We have an amazing online community and we love getting questions asking what we’re up to and why we do what we’re doing.
One question we get asked fairly regularly is why we only make official merchandise and why we work together with publishers and developers to make our products – especially when there are so many websites that already sell cheaper, unofficial merch out there.
So why do we not just make whatever we like? And why do we bother investing in licences? Here’s why we always choose to be official…
1. We work with the people behind our favourite games
Something that’s really exciting about Insert Coin is that we get to work really closely with the teams behind the games we love. We get to share ideas, collaborate and inspire each other. Nothing beats getting creative with likeminded people to make something special.
Every colour, every line, every stitch of every product on our store – they’re all agreed and signed-off together. Everyone at Insert Coin eats, sleeps and breathes videogames and it is fantastic to be a part of the industry.
2. We get the official seal of approval
When something is on our store, it means it is made with the express blessing of the people who actually sat there and made the game. Sounds simple, but it’s an amazing, humbling experience and one we never really think we’ll get used to.
Take our classic Metal Gear Solid range – there is something magical in knowing people as legendary as Hideo Kojima and his team personally signed-off the designs that you spent months working on. And whether it’s an indie game or a AAA title, that seal of approval means so much to us, and we hope it shines through on everything we do.
3. You get products you’ll love
We don’t just work with developers at studios – we always take the time to work with community managers too. This is something no one else does, and we do it because we want to listen to what YOU want and to help make it a reality.
We spend weeks and months researching what the community as a whole would like from every new range, which helps us to develop exciting products to match. The passion within every part of the gaming community is amazing, and it constantly helps to drive us on, try new things and explore different ideas.
It’s a vital, creative spark at the heart of everything we do.
4. You support the companies behind your favourite games
This is the single most important reason on why official is always best: if you buy official gear, you actively and directly support the games – and game-makers – you love.
Time and time again, we’ve seen games companies not realise the full potential of some of their best-loved IPs because no one was making any official merchandise and the fanbase was settling for unofficial gear. With no way of knowing how popular they are (or how many unofficial items are being sold) you’re short-changing the people behind your favourite games – both creatively and financially.
The financial impact is an obvious one of course – people who make unlicensed merch don’t pay for what they’re doing. They don’t invest back into the franchise and they don’t pay royalties on using any of the source material – be it a name, logo, location or whatever. And so the videogame company – and the industry as a whole – is losing out on royalties for the IPs it has lovingly created.
Less obvious – but arguably more damaging – is the impact it has on studios creatively. If you buy official merch you’re helping studios and publishers to keep track of how popular their brands are – highlighting things that they might not even realise and supporting them to make new games moving forward. Again, time and time again, we’ve gone to devs and publishers to work on licences for what they might’ve seen as long-forgotten titles, but which have a huge fanbase all eager to represent them in style – including us!
Luckily, you can make a difference – communities are at the heart of the videogame industry and they really can help shape the future by supporting the games you love.
Does your favourite game have no official merch? Then tell your community managers! They can feed the info back and help make it a reality. We are always eager to chat with new studios and help even more gamers to get their geek on.
So the next time you look for merch to represent your favourite game, be the best fan you can be and make sure you pick up something official… as with all things, it is YOU – the fans – that keep your favourite videogames alive.