High fashion brands from Gucci to LV are launching their own games. See why
The introduction of playable NFTs has caused a stir. Over the past year, it has allowed gamers to create new kinds of value for themselves with every win. A non-fungible token or NFT is, essentially, a fancy term for a digital-only asset bought using a cryptocurrency. It’s an abstract and somewhat murky idea that has already disrupted the art world.
There are two things NFTs are now doing to the world of gaming: they’re changing revenue streams, putting more power in the hands of the player; and they’re changing advertising models. Here’s why: Unlike most games’ virtual tools, bonus points or even in-game currency, NFTs (at least for now) are standalone digital assets. They don’t lose value outside a game. Within a game, they can be sold to other players. Outside it, they can be swapped for cryptocurrency on an NFT exchange platform.
Already, brands are edging into this space. Some are piggybacking on existing platforms, such as the fantasy football game Sorare, where players can buy, sell, trade and manage virtual football teams using cards issued by actual clubs and leagues, the latest addition being Spain’s LaLiga. Each card in Sorare is a tradeable NFT.
Some brands are creating their own games. In 2020, Warner Bros and DC Comics collaborated with gaming platform Roblox to create a Wonder Woman game in which Robux, the platform’s digital currency, could be used to purchase, among other things, Wonder Woman accessories for avatars.
High fashion brands from Balenciaga to Gucci and Louis Vuitton are planning games as extensions of their marketing and brand-building campaigns.
Louis Vuitton released an early version in August. Called Louis the Game, it follows a protagonist named Vivienne through six different worlds, on a quest to collect 200 candles to mark the 200th birth anniversary of founding fashion designer Louis Vuitton. Along the way, she receives postcards containing trivia about the brand’s history.
As Vivienne progresses through the game, the player also “earns” collectibles in the form of NFTs. Of the game’s 30 “collectible” NFTs, 10 were designed by digital artist Beeple (who had an NFT auctioned for $69.3 million at Christies last year). These NFTs, however, are collectibles only. The game is free to play, and none of the assets is for sale. Yet.