Red 5 Studios is now sponsoring Cosplay

Red 5 Studios has announced the launch of its first professional cosplay program, aimed to encourage and inspire the cosplay community by sponsoring passionate and creative individuals. Well-known cosplayer, Crystal Graziano, has been selected for Red 5’s first yearlong sponsorship. She was chosen from a pool of top cosplayers for her previous quality work and passion for videogame roles.  Los Angeles based, Red 5 Studios is working on a MMORPG, Firefall, due out in 2012 and currently in beta.

As part of the sponsorship, Red 5 will pay for all of Crystal Graziano’s cosplay activities and unique costume creations for one year – along with supplying professional photography and Photoshop sessions. In addition, Crystal Graziano will get to fill the role of Firefall’s heroic female protagonist, “Mourningstar”, at key conventions and promotions throughout 2012.

“Because Firefall’s sci-fi world and story are so rich and colorful, we see there being a lot of interest from artists and designers,” said Red 5 CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Mark Kern. “Developers should embrace these individuals because they add so much to the universe, both in-game and out. This program is our way of showing appreciation and support for what they contribute to the game and community.”

Red 5 has called upon award-winning Hollywood FX artist, Steve Wang, to create the Mourningstar costume. Complete with lights and effects, this epic cosplay will bring an unprecedented level of realism and detail to Firefall’s Mourningstar character.

Booth babes have long been used in conventions and to some extent a few companies have employed cosplay to promote their offerings.  The game industry has done little outreach and as many voice actors will attest, game publishers in comparison to the TV and film industry probably clamp down a little too much.  With such a large cosplay community, it seems negligent and out of touch for American software publishers in particular, to not utilize this untapped industry.

Notwithstanding, Cosplay, with little monetization, has organically elevated itself to a high level.  The halls of gaming and anime conventions are filled cosplayers, albeit at various levels of success. With industry partnerships and smart marketing, the Cosplay community can be good, smart business and help give a face to the characters so many developers have worked tirelessly to create.

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