‘We’re going after Jeff Bezos,’ joked Paul Leaman, Vice President EMEA at HyperX, to me at Gamescom last week.
While it’s unlikely a memory and peripheral manufacturer will be taking on Amazon anytime soon, the company’s meteoric rise over the past few years is undeniable.
HyperX entered the gaming world all the way back in 2002, and they sponsored their first ever esports event in 2007. But it’s only in the last five years or so that they’ve become a real household name in the PC gaming space.
NBA star Gordon Hayward of the Celtics is HyperX’s longest running celebrity influencer
While they still make popular RAM, it’s HyperX headsets that people now know the company for. Good design, good sound quality, and for a reasonable price, they’ve taken over the PC headset market.
‘We very rarely say no,’ said Ben Malka, Influencer Marketing Manager at HyperX, ‘which is a good thing.’
HyperX not only sponsors people and teams from the gaming world, over the past couple of years they’ve started to branch out to celebrity endorsers too. NBA star Gordon Hayward and NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster both use HyperX products, and are often used in promotional material.
Not content to sit on being the top PC headset maker out there, HyperX wants to become a lifestyle brand, and they’re taking a lot of cues from Beats.
‘Beats have done a great job in people wanting to be part of their brand,’ said Malka. ‘It’s aspirational, to be part of the movement with Neymar, Zlatan, Marco Reus. All of these guys wear Beats coming off the coach, or the money shots, as we call it.
‘It’s like a lifestyle, and that’s why people invest in those kinds of products, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve as a brand.’
They’re not going after just any old celebrity though, HyperX is trying to stay authentic.
‘For us, esports is where the company was born, we’ll always keep our foot in there,’ said Malka. ‘[Potential partners] have to be gamers, that’s one thing. They have to enjoy gaming and actively promote it, or be willing to.’
While they’re keeping under wraps who exactly is up next, I was told that there will be exciting news regarding new sponsorships over the next couple of months.
HyperX is also trying to break into the PC keyboard and mouse market with new upgrades
And they’re certainly not leaving esports behind. HyperX sponsors the whole Cloud9 organisation, and they’ve also started investing into Rainbow Six Siege, a game which has been out for three years, but which is now becoming a fairly popular esport.
They’re not just about headsets, but it’s a little harder to break into the keyboard and mouse market, which has a lot of competition from the likes of Logitech and Razer.
The new version of the Alloy keyboard now has a gunmetal finish instead of black. It’s more scratch and smudge resistant, and the colour is better for the RGB lighting – black does absorb light, after all.
The switches have been changed from Cherry to Kailh, allowing them to put the LEDs on the base of the switch rather than at the top. This allows the full key to be illuminated, which is particularly important on UK and European keyboards where the numbers and symbols are at the top and bottom of the keys.
It’s designed for FPS players, most noticeably thanks to the very small bezel, allowing the keyboard to be angled sideways and the mouse to be brought much closer. The wrist rest is optional too, in case you want the keyboard as close to you as possible.
The new Pro version of the Pulsefire mouse has been given some upgrades too. It now has a 3389 sensor and goes up to a maximum of DPI.
One main benefit for HyperX’s RGB products is the onboard memory. Both the keyboards and mice are able to store RGB and macro settings on the device itself, allowing you to set up profiles and take them to LAN events without having to download software or profiles from the cloud.
The new officially licensed PlayStation 4 HyperX headset is just the first step into consoles
HyperX is targeting console gamers too, and will be taking on Turtle Beach in that space. They started off with the Stinger Core headset, and despite it not being marketed to the same level as some of their other products, it has become a popular choice.
Leaman said it was a happy accident that the company was starting to move into the console space just as Fortnite was becoming popular. A lot of people are now buying headsets so they can chat to their squad mates during games.
They’ve recently launched an official PS4 Cloud headset, complete with PlayStation logo which is only given to products which pass Sony’s QA testing. They’ve relaunched the Cloud X too, for Xbox One.
The next thing in the pipeline is a dual charging dock for PlayStation 4 controllers. Using the ext. port, it’ll charge two controllers to full in about two hours.
Given the company’s success since 2014, it’s easy to see why HyperX is so ambitious. A gaming brand becoming a lifestyle brand has certainly never been done before, so it will be very interesting to see where the company is a few years down the line.
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