During the panel, Co-Founder Matt Arevalo had these words to share on the crate,
“We know that our audience loves video games, which is exactly why we wanted to offer an experience that extends beyond the joystick, keyboard or controller. Loot Gaming will give people the chance to own a piece of those gaming universes and join an active community of fans who love those same great franchises.”
Loot Gaming is coming this spring and guarantees 4 to 6 exclusive items per crate for only $25 a month.
The first Loot Gaming crate will feature products from Halo, Street Fighter and Skyrim. To watch the panel in full, visit Loot Crate’s Twitch Channel.
In addition to Loot Crate’s major announcement, GWW was able to chat with VP of Subscription Products at Loot Crate, Bob Holden.
Bob Holden: Our core looter comes from the gaming community. We have gotten feedback over time saying, “I would want a specific gaming crate just for me.” We really only started branching out in different product lines, really in September of last year. So we went through this learning curve and process with launching Anime, Pets, and our Apparel business with the Level Up to understand, “Okay, what do new subscription lines look like, how do we price them, how do we assemble these so that people understand that they are different. Then we launched the special edition crates, Mass Effect, Fallout, Star Wars.
GWW (Danny Benavides): Yeah, the Star Wars one was awesome!
BH: Yeah, People really digged the artwork, the lithograph. Something we don’t really talk about, our cofounder Matt mentioned in the panel, but the company is made of gamers. you come to our offices, you got xboxes, and ps4s, stuff everywhere. Our Employees come from the gaming community and we got a whole interactive development team. So building mobile apps as well. I don’t know if you saw but there was a loot crate a few months back where we had a augmented reality app. Our in-house team built that. We didn’t outsource that anywhere so we have a full interactive development team. Folks that worked at Sony and high end developers. So it wasn’t just external but it was people internally that were saying, “Hey we are Gamers, we gotta build something for Gamers. I’m a Gamer, we are all Gamers. We are all passionate about gaming. So it was born out of that collected passion from the community.
GWW: I noticed you have frequent collaborators, Quantum Mechanix is one example of this. They have made some great stuff in the past. How do you guys go about creating that partnership or collaboration with these companies?
BH: We actually attend a lot of the trade shows around the country. I just went with the Head of Merchandising a few weeks back to CES and actually found a couple of vendors who look like they could be very interesting partners for us but also we work directly with the IP holders. We work with companies like Marvel, Bethesda, Microsoft, Funimation. We work with all these guys and have relationships there and they will put us in touch with their official licensees. They will actually sometimes provide the introduction and we build on those relationships.
The big thing for us is Exclusivity. That’s whats so exciting about the gaming crate. We are goign to have at least 4 items in there that are exclusive. Delivering at least $60 worth of retail value and the box is priced at $30 including shipping and handling. You aren’t going to be able to get those items anywhere else. The apparel, the figurines, the collectibles, the DLC that will be affiliated with Triple A product releases, the exclusive games we plan on incorporating in there. All those will be exclusive.
GWW: How far in advance do you have the themes planned?
BH: I’m not going to say its all science or its all all art. It’s a mixture of both. Obviously, what we do is we look at what is going on in geek culture or space that is interesting to looters. Then we look at what do we do then to match the products that we can find, that we want, around the things that are going around and develop a theme that is encompassing all that. With this month, with Deadpool coming out, Walking dead being out there, coming up with the theme of “Dead” was just natural. It’s a theme that permeates across Pop culture and is fun and something we can really play with.
Legacy for our first gaming crate, that was really kind of an omage to the gaming space overall. We wanted to pay our respects to our favorite games that have stood the test of time. Games that have developed deep fandoms, strong story driven franchises with characters you identified with. That’s why we are working with Skyrim, Halo and Street Fighter.
GWW: Are there some franchises easier to work with than others. Are there some that you are still trying to work with or want included in future crates?
BH: There are some franchises and IP’s that have really well developed licensing teams and strategies. They have all sorts of products that are readily available and therefore when it comes to developing exclusive products for us, it’s very easy. Then there is some IP’s that haven’t licensed out their products at all. So for them it takes more time. It’s a very new experience for them to deliver products for the looters to enjoy. So some may want to do it but they may not have the experience or companies to produce the products for them. In which case, we delivery a lot of products ourselves. There isnt a lot of companies that say “no we don’t want to deliver products”. What they are doing is appeasing their fan base, because their fan base is our fan base.
GWW: Do you sometimes feel as if you are a brand ambassador for all your partners in some way because it goes out to so many people?
BH: Absolutely. Yeah, not only are we brand ambassadors for these different franchises including small indie shops ,we actually feel more like we are ambassadors for the gamers by bringing it to the franchises and saying “Hey, your audience wants to be a part of the universe you are creating.” They want to be able to expiernence a part of that in the physical world. I feel like it is more like that. Which is why in upcoming crates, in the game manual, you are going to see behind the scenes articles from development shops from companies. Just using a made up example, maybe we will use Razer since they are providing the content for our first mega crate. Because we work with them, maybe we can go get a behind the scenes look at how they create these fantastic products we love. We want to help our gaming audience experience what it is like to develop the brands they love.
GWW: I wanted to thank you for taking the time in chatting with us today. Hope you are enjoying the rest of PAX South.
BH: Thank you!
GWW: I had one more question: Any hint you could give us to one item will be featured in the first gaming crate?
BH: Yes, every crate has a collectible pin but for the gaming crate it’s going to be a Coin. In a way, we are paying respect to Mario and coin operated machines and so forth.
[Disclaimer: Co-Founder Matt Arevalo, who was in the same area, was wearing the coin on his hoody. I promised Bob I wouldn’t take a photo of the Coin but I promise it looks awesome!]
Fans can sign up for Loot Gaming on their official site.
Don’t forget to sign up for February Loot Crate’s box as well, the theme is “Dead” and will feature items from Deadpool and The Walking Dead.
Also, check out our unboxing video and review of January’s Loot Crate: Invasion.