The Sims and Moschino, Animal Crossing with Valentino and Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Roblox. Brand collaboration isn’t a new thing in the gaming industry. Fashion retailer Uniqlo has over a dozen of graphic tees collaborating with large video game IPs like Minecraft, League of Legends, and Overwatch. However, as the years progressed, brand collaborations have evolve beyond bringing digital products into the real world, into the opposite. Roblox Gucci Garden Experience is perhaps this year’s finest example.
The brand collaboration would see digitized versions of Gucci merchandise being sold on Roblox for a limited time. Gucci sunglasses, Gucci bags, and other accessories were available at the marketplace for players to purchase and own digitally. A digital version of the Gucci Dionysus Bag with Bee on Roblox with a starting price of 475 Robux ($5.50), sold out just one hour upon release. From there, market scarcity and demand took hold – digitally – and a consumer-driven run on digital Gucci products started. Some of these bags were resold on the Roblox marketplace with impressive price tags. One player sells it for 350,000 Robux or about US$4,115, while the real bag costs $3,400. Currently, the purse averaged at 77,561 Robux (US$969). This all happened despite the bag having no monetary value outside the Roblox world.
A few bucks to deck out a video game avatar sounds good, but Gucci Garden Experience proves it could be a brand phenomenon. Gucci Garden Experience only ran from May 17th to May 31st, yet Roblox created enough buzz to amass a grand total of 286,420,250 Robux (roughly US$3,580,253) by the end of the event. While advertising and marketing in games may not be something new, the success of the Gucci Garden event solidifies the fact that a brand experience could be enhanced by Roblox’s game experience.
Making waves in the digital space
Roblox successfully integrated video gaming and the retail experience – a fully digital interactive advertising campaign that can only be experienced in-game and far out-performed its traditional advertising counterparts. It’s a monumental experience during a time where real-life interaction and shopping experiences are limited to being six feet apart or through a screen.
With the event, Roblox seemingly had one goal: to emulate the real-world experience of window shopping in a digital one. You walk along the beautifully decorated halls, discover sections and activities of the event, and check out all the ads and accessories being offered, while your character slowly gains more clothes and patterns. It’s simple yet effective, as a mundane thing like shopping turns into an interactive, game-based event. This is also what Agate strives for; enhancing an experience through the usage of game elements to make it even more engaging.
That gamified aspect helped Gucci Garden thrive. Even when the event was met with a mixed reception, many flocked to spend their hard-earned money on the limited digital items. Real-world value has migrated into in-game value, opening doors for Roblox players and creators alike. With user self-generated content, diverse gameplay, and – as the Gucci bag has proven – a vibrant economy that transcends the digital and physical world, Roblox is well on its way to becoming a metaverse, creating opportunities that both gaming companies and other brands shouldn’t miss.