Swedish household furniture and furnishings manufacturer IKEA have announced that their design teams are working on a new line of products aimed at the lucrative gaming market. Building on projects initiated last year through team-ups with UNYQ and Area Academy, IKEA's design teams are partnering with ASUS ROG to develop home furnishings that enrich the gaming experience.
IKEA's range of office furniture has already found itself into the homes of gamers thanks to its low-cost pricing and flexible, interchangeable components. The new initiative puts gaming at the core however, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics, and draws on ROGs knowledge of the wants and needs of gamers as individuals and a cohesive market segment.
Initial statements indicate that these new products will be both affordable and ergonomic in nature, blending into both home and gaming environments. They are being developed at the IKEA Product Development Centre in Shanghai, the location of the first round of workshops hosted by engineers from both companies that also brought together local professional gamers and gaming organisations.
"There are a lot of existing conventions about gaming which are often stereotypical or negative, for example, all the games are built on violence, gaming is asocial and it is predominantly a men’s activity. In fact, figures show that gaming is among the most truly cross-demographic activities, and it can improve an individual's mental health and general well-being. It’s a source of relaxation, independence, fun; through gaming, people develop skills within problem solving, teamwork and communication. Playing games also provides a new way of connecting with others which has become even more important recently to feel connected remotely. We hope that the new gaming range will help to embrace and enable the benefits of gaming in life at home." - Ewa Rychert, Global Business Leader of Workspace
"ROG is thrilled to be partnering with IKEA to create the ultimate gaming lifestyle for gamers. Gamers have always dreamed of the perfect gaming space that is both comfortably functional and enables full immersion in games. With years of experience delivering innovative gaming solutions to gamers, ROG has a strong understanding of the gaming community. Together with IKEA as an expert in home furnishing, we envision that this collaboration will create synergies that empower gamers to build the gaming space they have always imagined in the comfort of their own homes." - Kris Huang, General Manager of ASUS Gaming Gear and Accessory Business Unit.
Typical IKEA furniture designs trend towards the minimalist, with simple, clean lines and monochromatic colour-schemes. The modern gamer aesthetic meanwhile has a reputation for being far more garish, with bright colours and RGB LEDs throughout. It will be fascinating to see which approach the final range favours.
The first range of IKEA x ROG products will be released in China in February 2021, and are expected to roll out worldwide by the following October. That time-frame is of course contingent on circumstances surrounding the ongoing global pandemic and associated mitigation measures.