This Diablo IV-themed PC gear reminded me how much companies love slapping a fan tax onto existing products

Steel Series Diablo 4 gear.
(Image credit: SteelSeries)
Jorge Jimenez, a man who buys things and drinks

Jorge Jimenez

This month I have been mostly playing Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
I've got room in my life for one massive open-world game at a time, and I'm going with the one with lightsabers nine times out of ten.
This month I have been testing [redacted] and a Diablo 4 "Meat" Shake
I've got my hands on some super secret products that will debut during Computex in a few weeks, so I can't say much. What I can tell you is that I tried out a Diablo 4-themed drink that nearly made me puke

SteelSeries is launching a line of Diablo IV-branded gaming accessories just in time for the release of Diablo IV, which might be one of the most anticipated PC game launches this side of Starfield. If you are a Diablo IV fan, these accessories might be hard to resist, which is precisely my problem.

The new Diablo IV collection adds red accents and demonic details to its popular Arctis Nova 7 gaming headset and Aerox 5 Wireless mouse. My reaction should have been, "Wow, what a cash grab," mainly because you can find non-Diablo versions of those products for cheaper. Instead, it's "Yo look how red it is! I want it!" This makes me wonder why I'm an easy mark.

The Diablo IV edition of both products will run you for $200 and $150, respectively. Don't get me wrong; the Nova 7 and Aerox 5 aren't bad products. However, I always found it strange how quick we are to pay a fan tax on essentially pallet swaps of existing (and often cheaper) cheaper products because a hell lady or it uses the same green as Master Chief on it.

I understand that people have affinities for certain IPs, and sometimes our fandom overrides our common sense and budget, especially regarding impulse buys. And while it's hard to recommend products like these from a hardware review standpoint, the Diablo nerd inside me is breaking free.

I think it's safe to say that I'm a complete sucker for anything Star Wars, too. So, of course, when I saw these Seagate SSDs with RGB lightsabers on them, I was relieved that they sold out almost immediately.

I had just built a PC with plenty of storage in it. Even the fact that you wouldn't be able to see the SSD didn't, or the $290 for an almost two-year-old SSD, wasn't enough to keep me from buying this stupid light-up storage drive. In fact, I'll most likely buy it whenever they show up back in stock because, despite knowing all this, I have no self-control.

Companies often use nostalgia factor to nudge consumers into buying products. Studies have shown that consumers spend more when thinking about the past. Feeling nostalgic can weaken a person's desire for money, making them more willing to spend that money on products that take them back to a "special time from your childhood."

This tactic is particularly effective during times of economic downturn when consumer spending is low. Companies will slap on logos and adopt a color scheme of your favorite media piece growing up to move some older products. Sometimes it's effective like these Neon Genesis Evangelion branded MSI components that look freaking amazing. And sometimes, not so much, like this terrible Sonic The Hedgehog-themed gaming kit I actually bought and immediately got a refund on.

If it's not nostalgia, then companies move on to fear of missing out (FOMO). I find this happens all the time whenever a piece of PC gaming hardware is released overseas and isn't available, like this Japan-exclusive Death Stranding Fractal PC case from a couple of years ago I was mildly obsessed with for a while.

The case itself is fine, but the idea that I couldn't buy it without jumping through hoops made me want it more. And I'm certain that for fans stateside, the lack of availability didn't stop them from buying it. I have a friend who paid a lot of money importing these limited-edition Razer x Pokemon Orochi Gaming Mice solely because she was a big Gengar fan, in fact. 

I wish companies would give us a break, considering how easy it is to exploit someone's fandom and nostalgia for a little extra profit. I'm not saying they should be giving this stuff out for free. But charging a premium on existing products because there's a Pikachu or a Gundam on it is not cool. 

Recognizing our retail blindspots and being mindful of companies' tactics to exploit our fandom and nostalgia is important. Now if you don't mind, I have a limited edition Boba Fett Xbox controller I need to buy. 

Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.