Nyko Using Licensing To Stand Apart

By Lisa Johnston On Apr 23 2012 - 4:01am

NEW YORK — There are a lot of players in the gaming market (all puns intended), and many of them are content with making cheap products, slapping licensing logos on them, and then upping the price, Nyko CEO Herschel Naghi said.

The gaming accessory manufacturer announced at International CES in January that it was moving in to the licensing arena, and its CEO recently corresponded with TWICE about the crowded market and how it plans to stand out with this new strategy.

Its first licensing partnership will be with “Yo Gabba Gabba,” a children’s show on the Nick Jr. television network. Naghi said that Nyko decided to explore licensing to bring the brand to new audiences and demographics that weren’t traditionally familiar with it.

“In the video game industry there are some very obvious licensing cash-ins when it comes to third-party peripherals, and we wanted to find a license that was different, yet still widely appealing,” he said.

“Yo Gabba Gabba is a perfect first licensing partner for us because it is a massive phenomenon that appeals to young children as well as their parents as well as a subculture of young adult music fans.”

The initial products will include the Muno Time iPod charging dock with alarm clock and radio. The dock features the Muno character who “dances” along with the music, Naghi said. Further specs and pricing weren’t available at press time, but the packaing will feature both Yo Gabba Gabba designs and Nyko’s branding.

“We hope to have the products available in all major retailers and online stores,” Naghi said. “Realistically, these products may not be as widely available as most Nyko items, but our sales team is hard at work to make sure fans can find them when they’re released.”

To stand out in the crowded accessory arena, Naghi said that Nyko invests heavily in tradeshows like E3 and CES “in order be first to demo new technology before our competitors do.” The company plans to debut new products at the June show that will be timed for holiday release.

Naghi credited his creative staff with helping the company weather the recession and said the manufacturer refused to downsize during the most difficult times. “I strongly feel that during a recession like this, innovation and fresh ideas are what consumers will be willing to spend their money on. My staff’s talent is the only thing that can provide those types of ‘must have’ innovations that can transcend the thrifty mindset that a downturned economy can cause.”

Naghi said Nyko is exploring other licensing deals with lifestyle, gaming and media companies. “We hope to announce our next partnership at this year’s E3,” he added.

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