Digital retailer Fanatical was acquired by user-generated content platform Fandom earlier this year. Fanatical has sold over 82m game keys to date (all officially licensed), while Fandom claims over 300m monthly active users – with gaming being a huge segment of its content. So it’s easy to see why the two working together makes so much sense.
We talk to Craig Johnson, managing director at Fanatical about the huge potential that such a collaboration should bring.
From your perspective, why did Fanatical + Fandom make sense?
From early discussions with representatives at Fandom, it was clear that the opportunities that this acquisition presented for both parties was incredibly exciting. Our knowledge and experience in the e-commerce sector for gaming and officially licensed products, combined with Fandom’s sheer scale and popularity as the world’s largest fan platform, really felt like the perfect synergy between the two companies.
And the team at your end remains the same?
Our devoted Fanatical team in its entirety is still at the helm providing customers with fantastic game deals as well as exclusively curated bundles, and we remain a UK-based business.
Our staff are excited to return to our headquarters in Rugeley, Staffordshire, pending the official nod from Boris Johnson. We’ve taken every measure to ensure that our workplace is a COVID-free zone and will continue to ensure that each staff member follows the strict guidelines in place to minimize the risk of infection on their return.
With the popularity of your ‘Mystery Egg’ bundles, having a partner that tells people about the games they might get is surely a great match?
Our recent Mystery Egg Bundle has been a ‘cracking’ choice for customers since its launch during our Easter Eggstravaganza sale, this particular type of bundle is a fun and unique way to discover new must-play games and great indie gems at unbeatable value.
Every Mystery Bundle contains officially licensed keys, and we agree confidentiality with our developers and publishers that we won’t reveal what titles will be included – which means that customers have the opportunity to discover incredible games for next to nothing.
As for Fandom content on the Fanatical Store, we currently have no plans to serve third-party adverts on the site. However, you may see advertisements for our Fanatical deals appearing on Fandom as we promote our fantastic deals to their ever-growing community.
Specifically, how else can Fandom direct users towards Fanatical, to make them into customers? (both in advertising and links from native content)
At present, our primary focus is promoting exciting new releases, our exclusive bundles and many other deals via advert placements on some of Fandom’s most popular and relatable wiki pages, in order to reach more gamers and potential customers than ever before. Hundreds of millions of people visit Fandom each month to find out more information on their favourite TV shows, movies and games – and by providing a site in which visitors can find insightful information with the addition of tailored ads to fantastic Fanatical deals, this synergy is creating a hub for all their consumer needs.
Fandom is a global site, can we now expect Fanatical to take greater steps to cultivate a global audience?
Fandom has achieved milestone after milestone, with a phenomenal number of monthly users and an engaging site encompassing creator tools, experiences, content and commerce. Fanatical has already made great strides in providing an array of products to a global audience, serving customers in over 200 countries with 16 languages available on our site.
Fandom’s audience size will allow Fanatical to grow and accelerate our plans to achieve our ultimate goal: to become one of the world’s best online retailers for officially licensed digital entertainment products.
Will partnering with Fandom potentially increase your range of products?
We’re always looking to bring our customers the very best games on the market, as well as providing them with must-have savings and best-ever prices on timeless classics, popular choices and much more. While we don’t have any specific information on expanding our catalog through this newly formed acquisition at the moment, including new publishers or multi-platform games, we will continue to offer customers a wide range of products and inform them of any new information at the appropriate time.
What other synergies are there, what am I missing here?
The synergy between Fandom and Fanatical is a prosperous opportunity and one that we are excited to share.
Our teams have met in virtual groups, sharing expertise and knowledge on each other’s strengths, ideas and where we can grow together – this includes the integration of Fanatical adverts on Fandom’s wiki pages, as well as plans for featured deal shoutouts via the Honest Trailers YouTube channel and sharing some of our creative blog content on the Fandom site for new audiences to enjoy.
It’s still early days, but we’re all eager to work on big plans together for the future.
Generally speaking how is business, how has the pandemic impacted you and how is the rest of 2021 looking?
Fanatical continues to perform well given the unfortunate circumstances that the world has succumbed to over the past 12 months or so. The coronavirus pandemic was a huge shock to us all and everyday life has changed drastically, although we seem to be approaching more lenient restrictions over the coming months, which is welcome news for us all.
We were fortunate that our business is digital-based, meaning our customers could still visit us and acquire the products that they desired with no hassle or complications. Of course, the pandemic and lockdown restrictions meant that our team had to adjust to working from home – but I couldn’t be prouder of how they’ve all maintained such a high standard of professionalism and motivation during these challenging times.
As the world stood still and millions of people were forced to reside in their homes for their own safety and for those around them, many turned to games as a morale boost and to socialise online with friends, family, and fellow players from afar. This is one of the many reasons why Fanatical is proud to be able to offer customers such a wide range of products for them to enjoy.
We hope that, in some way, that great deal that you picked up from our sale or that curated bundle of titles that you added to your Steam Library has brought you some comfort or enjoyment during such horrid times. As we begin to focus on life on the other side of the pandemic, our team is working tirelessly throughout to ensure that our customers have access to amazing games, with hopefully lots more exciting projects on the horizon, as we embark on a new adventure as part of the Fandom family.