Q&A: Exertis head of PC gaming on capitalising on growing market

The gaming market is a constant area of growth, and distributors are vital to ensuring that continues. Jonathan
speaks to Exertis’ head of PC gaming, Ross Holt about what the company is doing to capitalise on demand and provide retailers with the products they need

How important is gaming to Exertis?

Very important, it’s a key driver for growth both strategically and in terms of revenue. The PC gaming market is growing fast and has grown around 60 per cent in volume and value over the last 18 months. Despite the general downturn in the computing market, PC gaming continues to grow with esports and VR driving demand. Our components business has also benefited as gamers upgrade their PCs. In addition, consoles are still very much at the heart of our offering with our direct partnerships with Microsoft (we are an exclusive distributor for Xbox) and Nintendo.

What are the areas of focus for Exertis in gaming?

We’re aligned with the best PC gaming vendors, ASUS, Acer and MSI all powered by the latest generation of Intel Core Processors and Nvidia graphics cards, as well as providing the most immersive visual platforms from industry leading vendors Samsung, LG and AOC. We also have an unparalleled range of embedded systems, components, VR and MR via our tier one partnerships, associated peripherals from mice to specialist chairs and digital game sales. The ongoing success of the Nintendo Switch shows that mobile console gaming still has an important place in the market. Xbox One X due out later this year (along with our existing Xbox One business) will also command huge focus from the group. Essentially, every aspect of gaming is important to our business and with our infrastructure, and specialised knowledge, we are well placed to help support and drive the market.

Is there more areas for growth within the PC or console gaming markets?

It’s fair to say that the Switch defied the predictions of many analysts (as we knew it would), and with the new Xbox coming soon we expect that to be a big success as well. It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s incoming system has specs to rival and match many gaming PCs. Gaming on both PC or console will continue to grow in tandem, largely as a result of increasing interest in esports, which is experiencing high levels of investment and support from all our key gaming brands.

What services does Exertis offer its clients that are specific to gaming?

We have an established digital distribution business founded upon direct relationships with nearly all of the most important developers and publishers. Our hardware offering is second to none across all aspects of gaming (console and PC) in Europe, with a strong presence in the UK and Nordics in particular. We have also invested in a state-of-the-art demo suite to showcase our gaming portfolio at our Harlow office.

Talk us through some of the vendor partners you are working with.

Where do I start? We have an excellent portfolio of market leading vendors that provide a wide range of products (hardware, software, peripherals, accessories) for the first-time gamer to the hardened enthusiast. We work closely with our key OEM partners Nvidia, Intel and Microsoft to develop our gaming strategy. We also maintain close working relationships with Oculus, Asus, Acer, MSI, Corsair, Samsung, AOC, LG, Turtlebeach and Thrustmaster to name but a few, in order to drive foraward our mutual goals.

How can retailers take advantage of the growing demand for gaming?

First off, speak to your Exertis account manager. PC gaming can be a minefield for new entrants who do not understand the market and its enthusiasts. Putting the right proposition together is critical. Consumer education, and in turn reseller education, is key. This is where we differentiate ourselves in the Channel, as well as providing unique retail services and bundling opportunities, and a digital distribution solution that takes advantage of the demand for digital downloads with an in-store or online solution. 

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