Surfing and Skateboarding Debut in Nintendo Game Ahead of Olympics
The increased exposure for surfing and skateboarding from the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics is starting to ramp up, including in the gaming world.
At the E3 Convention in Los Angeles, Nintendo debuted its upcoming release of Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 with a huge booth.
The new Olympic sports of surfing, skateboarding, climbing and karate are included in the new video game, which will be released later this year. Gamers at E3 who were trying out the game could be seen turning to the sports of surfing and skateboarding often, and Nintendo’s addition of a huge climbing feature in its booth received a lot of attention.
By adding sports such as skateboarding, surfing and climbing, the International Olympic Committee is aiming to add excitement and attract interest from younger viewers, just as snowboarding has done for the Winter Olympics.
SES saw some familiar faces at E3 as some industry brands are looking to grow in the popular gaming space. We also saw some former industry executives who are crossing over into the gaming world for various projects.
We saw industry veteran Mike Carter, who is consulting with Subnation, an entertainment platform that helps connect brands to the lifestyle of gaming and esports. Subnation also delivers news, live competitions and events, original content and short-form editorial, covering a number of topics across the gaming subculture. We noticed that Subnation Partner Seven Volpone was wearing a co-branded Volcom/Subnation hoodie, which leads us to believe Volcom may be exploring the gaming space.
SES also saw former O’Neill marketer Shaun Moody, who is now at Red Digital Cinema, working on the company’s new Hydrogen cell phone, which is described as better than 3D with no glasses required.
We also saw a few other industry brand executives roaming the convention hall, but they asked us to refrain from identifying them because they are in the early stages of exploring the gaming world.
It’s easy to see why brands looking for growth are checking out gaming given the booming nature of esports and other gaming vehicles.
Gamers are definitely passionate – many paid more than $900 to attend the convention so they could be the first to play new or updated games that haven’t been released to consumers yet.
Borderlands, a series of action role-playing first-person shooter video games in a space/Western/science fiction/fantasy setting, was one of the most popular booths. Fans waited in long lines for their chance to play, and some wore masks from the game.
Tilly’s is one industry company that is tapping into gaming by sponsoring the High School ESports League (HSEL). Tilly’s is offering care packages and the chance to compete for premium prizes through an augmented reality experience and mobile game at Tilly’s stores. Tilly’s is also contributing $10,000 in scholarship money for HSEL’s competitive season. Over 1,500 schools in North America have HSEL club teams.
Seven Volpone of Subnation said that gaming has its own culture that brands need to approach in an authentic way or they risk being called out as out-of-touch interlopers. That should sound very familiar to the action sports industry, at least how it used to be in the old days before brands like Nike and Adidas were able to effectively penetrate the market.
Here are some more photos from E3.