‘Rather than cannibalising sales we’ve widened the reach to our customers’ – PDP interview

PDP has been known for its wide range of peripherals, but now the firm is entering the PC accessories market with the help of its colourful Rock Candy range. Jade Burke speaks to UK sales manager Dave Nelson about the firm’s hopeful retail partnerships and how the industry is evolving…

Gaming has always been the core foundation for peripheral manufacturer PDP, but as more consumers look for different ways to make their gaming experience more immersive, the company has unveiled a string of new gadgets to fulfil these needs.

PDP has showcased some new high-performance accessories for PCs, with a pop of colour to suit any consumer. Dave Nelson, sales manager for the UK at PDP, tells me: “We found that when we introduced colour into the marketplace we have had expediential sales – almost a 55 per cent growth on top of those sales. So rather than cannibalising sales we’ve actually enhanced and widened the reach to our various customers by having these colours.”

Blue, red, green, pink and purple are all colours up for grabs with the new additions to the Rock Candy range, which PDP says has helped to expand the company’s reach to new customers, from the likes of children and parents to schools. Gamers are used to the traditional black, grey or white accessories, but now Rock Candy opens up a wider breath of choice for the traditional gamer.

Nelson says: “The Rock Candy range appeals to demographics aside of your traditional consumer, we find that it grows revenue by expanding the market without cannibalisation.”

Rock Candy has been a part of PDP ever since the range’s launch in 2012, with the firm shipping 3,951,841 controllers and counting in the US. But that’s not all; PDP was founded back in 1990 and has over 200 employees worldwide and has since generated roughly 150 million in revenue.

PDP’s new additions to the Rock Candy series currently consist of mice, keyboards and a console controller.

“The keyboard is actually water resistant and conforms to two standards, including IP66 and IP67.

“The IP67 means you can immerse the keyboard in a metre of water for around 25 minutes and it would still work. Not that we suggest anybody should do that,” explains Nelson.

And the mouse is just as impressive. Thanks to its HD optical tracking functionalities and 2.4Gz wireless technology, users can play games with a range of up to 30 feet, while its plug and play compatibility make it easier to use. And gamers won’t break the bank trying to get hold of one, with prices starting from £14.99 and reaching £29.99.

But, as with any new product range, competition is always a threatening fixture for many vendors, but Nelson is remaining optimistic about the new range, with plans to work with some big retail partners.

“We’ve got fairly modest expectations. We’ve had a look at the market, and it’s interesting to see that when we introduced this Rock Candy range into the video game space, how quickly we made an impact because we suddenly had that new footfall,” adds Nelson.

“We have our target accounts that we think would sell this, which is obviously Dixons, Argos, and main High Street retailers, and a bit of Amazon of course.”

Enticing gamers using colour is high on the agenda for PDP, but inspiration and innovation is key to the company when it comes down to its peripheral range.

Now with the addition of Windows 10 to the industry, and more immersive elements currently transforming gaming, from virtual reality to the use of social media, Nelson believes the technology within gaming has come on leaps and bounds. “I still think virtual reality is in its relative infancy, but within the next five or six years with new processors and the advancements in tech, it will really get a fully immersive experience.

“I think we’re much more demanding these days, we want more from just sitting in front of a desktop, we want to interact and obviously add the social media element to it,” explains Nelson.

With technology partners including the likes of Disney and EA Sports, Nelson hopes to continue building on the company’s relationships with brands, wherever the market takes them.

“We’re really excited about the range, we’ve seen how our video game side of Rock Candy performs, and we hope to replicate that in the PC sector, and if we can do that, that’ll be a really good result,” concludes Nelson.

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