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News of the world: “Our sword and shield in 2022 was Five Nights at Freddy’s”

Striker Entertainment’s Russell Binder talks the hit video games IP, challenges and growth opportunities.

LicensingSource.net takes a temperature check on the global licensing industry, asking licensors and agents based outside the UK to share their highs and lows of 2022, their strategies for a successful 2023, plus the words they’d use to describe business in the year just gone and the new one.

Today, we head to the US, with Russell Binder, founding partner, Striker Entertainment.

“We experienced growth in 2022 and intend to build on that momentum in 2023/24. Like all companies, though, we were impacted by the ebb and flow of an inflationary economy and the post-pandemic realities of inventory management.

Our sword and shield in 2022 was video game IP Five Nights at Freddy’s, which has become a billion-dollar retail brand. With more games, a motion picture (going into production in February 2023), and a book series from Scholastic with over 8.5 million books sold, we have a concentrated roadmap of new content and opportunities for the brand. Funko has been instrumental in the growth of our toy and collectables programme, and Steel Wool Studios has breathed new life into the video game sector.

The biggest challenges are staying ahead of the burgeoning content platforms where new IP is being introduced to massive audiences, such as Roblox, TikTok and YouTube. A challenge/opportunity will be watching how the dust ends up settling in the Web3/NFT space.

There is always the opportunity for growth. If you pay close attention, you can always find burgeoning businesses that are ripe to approach with the concept of applying third party IP to their products and/or services. We never stop looking, learning, listening and digging…

2022 was mercurial. When it comes to 2023, I’m cautiously optimistic.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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