Whether you enjoy modern video games or prefer a match of good old-fashioned checkers, you can’t deny how powerful the gaming industry is in 2023. The global esports market was valued at $1.22 billion in 2021, and it’s projected to grow to $5.48 billion by 2029.
Professional video game tournaments have become some of the world’s biggest events, with teams competing for million-dollar prize pools. Brands are taking notice and sponsorships are skyrocketing as a result.
With billions of dollars at stake, it’s not just fun and games. Grab your controller and get ready for an epic journey into the lucrative world of gaming merchandise.
The History and Evolution of Video Game Merchandise
The origins of video game merchandise can be traced back to the early ’80s. Classic games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong were some of the first games to offer merchandise.
In the beginning, these items were limited to simple novelties like stickers, keychains, and action figures. You couldn’t really find them in mainstream stores, either. They were primarily sold in specialty stores and gaming retailers.
In the ’90s, the gaming merchandise industry started to pick up speed. That’s when we started to see t-shirts, hats, and other accessories play a bigger role in the industry. Gaming-themed clothing became a staple accessory in the urban fashion scene.
Today, video game merchandise includes a much wider range of items. We’ve even seen prominent fashion brands collaborate with some of the most popular games in the world! For example:
What do these fashion powerhouses and video game companies have in common? Well, they’re both highly influential and interested in making money, so the collaborations make perfect sense in our opinion.
How Streamers Make Money Selling Apparel
Have you ever heard someone talk about being a “streamer” and wondered what on Earth they’re going on about? Well, live streaming is an increasingly popular form of content creation on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
The people who create these streams are called “streamers.” They have become some of the most influential people in the gaming industry. These streamers have amassed a substantial following, and their fans are always eager to show their support.
Streamers often partner with brands and retailers to create custom clothing lines, which have proven to be extremely popular with their fanbases. But how much money can you make from selling streamer apparel?
Some streamers make anywhere from $50 to $1500 per month, while others make tens of thousands. It’s important to remember that high sales don’t always result in high profits. Last year, gaming star Sykkuno opened up about his merch launch by saying that his profit margins were “absolutely garbage” after selling out his items.
Even if you have a large fanbase and make big sales, you need to factor in the cost of manufacturing, inventory management, and shipping when calculating your profits. It’s just as important to ensure you have the right partner to help you navigate the complexities of running a merchandise business.
Types of Video Game Apparel Available
The gaming world has come a long way since the days of Pac-Man. Here are some of the most popular gaming apparel items you could consider selling to this hot market:
Examples from Syndicate’s online store
T-shirts are a staple in the gaming community, with designs ranging from funny to geeky. They’re also great for promoting your brand or the streamer you’re collaborating with.
Examples from MrBeast’s online store
Hoodies and sweaters are a great option for gaming marathons. Designs come in a variety of colors and styles, ranging from classic pullovers to stylish zip-up hoodies.
Example from Ali-A’s online store
Hats will never go out of style. Baseball caps, trucker hats, snapbacks, and beanies with iconic gaming logos are popular items in the gaming merchandise market.
How Scrappy Can Help You Manufacture and Sell Gaming-Themed Apparel
There’s never been a better time to tap into the market of video game lovers. They’re ready to buy—that’s for sure.
However, amping up production and shipping for gaming apparel can be tricky. You need to make sure you have the right manufacturing partner who can meet your needs.
Here’s how Scrappy Apparel can help:
Scalable Apparel Manufacturing
We offer both turnkey and high-volume apparel solutions to serve businesses of all sizes.
- Our turnkey approach is best for brands that need low MOQs, retail-ready garments, streamlined production, and error-free deliveries.
- Our high-volume solution is for established brands that are ready to scale to infinity in beyond. We provide the infrastructure and resources to help you fulfill large ongoing orders with ease and speed.
Our Fulfillment Program
Our expert team is excited to offer an apparel-first 3PL program.
Are you tired of dealing with the hassle of managing your own inventory and shipping logistics? If so, we can take those tasks off your plate!
We’ll keep your garments in a dedicated warehouse space, complete with all the bells and whistles for seamless inventory management and shipping. And the best part? There are no implementation fees or monthly management fees to worry about.
Our 5-star account management team will answer any questions you have along the way. You’ll get real-time tracking and online inventory management, so you always know exactly what’s going on with your products. And of course, you get custom packing slips and shipping labels to make your brand stand out.
Reach out to us today if you’re ready to take your video game apparel business to the next level. Our experts are ready to help you every step of the way—from manufacturing to delivery.