Wolverine is gunning for a piece of the action in a gaming sector on track to lap $300 billion in the next four years.
The namesake brand of Rockford, Mich.’s Wolverine Worldwide on Tuesday released 117 pairs of its limited-edition boot that mimics the style worn by the Master Chief, a protagonist in the popular video game Halo, which has earned Microsoft through its Xbox platform at least a cool $10 billion in sales as of last May, iGameNews reported.
Research and Markets values the worldwide gaming industry at $314.4 billion by 2026, expanding at 9.4 percent combined annual growth rate from $173.7 billion in 2020. Fashion brands have flooded the gaming and esports worlds in recent years, with Champion, Puma, Crocs, and Louis Vuitton all targeting the avid aficionado.
Wolverine’s collab with Halo developer 343 Industries uses the shoe brand’s Hellcat silhouette as its muse after fans of the franchise pointed out similarities between the safety boot and the style Master Chief sports in the virtual world. The limited-edition footwear came to life in response to enthusiasts of the first-person shooter game asking to see Master Chief’s boot in the real world, Wolverine said.
“After nearly a year of design and collaboration, we’re proud to launch the Wolverine x Halo: The Master Chief boot,” said Tom Kennedy, Wolverine global brand president. “This collaboration is a true testament to the devotion both Wolverine and 343 Industries have to our fans, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring a boot inspired by the Halo universe to life.”
The full-grain leather boot includes flourishes signature to Halo, including a UNSC insignia referencing the United Nations Space Command, the military, exploratory, training, and scientific agency of the Unified Earth Government where Master Chief engages in his escapades. Each $225 boot is marked with the number 117, a nod to the character’s number in the Spartan program designed to produce elite battle soldiers. A “Materials Group” logo appears on the outsole, alluding to the outfit that produces Master Chief’s Mjolnir powered assault armor.
“The limited-edition boot gives Halo fans a chance to step inside (the boots) to become Master Chief and bring the Halo universe into their everyday life, and we’re eager to see how fans react to the collaboration and forthcoming launches as part of our partnership with Wolverine,”said John Friend, director, Halo and Xbox consumer products at 343 Industries – Microsoft.