IKEA takes step into gaming realm at Tokyo Game Show – The Japan Times

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P/SUNNY

STAFF WRITER
Some of the usual suspects were on the event floor for a very-scaled down Tokyo Game Show this year.
Sega was there showing off some of its titles as were Konami, Koei Tecmo, SNK and even Ikea.

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Wait, what was that last one?
That’s right, the Swedish furniture-maker was on the floor at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture this year, nestled among companies showing off titles made for the latest video game consoles, PCs and virtual reality setups.
While Ikea isn’t about to rub shoulders with Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo any time soon, the company is looking to carve out a space for itself in the gaming sphere with a line of products aimed at gamers and saw TGS as a good place to make an entrance.
“There is not really a natural connection between Ikea and games, so we thought it was a good opportunity,” said Shingo Ujino, part of the firm’s communications team.
The IKEA booth at TGS featured desks, various gaming chairs and other accessories.
“Our vision is to create a better everyday life for many people, and a lot of people are playing games now, and the time they’re playing is getting longer and longer,” Ujino said. “So there is huge potential for us to join the gaming field.”

Wooden gaming hands are on display in the Ikea booth at the 2021 Tokyo Game Show. | JASON COSKREYWooden gaming hands are on display in the Ikea booth at the 2021 Tokyo Game Show. | JASON COSKREY
Wooden gaming hands are on display in the Ikea booth at the 2021 Tokyo Game Show. | JASON COSKREY

The company partnered with Republic Of Gamers, an offshoot of computer hardware company ASUS that is focused on creating products for gaming.
“We didn’t have any information about gamers’ needs, so we decided to collaborate with the Republic of Gamers,” Ujino said.
Gaming furniture has been a staple at TGS over the past few years, with brands such as AKRacing setting up booths at the normally expansive annual gaming show.
This is the first year Ikea has attended.
While the Ikea lineup shown at TGS is marketed at gamers, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a new avenue, as many people began working from home and viewed gaming chairs and other gaming furniture as ideal for home office setups.
“The gaming chair sales were really good, better than our expectations,” Ujino said. “The main reason people purchased these types of things were for teleworking needs.”
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