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Business of Esports TV: BMW Gaming Chairs

(Livestream 139)

In this segment, we discuss BMW releasing a new gaming chair concept.

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 49:58
can we can we can we talk about gaming chairs By the way, I actually have a story on gaming chairs that was gonna I was gonna leave it more towards the end. But I am everyone knows I’m a huge fan of my Herman Miller’s, which I’m sitting in and I have another one here. But this is maybe the only chair I would I would swap this for. And I’m curious what you guys think of this. It’s BMW getting into gaming chairs. And this is a concept it includes motors, climate control and AI. It’s, it’s, it’s been done in conjunction with a Seuss. So they’ve designed this together, there are some cool pictures of this here. It looks pretty, pretty cool. If you ask me looks, I mean, the whole setup looks pretty intense, but it says, I’ll just read this verbatim. The rival rig is extreme and exactly the way you’d expect a chair dreamed up by a performance car manufacturer to be its state as having a microclimate control system, and adaptive seating, all of which is powered by an AI controlled mesh of sensors, pneumatic air pads, and electromechanical actuators. It’s said to be tailored to player’s health, and primarily aims to deliver a comfortable performance led designed for optimal eSports play.

Jimmy Mondal 51:24
eSports play?

Paul Dawalibi 51:27
I’m curious what you guys think of BMWs. chair? And is there any price point at which you think this makes sense? And and Have we reached peak gaming chair with this? Like, is there anywhere else to go beyond this?

Jimmy Mondal 51:42
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. There’s so many places to beanbags, those things you kneel on, oh, man, you could go so many places.

Paul Dawalibi 51:50
You think it’s better than this? Jimmy?

Jimmy Mondal 51:51
I don’t know if it’s better, because I haven’t seen it yet. And like, I didn’t think I would be seeing a BMW inspired gaming chair today. You know,

Paul Dawalibi 51:58
they can do but this one has, has sensors. And it’s collecting data,

William Collis 52:02
like collecting data on

Jimmy Mondal 52:04
my Hind, you know, as I’m sitting like, I have many problems with traditional gaming chairs. They’re not ergonomically designed. If this is actually adjusting with this AI and it has cooling in its seat like 2500.

Jeff Cohen 52:22
How many different ways Jimmy can say the word asked without saying the word ask? Bye.

William Collis 52:30
Guys, I’m coming out here. And I’m basically saying two things, right? One is like, I’m sorry, but this is this is. There’s something else going on here. Because BMW was not interested in making gaming chairs. Like they’re just not I’m sorry, I don’t think and you don’t need AI in your gaming chair, because you don’t need AI in your chair. Right? When you show me the market for AI driven chairs, and I actually there could be a market I’m gonna say I’m just saying like, you’re not going to be what’s really going on here, I think is what we talked about earlier, which is gaming in cars, right? BMW is looking at self driving cars, they’re looking at what’s the number one thing people are going to want to do when they’re sitting, which already has smart tonight, your car is pretty smart. Right? It’s gonna have a lot of tech in it already. That’s probably pretty close to gaming able. I think this is the start of BMW trying to put their brand in the gaming space, and looking at gaming theoretically around cars, and how might they take advantage of car things? Right, is what do you already have in your car climate control? I’m sorry, guys, you have your AC, could they build that into the chair? I think it’s the very beginning of a really emerging market, which is gonna be exciting, which is car manufacturers trying to say that their car is the gamers car.

Jimmy Baratta 53:41
I think that’s an extension. Also William of the conversation we had with Marco, when they were talking about exit getting into iracing and stuff, and I don’t want to allude or I just want to allude to that briefly and not touch too much on that. Because you know, it’s great episode netmotion. Everyone should listen tomorrow. But yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense, right? Like BMW with the rise of iracing and all these competitive eSports in the racing area. It kind of it just strikes me as like the concept cars that all car manufacturers make right to show off their capabilities, or their tech, but really, it’s brand placement and kind of just a very expensive, but fun marketing ploy. So I do disagree with you though, that I believe I need AI and everything I own. I don’t know why I’m thinking right now. But But the second point I wholeheartedly agree with my chair

Paul Dawalibi 54:31
feels so dumb all of a sudden. So lacking intelligence

Jimmy Mondal 54:39
to see what AI would do to me in a chair. Or what do they have? What does the AI do?

Paul Dawalibi 54:44
I’m kinda I’m kind of disappointed at you guys. Your responses to be honest, like, yeah, I get it. This is not like a marketing ploy stunt obviously, right? It’s BMW wanting to appeal to gamers and it’s one off Chair but like, wouldn’t it be, I don’t think it would be so stupid and I’m sure you could make the business case with inside of BMW to actually launch a chair like this a pure gaming product at a pure gaming consumer. And, and it’s a separate business line like it doesn’t have to be attached to their cars. They are leveraging their expertise of, you know, 50 years of people sitting in seats in their cars, to design something really great for gamers like, I hate that we’ve just like, why does it only have to be a marketing stunt? This this to me? It sounds like a legitimate business opportunity for BMW.

Jimmy Baratta 55:38
But you made the same argument with a microt with the Xbox mini fridge, right?

Lindsay Poss 55:42
Yes, yes. mini fridge with an absolutely sell.

Jimmy Mondal 55:51
I think they both sell but I also think there’s a high man it’s a Soos rlg they’re doing it as well. Right. So I think they’re probably came up with a lot of the design here and then had BMW like co sign it or something. But regardless of that, like we’ve also seen a lot of these, like Porsche has a design group that does PC parts and they’re not fantastic. Yeah, I mean, I think that even like bringing the brand doesn’t even necessarily guarantee the success but I agree with you with this one and the Xbox mini fridge those two things you could sell. You could tell me like a lawn chair that had AI but my real gaming chair like I sit all day in this thing I if I had to like

Paul Dawalibi 56:32
yeah, Kyle says I’ve listened to you guys since the beginning finally made a live stream Keep up the good work. Love the show. Kyle, thank you so much. We love you for showing up. I’m so happy you made it. Cam says entire biz eSports space compound we’ll have those chairs Can’t wait cam. I’ve already talked to BMW we are only going to have those chairs. We will not insert in non AI chairs. It will just be unacceptable. JOHN says yeah, we need built for hitch. True. This is not peak chair yet. There’s no fridge built in. cams says I don’t see why chairs can’t reach that level of complexity. They can absolutely be more than just a basic seat agreed agreed. Ai to fix posture remind you to hydrate etc. I also agree it’s a great see

Jeff Cohen 57:20
so much. Drink water, you got to like disconnect and re enter the real world.

Paul Dawalibi 57:27
I love it. I love it. That’s

William Collis 57:29
my biggest problem when I’m gaming is I just don’t remember to drink.

Paul Dawalibi 57:34
hydrate is the most common like stream like active like, like when you want to send a message to a streamer hydrate is the most common by far like reminding a streamer to hydrate is the thing. Also, Jeff,

Jimmy Mondal 57:46
I saw you that weekend, Madden. oh six came out. Okay. I watched it happen. Yeah. All right.

Paul Dawalibi 57:57
JOHN says for use at promo events. This is genius. Yeah, I do think I do think it’s genius as a marketing stunt also, but I think it would have made even more sense as an actual product. Ramsay says selling the BMW gaming chair to a kid slash young adult brings on a lifelong customer. Ramsey. This is true, but it’s also all the adults who are gamers who own BMWs have money to spend for whom? A $2,000 Gaming chair? They may not blink an eye?

William Collis 58:29
I don’t know. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve long wondered what the true upper price point for gaming is. Right? Like, just very bluntly. Like I, I think you see in many other industries, that the price points have shifted drastically, like drastically right. In gaming, we went to $70 titles instead of 60. You know, like, and I’m, by the way, I’m not necessarily a fan of that. But I’m saying like I think there’s there is more experimentation to be done in gaming about what the true high willingness to play, you know, high willingness to pay market is willing to bear.

Paul Dawalibi 59:04
I will tell you guys, I think there is a market for like three to $5,000 Gaming chairs. I think there’s a legitimate market at those price points. of people who will gladly pay to have the greatest, coolest, most feature rich chair. Yeah, you can park your your button. JOHN says the rise of metaverse will create chairs that help with the overall virtual experience. Yeah, john Exactly. I mean the same way. chairs are a big part of like sim racing. And and DI box is like one of those companies that does all the motion, the motion chairs and things for sim racing. I absolutely think agreed that it will be part of the overall experience.

Jimmy Baratta 59:48
So what’s your point real quick, Paul, your price point that you just offered for that?

Paul Dawalibi 59:52
I think three to five grand is a is you we will start seeing chairs to John’s I think john put it very like succinctly but it will be part of the overall gaming experience, not just something you sit in. And wait says new discord status, Paul is sitting in his chair while listening to Spotify. This is true. Alright, let’s move on. Let’s do, let’s do a serious topic here, guys, because between LeBron and the chair, let’s do something a bit harder hitting. Hang on this one news out of China. And the headline here is Tencent deploys facial recognition. To detect minors gaming at night, the Chinese tech company will use its midnight patrol system to keep tabs on minor screentime as it continues to combat gaming addiction among younger players. I really have one question for you guys here. So obviously, basically what it’s doing is Tencent is going to have software, like a facial verification system that’s built into their games. And it will detect individuals who spend time online at night and basically shut them down like essentially refuse them ban their accounts, block them from playing the games. And this is for anyone, this is for minors between 10pm and 8am. I’m curious if you guys think this changes, any of the math people have been doing in terms of the size of the gaming market in China, or the potential for the gaming market in China? Do we have to rethink some of the opportunities, the scale of the opportunity there? If there are going to be these kinds of restrictions?

Jeff Cohen 1:01:46
I don’t think I mean, it’s a good it’s a good point. I don’t I don’t think so only because I think that this isn’t the first time that the government has had, you know, different various different crackdowns on, you know, younger kids gaming. So I don’t know how different This one is from from sort of previous ones or how long these things last? Or if there’s ways that people easily get around them. But it’s an interesting thing that I wasn’t sure where we were going to go with this story. Because obviously, there’s a million ways you could you can take it, you know, this could turn into a geopolitical conversation or a conversation about Okay, is it is it a good thing for miners to, for us to cut down on minors? gaming, we don’t want to go in those directions. So I think you actually adding a good question. But yeah, I mean, I don’t I think that all of that is sort of a little bit baked in. And to some extent, you know, I think that people spend too the amount that they have in their wallet, if that makes sense. So what I mean by that is, if I am a miner and I have an allowance of $30 a week, and I spend $15, on a gaming, I will spend those $15, whether it’s in five hours of time, or 10 hours of time, most likely, you kind of can’t spend more than you have. Maybe at the very margins, you get people with addictive personalities that are staying up all night playing these like effective slot machine games and like spending beyond their means. But those people turn out and those people will spend that money anyway, because they have addictive personalities. So I think the willingness to pay is is where you’re going to hit up to on the demand curve, rather than, you know, just like shrinking the time applying isn’t going to shrink the depth of wallet, I guess.

Paul Dawalibi 1:03:29
William, you have

William Collis 1:03:31
I know you’re all assuming that this technology actually does something. And I would think two things. Either one, it’s easily defeated, right? Because like, I don’t think you’re gonna stop kids from playing games, if they were the only people who can really stop kids from playing games are parents and themselves, right? I think either the technology a the technology can be pretty easy to get around, in which case someone will find a way to get around it, it will probably get across online forums, and it won’t do anything. That’s option one, or Option two is the technology is very effective, in which case people will just play non Tencent games. I really think like that strongly about this, I think people who want to game at nine or pure kid you want to play games at 910 or 11 o’clock at night, like you’re going to try to play you’re going to find ways to play those games. So I don’t think it’s I think it’s a cool story. I think it’s really exciting. It points to new things. And I think in general it points to new areas where gaming can be policeman’s entering that gaming is so socially powerful, it needs to be policed, but I don’t think this particular thing will have much of an impact at all.

Lindsay Poss 1:04:34
Well, it’s also very loose in how they intend to enforce it in it says something about they will kick someone off if they spend excessive time gaming between those hours, but there’s no real definition for what excessive time is. And I also think access to devices, they don’t define the age of children. And I think that, you know, most parents have a pretty good grasp on that. four year old has a device or not. So I think there’s just there’s a lot of factors to determine if this will be successful. But I, I just to William’s point, I think it’ll either go by the wayside or by be easily defeated. Given that it’s in such general terms Anyway,

Paul Dawalibi 1:05:18
I’m really doubtful that it’s easily defeated. Like, they say in the article, it will be linked with big data from the central public security system, like literally the communist government’s own, like facial database and things like that, like, this seems like a serious effort to clamp down and I, I think in the in the environment there, it’s not something you usually mess with. Like, they’re also they also cap purchases to Jeff’s point. So it’s like, if you’re, you’re spending a lot outside of those hours, or there’s patterns of addiction or things like that, then they can clamp down on that too. It’s just to me, this is minor. So they’re talking at like under 18 10pm, after, like, after 10pm is, I would think when a lot of 1617. You know, this is the hours you play, you’re not playing at five and you know, five in the afternoon or four in the afternoon. I personally think this is gonna have a serious impact. And, and, you know, just saying let’s not play Tencent games. I mean, what games in China are not at least partially owned by Tencent is this to me, this is serious, I believe it’s serious. And I think, I think if I’m, if I’m an investor, I put my investor hat on almost always, if I’m an investor, and I’m like, trying to think, you know, should I put my dollars in gaming in the US, or put my dollars in gaming in China? And I think a lot of people can, you know, at least to me try and make the case that there’s so much opportunity in China, and I’m not that I disagree. I just think you run into issues like this that you would never have in the US. And that you can’t control for that as an investor, you have absolutely no control over. And and I think it’s scary. I think it’s really scary.

Jeff Cohen 1:07:04
To Harken that point. I mean, not, again, to make this political at all, but look at what happened with DD, right. They just went public, and they got taken off the App Store in China, like literally the day after they went public stocks down like 30%. So yeah, just that point.

Paul Dawalibi 1:07:22
It’s a good point. And I think, you know, it’s one of these things where, not not much, not much you can do other than see how this plays out, right? Like it’s either it’s either gonna, they’re either gonna hold the line here, and it becomes just part of the environment there. Or to Williams point and Lindsay’s point, maybe it doesn’t work. Maybe it’s unenforceable, and they give up on it. But I think I think it’s an interesting development and one to watch closely.

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