Dressing cool in the metaverse now possible
Fashion is entering the world of video games, promising a much more attractive metaverse — and new business opportunities for a range of brands.
On Nov. 8, Krafton’s PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds released a set of Adidas jackets, sweatpants, sneakers and bags that game characters can wear and use. Players are given an Adidas Box, and as they fulfill various challenges, it gives them a random game item or Adidas-brand clothes item. The virtual clothes are winnable through Nov. 30.
The collaboration extends offline as well. People who purchase select products at some Adidas stores — the Hongdae Brand Center branch, Originals Garosugil branch and the Originals Common Ground branch — are being given free coupons for virtual Adidas bags to use in the game. That promotion runs through Dec. 20.
“The collaboration with Adidas Originals was done for players that want to express themselves,” said a spokesperson for Krafton. “We will continue to present unique and fun experiences through more collaborations with many brands.”
Epic Games’ first-person shooter game Fortnite, played by some 60 million people every month around the world, partnered with Balenciaga in September to offer a range of virtual clothes from the designer brand. Players can buy hoodies, denim jackets and backpacks by Balenciaga using the in-game currency.
Balenciaga sells real-life versions of the game clothing online and in its stores around the world, including Seoul. T-shirts with the Fortnite logo retail for 590,000 won ($498) and a denim jacket for some 1.6 million won. The hoodies and baseball caps from the game are all sold out, the company reports.
Players can visit a virtual Balenciaga store in Fortnite Creative's "Strange Time featured hub," a separate section of the game where people can freely create their own shops and facilities.
Fortnite is working with other high-end fashion brands. It partnered with French fashion brand Moncler and started using padded jackets from the brand in the game on Monday.
Some of the collaborations with fashion brands strictly focus on real-world clothing, making merchandise for the games' fan bases.
Last February, Devsisters’ mobile game Cookie Run: Kingdom released a range of T-shirts and sweatshirts in collaboration with clothing brand Ebbets Field. Illustrations of GingerBrave, the game's main protagonist, who looks like the gingerbread cookie, are featured on the clothes.
In September, NCSoft announced the start of what it calls its Amenity Lounge project, collaborations with different companies to create products using characters and other elements from its games. The first is a collaboration with apparel brand CPGN Studio. Clothes and accessories with illustrations of NCSoft’s Lineage characters, drawn in a cartoon-like style by designer Bazbon rather than duplicating the exact in-game versions, are being sold.
“Apparel brands can collaborate with games and e-sports teams to build a young and dynamic brand image, and game companies can allow their users to freely express themselves offering special experiences tied to other brands,” said a spokesperson for a game company. “The age of the metaverse is drawing near, and there will be more collaborations online and offline in the future.”
BY JUNG WON-YEOB, LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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