Once upon a time, Myst got many to buy a CD-ROM drive. Quake was the reason to own a 3D accelerator. The question asked of new PCs for years was "Will it run Crysis?" And, er, cryptocurrencies are devouring new graphics cards. Now, it seems multiplayer battle royale shooters are boosting sales of headsets.
Once-struggling audio hardware company Turtle Beach have credited the mega-popularity of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale with a large role in reversing their fortunes. It seems many people are finding themselves in want of a decent headset to ask "Where we dropping, lads?", to sing Chelsea Dagger, and to hear footsteps too I guess.
I'm always interested when a single game or two can be seen changing the configuration of gaming hardware, making people acquire a new physical object to experience it properly. Did X-Wing and TIE Fighter make as much of an impact on joystick ownership as I'm imagining? And ace action games starting to come over from consoles has fostered the spread of gamepads on PC, but is there a particular game you'd credit with that? My memory is weak today.
My Amazon and Steam order histories say that I bought an Xbox 360 pad alongside Geometry Wars, which... yeah, yeah that's fair. And I think I first bought a microphone for Natural Selection. How about youse?
Turtle Beach had been in poor financial shape, even facing delisting from the Nasdaq Stock Market last year. Now it's all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows with net revenue in the first quarter of the financial year up 185% over the same period in the previous year.
"This growth was due to market share gains on top of a very strong overall market, propelled by the successes of Fortnite and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, as these games have driven new gamers into the market and much higher headset attach rates than we have historically experienced," CEO Juergen Stark said in the earnings announcement.
"Headsets make these games more immersive and provide an advantage in hearing audio cues which can help players survive and facilitate team play," he elaborated in the accompanying financial conference call. "So as the games have attracted millions of gamers, headset sales have increased significantly, as we discussed."
It certainly does help that Fortnite in particular has reached far beyond the usual audience for multiplayer shooters.
Our Katharine recently looked at some Turtle Beach cans in her Turtle Beach Elite Pro review. "Not for those with tiny skulls," she said. I think that means your own skull, not any other skulls you might happen to own. She's got some picks for the best gaming headsets too. How many skulls do you own now anyway?