CGMagazine has spent all of July featuring some of the biggest brands in the tech and gaming industry for the CGM Brand of the Year 2021.
Over the past four weeks our writers have fought for their brand of choice, leaving it all on the table for you, our readers, to vote for! We have covered every side of each brand, from their latest tech innovations, to what they are doing for the environment. Now, the staff at CGM have rounded up the votes to take into consideration, while our Editor-in-Chief, Brendan Frye, makes the final call on who should win Brand of the Year!
ICYMI: Here is a quick summary of each nomination for Brand of the Year 2021,
In order of reader votes, from lowest to highest:
This company, founded in Denmark, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. They were the first for many things, like the gaming mouse pad in 2001, the gaming headset in 2004 and the first mechanical gaming keyboard in 2006. As well as the “first” for many products, they were also the first company to sponsor an eSports event and collaborating with players.
Their range of products speak for themselves, as do CGMs reviews, and SteelSeries is always finding new ways to improve their devices. What stands out among others is their commitment to sustainability with their products being packaged with 100% recycled paper on the inner packaging, using plant-based inks, and reducing packaging overall. SteelSeries is a signatory of the UN Global Compact and has dedicated themselves to their Sustainable Development Goals. They have constantly shown they care while working with causes like Black Lives Matter, Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the Trevor Project, a worthy brand for sure.
Dyson is a brand that everyone knows, and with their limited advertising, most of that knowledge comes from word of mouth. For the company to be so well known and sought after, simply just by hearing about, speaks volumes about the products. They were created in 1991 by James Dyson, and now 30 years later, they are based out of Singapore with 12,000 employees. They make products that are needed, and do it with style.
This is a brand you would trust to buy for your mother, a brand that you know you will get your investment out of as they last for ages. From vacuums, to blow driers, to air purifiers and fans, Dyson has something your household needs, and that is nothing to turn your nose up.
Elgato is the first name that comes to mind when you think of content creation. It is likely that almost every streamer has at least one product from Elgato, whether it’s a microphone, capture card, control device or one of their many, many other products aimed at content creators. They even made a green screen mouse pad!
Recently coming off a huge announcement bringing out a slew of new products, Elgato is something every creator can use. Elgato also happens to be owned by Corsair, who is currently hosting Corsair for Kids, a fundraiser for Save the Children, and who can say no to that?
Everyone knows Nintendo. If at the very minimum, they tug at your nostalgic heartstrings. But the company is so much more than that. Firstly, they aren’t riddled in massive changes or controversy like some other gaming companies at the moment. They have led the way in console sales this year and have improved the Nintendo Switch console more than once. Nintendo doesn’t bank on having the most powerful console there is, but they take pride in the creativity and unique gaming experiences they can create.
Nintendo was always considered a home for indie titles and everything Mario or Zelda. Now the company is going big with AAA title releases like Subnautica, Life Strange and Apex Legends. On top of that, what other Nintendo just opened Super Nintendo World in Japan, with plans to bring another to Orlando, and are topping the charts with the new Mario-themed LEGO line up. Nintendo has covered all the bases, and that is why they’re on this list!
Razer is THE brand you think of when it comes to gaming peripherals. Their products range from lights, to chairs, to tech and more, and I don’t know any gamers who haven’t used Razer at some point in their lives. They even have the adorable Sneki Snek Plush, and the upcoming Project Hazel to add to your Razer collection.
Razer also brings its own brand of gaming laptops to the table with the Razer Blade series, so if you like to game, you’re covered on all sides. But that isn’t where they stop. The company has announced a green and sustainability projections for the future, aiming to be completely recyclable by 2025. They also work closely with Conservation International, donating all proceeds from the adorable Sneki Snek to the cause. Razer is a busy brand!
Sony is the company that grew with us. Most of us started with a PSone or PS2, but now the company has grown alongside us all the way up to the PlayStation 5—all grown up. The PS5 is a huge reason Sony made the list, “by delivering a source of joy and excitement when the world needed it most.” Not only the system, but everything that goes along with it. The releases, our favourite characters like Spider-Man, the DualSense controller and even the opportunity to play VR games, all of this helps Sony stand out among the rest.
But the tech isn’t the only thing that sets them apart. In 2021 Sony established their Global Relief Fund supporting frontline workers and people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic giving over $100 million USD to the cause. Beyond money, they even helped gamers during the pandemic by creating the Play at Home initiative, giving players access to ten free games during lockdowns. Sony helped in unique ways, and that’s why they made the list.
Microsoft spent 2021 “righting the ship that wildly veered off course with the 2013 launch of Xbox One.” With a successful Xbox showcase at E3, and a full year with the Xbox Series X|S on the market, the Microsoft world seems at ease again, and they aren’t done yet!
We can discuss the Xbox Series X|S and how quick resume, backwards compatibility and FPS boosts were game changers, but we can also discuss Microsoft outside of the Xbox too. Windows OS accounts for an overwhelming 88% of personal computer systems on the market, and to top that off, they began designing their own touchscreen computers to join the Microsoft family. They also spent 2021 bringing out a new OS, Windows 11, with a renewed focus on PC gaming. It has not been a small year for Microsoft.
Each brand nominated has the right to be on this list. With that being said, taking into account reader votes and staff votes, the CGM Brand of the Year 2021 winner is…..
With many companies pushing innovative ideas, and working to make their work environments at home and in office better for everyone, it was a hard choice to pick the Brand of the Year for 2021. I know all the staff that were involved and made their voices heard brought strong cases for what each of these brands brings to the industry and our lives. It can’t be understated how much what some of these companies is inspiring to CGMagazine, and the industry as a whole. But with there being only one winner, I had to make the choice, and when it came down to it, SteelSeries proved time and time again they are a brand that is not only to make products, but to work with the gaming community to make it better.
While I was torn between Microsoft and SteelSeries, it was the attention to make gaming better on all fronts that pushed the brand to the podium position. While SteelSeries makes hardware that stands the test of time—Chris and his keyboard are a testament to this—but they are also working actively to make likes better. They are pushing to be sustainable, committing to100% recycled paper in their inner packaging, and are even looking for ways to use less plastic in mice and hardware when possible.
But community is also one key factor that swayed my choice, with SteelSeries a signatory of the UN Global Compact, and donate to causes such as like Black Lives Matter and Asian Americans Advancing Justice from their Twitch stream revenue, that is not unsubstantial with their stagering 131k followers. They also have worked with the Trevor Project to help prevent suicide prevention in LGBTQ youth.
They are a brand I have used for years, and continue to push when people ask me some of the best gaming headsets you can buy. The Actris line remains some of the most comfortable headphones I use throughout my day-to-day activities. I am proud to use, and proud to own SteelSeries products, and with their community, outreach and constant spirit to grow and inovate, even during hard times, they stand as CGMagazines first Brand of the Year.
Congratulations SteelSeries, we look forward to seeing how your brand continues to grow as a company, and as a community.