Gamers with the top garms
There’s no denying that gaming is now firmly a part of mainstream culture. There are currently more than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide, according to this report, predicted to spend $152.1 billion in 2019. And as many as 77% of Gen-Z males are now game watchers too. Unsurprisingly, streaming platforms for gamers have seen exponential growth in the last few years, with major providers like Twitch racking up 3.7 million monthly users in 2019.
With the rise of streaming has come the rise of streamer celebrities, a new breed of influencer that rack up fans and revenue by monetising their charisma and their gameplay. It’s estimated that the average pro-streamer earns $2,000 – $5,000 dollars a month from subscriptions alone, but there are a number of ways for them to supplement this income.
Uploading their streams to YouTube is a huge part of this, as it allows them to earn twice for the same gameplay, as well as uploading and earning from supplementary content and fan engagement. A number of YouTube’s most successful ‘streamers’ have also found that merchandise is a great way to engage with their legions of fans.
Here are some of the YouTube gamers who are capitalising on their stardom with custom merch.
Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie)
Any list of famous YouTube gamers would be woefully incomplete without mention of PewDiePie, who is not only the most followed gamer on YouTube, but is also often the most popular channel across the whole site. His recognition beyond the gamer community has seen him amass a multi-million dollar fortune, and an army of fans hungry for ways to celebrate their love for him.
The Swedish star is most beloved for his goofy, “authentic” demeanour, and his merchandise has always been just as playful. Most recently he released an entire line based around a niche Russian meme, translating his website into Russian, and confusing even his most loyal fans. No doubt all the bemused publicity was a boost to sales.
Tom Cassell (Syndicate)
Tom Cassell is a British gamer who plays under the name Syndicate. He started his YouTube channel TheSyndicateProject in 2010, with content that focused on Halo and Modern Warfare. Cassell found real fame with his Call of Duty: Black Ops coverage, and a series called “The Minecraft Project”.
His YouTube now has 9.86 million followers, and he is the 17th most followed player on Twitch. Tom worked with ICON to create merch for his Syndicate Original webstore, which sells almost 100 different products in both the UK and US markets. The merchandise is themed around popular gaming tropes of collective and belonging, nodding to the idea of tribes and heraldic houses.
Evan Fong (Vanoss Gaming)
Canadian gamer Evan Fong is known for the distinctive montage-style YouTube edits he makes of him and friends playing video games, and his VanossGaming channel has racked up a massive 24.8 million subscribers as a result. The Vanoss avatar is an owl’s head, and this simple, original emblem is found across his wide array of merchandise, most of which sticks to a black and gold theme (colours seemingly beloved by lots of gamers).
He also releases special drops like his most recent Mystery Box, costing $125 but filled with good to the value of $250, which are a great way to offload merchandise that isn’t selling as fast.
Dan Middleton (DanTDM)
Another British gamer, DanTDM’s popularity has seen him win several Kids’ Choice Awards, and his channel has helped him break a number of Guinness World Records. Dan has a much younger audience than many YouTube gamers, in part because his channel was originally dedicated to Pokemon when he first founded it. As a result, Dan’s merch skews younger too, with bright colours and cartoonish designs on many of the products.
Luis Fernando Alvarado (Fernanfloo)
Fernanfloo is beloved among the Spanish-language gaming community, and his channel is the most-subscribed in his home country of El Salvador, as well as being up there with the most subscribed in the world. Part of what makes Luis so beloved is his relationship with his dog Curly, who features in many of the creator’s videos, and has added to perceptions that Luis is a cute and playful character. Luis’ relatively small merch range plays on this, featuring Curly the dog quite prominently.
Imane Anys (Pokimaine)
Canadian gamer Polimaine, real name Imane Ayns, is one of the most popular female game streamers out there. Women have always struggled for recognition in the gaming world, but Pokimaine still boasts an impressive 3.6 million followers on twitch, and 4.2 million YouTube subscribers. Playing on gamer tropes, much of her merch features an anime-style rendering of her face as an extra-cute gamer fantasy.
Rubén Doblas Gundersen (El Rubius)
El Eubius is the most followed Spanish language YouTuber, and was also responsible for the most retweeted tweet of the year in 2016. As well as sharing gaming-focused videos, El Rubius also produces vlog and sketch-based content as part of his channel, and has seen further success by publishing a series of manga dramatising his life as a virtual hero. His limited-edition merch drops feature manga characters that are sure to appeal to his male audience in particular.
JackSeptikEye and Markiplier (Cloak)
Special mention goes to YouTubers Markiplier and JackSepticEye, who partnered to found clothing brand Cloak. Rather than simply selling branded merch, Mark and Jack sought to create functional clothing that suits the needs of a gamer. In a tongue-in-cheek way, the Cloak brand offers comfortable, breathable clothing that can stand up to hours of gameplay. Somewhere between athleisure and streetwear, the Cloak brand is a smart approach to gamer merch.
Want to create custom merch for your gamer or streaming platform? ICON Printing offer fast turnaround printing on a range of garments, counting clients ranging from the Tate to Boiler Room and WeWork. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.