IKEA appears to woo players with £50 gaming chair and a wood hand | WIRED UK

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IKEA and ROG used the Asus sub-brand’s community to dig into players’ wants. “We had numerous conferences with the gaming [community], who ROG related us with,” explains Rychert. “But … as a company, we have done many home visits, all over the world, asking the question to gamers: where are the pain points?”

“There were a lot of pro gamers who helped out during workshops and during design meetings – just to help to shed light on the needs of gamers,” added Emanuel Jarnland, marketing manager at ASUS and ROG Nordic. 

The results? Reps were told that gaming products were priced high while still lacking ergonomic considerations. However, IKEA could easily bring improved ergonomics to gamer-friendly chairs on its own, so why the need for Republic of Gamers? Rychert says the collaboration resulted in some gamer-specific additions to IKEA’s creations. “It was the lumbar support, the headrest, it was the manipulation of the armrest in different 3D ways; that we didn’t have in an IKEA office chair because it was not necessary to go to that extent,” she says.

Compared to IKEA’s new gaming range, Jarnland says ROG gaming chairs tend to be focused on “unique features, like RGB lighting, that cater to gamers and also impacts the price range. When working with IKEA, the focus has been different, on more of a broad target audience.”

While these conclusions make sense, they are obvious. IKEA’s partnership with ROG looks to be its simplest yet, with the furniture veteran applying many principles to this new gaming range you’d assume it would be perfectly capable of managing in house. Gamers sit for a long time? Add enhanced lumbar support. Many gaming chairs are expensive and quality can be a mixed bag? Make a no-frills option for £50. It seems unlikely Ikea would need ROG to come to these conclusions.

Above all for IKEA, it’s about balancing value with options – conserving that all-important value low. For the ROG partnership, including these gamer-specific options whereas conserving the RRP down was a problem. “Is it worth it to invest because then the customer needs to pay for it?” says Witkorsson. “We want to make it as affordable as possible, but this feature was about the lumbar support, the armrests, the headrest in our product. You can adapt.”

Adapt IKEA has, including these options and conserving the costs extraordinarily low – one thing that might be a recipe for achievement. However, regardless of a necessity to stay to aggressive pricing, IKEA has been eager to tout its sustainability commitments. With many gaming chairs costing upwards of £200, it is going to be fascinating to see simply how lengthy a £50 gaming chair will final.


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