It's not just triple-A brands that inspire fans to show off their passion for gaming; smaller-budget titles are just as rich for merchandise. MCV takes a closer look
When it comes to trends in the games industry, indie titles have never been more in fashion.
Increasing ubiquitous over the last few years, 2015 saw an influx of critically acclaimed and successful games made on a smaller budget.
From PC city-builder Cities: Skylines topping the combined digital and boxed UK charts ahead of GTA V to Everybody's Gone To The Rapture's soundtrack breaking into the Official Classic FM Chart top ten, indie gaming's accomplishments have been widespread.
With No Man's Sky potentially set to propel interest in the indie sector to new heights next year, merchandise firms say now is the time for the industry – manufacturers, distributors, publishers and retailers alike – to start investing in products for indie titles.
There's definitely a market for merchandise inspired by games of all shapes and sizes,” enthuses Dan Long, co-founder and head of communications at Insert Coin.
It isn't the size – or even the amount of units sold - that impacts on the popularity of related merch, but the passion behind it. Indeed, people playing indie games are often more engaged and invested – and almost evangelical – about those titles. They want to represent as much as possible, and merchandise is the perfect way for them to do it.”
Phil Rolls, buying managerat Gaming MerchandiseUK, agrees: A collective effort from publishers, manufacturers and retailers is needed to fully exploit what is undoubtedly a massive opportunity.
Indie studios don't necessarily have the resources to dedicate the man hours needed to see through the introduction of a range of quality merch. The onus is on everyone to remove as many of the barriers to entry as possible.”
Rocket League Logo Hoodie
The smash hit football-meets-cars title from developer Psyonix gets its own team kit with these zip-up hoodies. Available in red or asphalt colour schemes, the tops feature a full back single colour print of the Rocket League logo, plus vertical tire tread racing stripes.
SRP: $45 (30)
Manufacturer: American Apparel
Volume Locksley Shirt
Inspired by Mike Bithell's stealth title, which is itself based on the classic tale of Robin Hood, this T-shirt allows players to dress like futuristic folk legend Rob Locksley. The shirt features Locksley's recognisable mask design front-and-centre, but that's not all – the design is reproduced in a toughened glow-in-the-dark print coating. We don't recommend you attempt to sneak into a base in the dark while wearing it.
Manufacturer: Insert Coin Clothing
Distributor: Insert Coin Clothing
Contact: 01702 521 850
This plush of a normal, loving father has magnetic hands to cling to things, like a sea creature. What do you mean, he's an octopus?
SRP: $18 (12)
Manufacturer: Happy Worker
Shovel Knight CollectiblePin Set – Series One
Followers of the spade-wielding hero can display their fondness with these pin badges, which measure from 1.75 to 2 inches tall.
SRP: $35 (23)
Manufacturer: Mighty Fine
Tincture of Vigour Tote Bag
Failbetter Games' twisted world of Fallen London comes to life in this old-fashioned bag promising to ‘ward off spiders'.
Manufacturer: Failbetter Games
Distributor: Failbetter Games
Contact: 0203 040 2273
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture– Original Soundtrack CD
Jessica Curry's acclaimed score for the indie hit is here captured on CD for those wishing to recreate the apocalypse in their home.
Manufacturer: Sony Music Classical
Distributor: The Chinese Room
Contact: 01273 506 595
Ranging from 1.6 to 2.25 inches tall, these 14 assorted figures allow Spelunky lovers to recreate their own caving adventures.