Razer specializes in creating gaming hardware, peripherals, and software that range from high-performance keyboards and mice to full gaming laptops like the Razer Blade, which provides plenty of power while remaining thin and light. Other upcoming offerings include the Forge TV Android powered set-top box for gaming, a virtual reality development kit called OSVR, and a smartband that tracks your health when you’re not gaming.
The company is also a premiere sponsor of BlizzCon, an annual fan convention hosted by Blizzard Entertainment that highlights its incredibly popular collection of games. With the massive success of games like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, coupled with the upcoming releases of StarCraft 2 and Overwatch, this year’s BlizzCon could be the most exciting one yet.
[a]listdaily talks to Travis Wannlund, Global Director of Community Marketing for Razer, to get insight on the company’s long-standing relationship with Blizzard and its presence at BlizzCon.
Razer has been a longtime sponsor of BlizzCon. What initially prompted interest in being a sponsor?
Blizzard makes some of our favorite games: Warcraft, StarCraft, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. That s a hell of a lineup. We ve been huge fans of BlizzCon since the first show and have increased our involvement every year since. We work with Blizzard throughout the year, so for us BlizzCon is a celebration of that partnership.
I mean, it’s Blizzard. You can t grow up playing PC games without having a fond memory of one Blizzard title or another. Many of our staff have been going to BlizzCons as fans for years, so exhibiting there is just a natural extension of what we do as individuals. If we want to be there, you can rest assured that our fans want to be there, too. We ve been working together with Blizzard for years now, and BlizzCon gives us an opportunity to reaffirm that partnership and collaboration.
With a diverse line-up of products that include everything from mice & keyboards, to gaming laptops, to smartbands, how do events like BlizzCon grow awareness of new products?
Events like BlizzCon lets us get our hard work that we re excited about in front of the people we care about. We have staff on the floor to answer any questions and conversations with our fans in-person. There is really no other place we d rather be than hanging with the community. They re the inspiration for everything we do. Razer is unique in that we devote 100 percent of our resources toward making great product for gamers (ourselves included), from peripherals to systems to software and wearable tech. BlizzCon allows us show-off our reason for being to the people we designed products for.
How does BlizzCon help associate eSports like StarCraft 2 with Razer gear?
Razer and eSports have been synonymous since the beginning, and BlizzCon is a huge draw for the eSport scene. These are the most fervent cross-section of hardcore gamers, and they follow their favorite eSports players religiously, spending hours on Twitch and Twitter to learn how to play games like StarCraft 2 better. People spent 3.7 billion hours watching competitive gaming in 2014. These are the people who demand perfection and there s no better validation for our product than when they see their favorite players using Razer gear.
Razer has an established reputation for PC and console gaming peripherals. With the success of games like Hearthstone, do you think there will be more focus on mobile gaming in the future?
We follow the gamers. If people are gaming and we can make the experience better, we want to do that. It s why we re investing a lot into our mobile software applications. Our Cortex: Deals software, where gamers can find the best prices for their favorite games and create customized wish lists, is one example. It s in Razer’s DNA to do whatever it takes to enhance performance and fun for gamers on any platform.
What role do events like BlizzCon play in increasing Razer’s brand profile?
Generally when we do a show, we discuss our products in the broader context of gaming. With BlizzCon, we know what the people coming to the booth play and we can tailor the conversation to those specific needs. Plus it gives us a chance to give back and to that community. Almost all hardcore gamers know who we are now, so our priorities have shifted to finding ways to give back to the gamers themselves. Without them, there would be no Razer.
What can attendees expect from your booth this year?
We treat these events as a way to share our common love of Blizzard games with fans. We ll have a couple of new product announcements, giveaways and other booth activities. It s about enjoying the games, hanging with the community, and appreciating the millions of people that make gaming as great as it is.