Earlier this month famous streamer and gamer Dr Disrespect partnered up with Rogue Company, a new third person shooter, to create his own skin as well as a map for players to compete on. Let’s take a closer look at skins and streamers.
Are Streamer Skins New?
Skins in games are not new. Many esports titles have incorporated skins into their games to make the game more visually appealing, give a sense of customisation and of course to make money by selling loot boxes for skins. However in the last years with esports becoming a growing and lucrative industry, game developers soon realised that exclusive skins, team skins and even electronically signed skins, can make a lot more money.
Counter Strike Global Offensive and Dota 2 are just two examples of where game developers used the name and brand of teams, to create skins specifically for those teams and certain tournaments.
If skins are not new to games, then why is it such a big deal that Dr Disrespect got his own skin in a game?
Full skins, representing a streamer are relatively new on the market. Some celebrities have inspired certain skins in games, but besides the Doc, Ninja is the only streamer who has gotten a full skin, in the game Fortnite. Other streamers have received specific dances etc but besides Ninja, no one has gotten a skin.
There are endless possibilities to why Ninja received his own skin and others did not. One of those reasons is that Ninja is the face of Fortnite. It only makes sense to give him a skin and influence the audience into spending money on a game that essentially could be played entirely for free. Besides that, Ninja as a creator is extremely family friendly, therefore making it really attractive for investors and marketers since they can market him to a larger audience.
Why A Dr Disrespect Skin?
We all have heard and read up on the drama that happened when the Doc got banned from Twitch, and to this day we still do not know for sure why that happened, however; Dr Disrespect did not only lose his Twitch partnership that day, he also lost a lot of sponsors. Call Of Duty dropped the Doc following the Twitch ban along with an energy drink company that he was working with.
Does Dr Disrespect really need the money from Rogue to survive? No. Over the last years the Doc has created such a strong brand and brand image, that yes losing a multi million dollar deal with Twitch hurt him financially, but not to the point where he is struggling to pay rent. Dr Disrespect is earning just as much in subscriptions and donations from YouTube than he was on Twitch, so why partner up with Rogue?
In my professional opinion the game is a good fit and good timing. Rogue Company is a brand new game that got huge success right out the gate and with a strong brand like Dr Disrespect backing it up, it opens up more possibilities. Just like Fortnite, Rogue Company can be played entirely for free on and across all platforms. Skins will allow the devs to bring in more money. Besides that Dr Disrespect has been working for many years with Call Of Duty and learned useful skills, for example map design, which he brought into Rogue and designed the Champions Club arena. So who needs who more? This is difficult to say but in the end it appears that timing was just right for this partnership.
Will We See More Skins From Streamers?
I strongly believe so. The industry of esports, video games, streamers and content creators is growing at a record breaking speed and the gap between celebrities and creators is closing slowly. More and more creators reach “celebrity” status and even surpass a lot of them based on brand awareness, followers on social media etc. I do not think we will see multiple skins of streamers in a single game due to exclusivity contracts, but we at Streaming Live Academy are excited to see more skins in games.