lot of times that’s unfair. But I do suspect that it’s not like like people who have their own dollars to spend, might would very well be influenced or could very well be influenced by a streamer. And I don’t know what percentage of people that is. But for the people who do not have their own dollars to spend and someone else’s spending for them then I don’t think the streamer matters as much with bogus campaign in Five Below I truly believe that a lot of it was successful due to him. But a lot of it might have been successful also, just because it was what was available. It’s not like there was another not it’s all HP also put out a line at Five Below that was cheap streaming equipment, and we have anything to compare it to. So it’s hard to attribute how much of that went to the name that being said it was you know, he did a great job with promotion and stuff. So I’m sure a decent amount of it did. Um, but i i think that Jimmy right in that you could use but I sort of disagree. I believe you could use a high end or use a bunch of micro influencers. I think for people who have their own spending in purchasing power. If you’re really trying to go after those people, then you probably need to get into the influencer game somehow. I don’t immediately have the analytics or the sense as to whether it’s better to go for higher end or lower end because I don’t know who has audiences that have more purchasing power. So that would be something to look at.

Paul Dawalibi 43:52
I can tell you if anyone wants to send me products to rep, I only want high end stuff. I only I only use high end accessories for my PC gaming I wasn’t Yeah, they Yeah, this yours here Jimmy does yours though. I don’t know if this is gonna

Lindsay Poss 44:09
back it up a little back it up a little. No, just back it up. Oh, there we go. There we go. Oh, yeah,

Jimmy Baratta 44:18
the profit.

Paul Dawalibi 44:22
Have your name on it. There you go. Oh, hi, guys. Let’s move on.

Lindsay Poss 44:31
I was with Paul when he bought 10 mice at one semester. What are you possibly and he said they were out. I was like How

Paul Dawalibi 44:42
To be fair, I gave it to a bunch of people. I gave a bunch away

Lindsay Poss 44:46
that when you were buying it though,

Paul Dawalibi 44:48
that’s fair. But it was there was a reason behind it. It wasn’t just me loading up on on mice.

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