SteelSeries Targets Growing Serious-Gamer Market
The Denmark-based gaming accessories maker SteelSeries has been a fixture in the European market since its inception in 2001. Now, the company, with a base in the Chicago area, is poised to broaden its distribution in the U.S. beyond its current Internet sales footprint.
The company plans to more widely address a 55-million-household gamer demographic, with what newly appointed CEO and former Motorola executive Bruce Hawver says is a “gamer-driven” product suite offering “winning is everything” features that give users a competitive advantage – and dealers product margins ranging anywhere from 30 to 40 points.
The brand is also in the 21-store Micro Center computer chain, but is looking to expand its brick-and-mortar distribution, using family-look packaging that touts the hardcore-gamer-specific feature sets in its headsets, mice, gaming pads and – come May 5 – its first keyboard. These features, says Kim Rom, vice president of global marketing, include refined and highly adjustable mouse sensor technology, headsets that are sound-engineered from a gamer perspective rather than from a music-listening perspective, and the new keyboard’s bulletproof build quality, optimized for gaming versus office use. At $149.99, the 7G Keyboard is designed with an iron-infused plastic chassis and rests on a metal frame. Gold-plated contacts beneath each key heighten touch sensitivity, and the overall design can withstand the slamming fist of a vexed gamer without shattering, as Hawver demonstrated.