As the pandemic continues to keep people physically apart, virtual social interactions continue to grow. In these virtual hangouts, some gamers spend real money on items that they can only use in the virtual world.
Recently, a virtual version of the Gucci Dionysus Bag with Bee was sold at the online game platform Roblox for $4,115 (P196,000). The bag costs $3,400 (P164,000) in real life.
The bag was part of the two-week Gucci Garden Experience, a virtual fashion installation held in the virtual world of Roblox until the end of May. This artsy garden is a counterpart of the real-world installation called Gucci Garden Archtypes, currently taking place in Florence, Italy.
Initially, the bag in the Roblox online catalog reportedly costs 475 Robux, which is around $5.50 (P262). (Robux is the currency used in the game, which is purchased with real-world money.)
The bag, which gamers can use to gear up their avatar, became a hot commodity when Roblox users discovered that this item would only be available for a limited time.
With this demand, Roblox scalpers started selling the byte-sized purse for exorbitant amounts of money, some even reselling the bag for up to 1 million Robux ($11,600 or P550,00). The price may seem ridiculous to many—some users even complained why the items were not free—but there were those who spent thousands on their virtual bag.
Several hours following the sale, the price of the virtual bag dramatically dropped, even reaching a low $800 (P38,000), which is still expensive for something that one cannot physically use.
As of this writing, the bag is still up in the Roblox online catalog priced at 119,999 Robux ($1,400 or P67,000).
The sale of the virtual bag generated reactions on social media, including one from Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who reminded people that the Gucci bag has no monetary value outside of Roblox domain.
“This Roblox purse is not an NFT and thus has no value/use/transferability outside the Roblox world—yet it’s worth more than the physical one,” Ohanian said.
A Gucci bag in Roblox resold for 350,000 Robux or roughly $4,115. The same purse IRL costs $3,400.— AlexisOhanian.eth 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) May 24, 2021
Remember: this Roblox purse is not an NFT and thus has no value/use/transferability outside the Roblox world-yet it's worth more than the physical one.
Watch this space. pic.twitter.com/m4WjfC1Eq1
According to Statistica, Roblox has over 199 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2021, and 67% of them are under 16 years old while only 14% of them are over 25 years old.
Online game platforms like Roblox, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Fortnite and The Sims have become a great way for brands, including luxury fashion houses, to showcase their products through in-game advertising via brand experiences targeted towards students or millennials and Gen Z women.
In December 2020, Balenciaga debuted its new collection via a video game, while Louis Vuitton dressed up the virtual members of League of Legends’ new hip-hop group in 2019. Valentino and Marc Jacobs also made their way to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in May 2020 to create custom garments for the game.
In March, Gucci released its first virtual luxury footwear called Gucci Virtual 25, meant to be worn in augmented reality but may also be used in Roblox and virtual reality social platform VRChat.
Banner photo from www.gucci.com