Similar to its ongoing Roblox space, called Gucci Town, Gucci Vault Land is centred around a “play-to-know” narrative — a riff on the increasingly-popular “play-to-earn” format, wherein users complete activities to earn blockchain-based tokens or rewards. Visitors will be invited to complete gamified tasks that educate on its “core pillars”, such as restoring vintage handbags in the Vault Vintage Lab and solving a riddle in the Vault Room of Rhyme. All of these mini-games will bring players closer to the chance to win The Sandbox-organised raffle for a Sand utility token, which is the Ethereum-based currency of The Sandbox, used throughout the platform.
Through these gamified steps, the brand aims to educate the Web3 community on Gucci’s heritage, exposing users to different elements of the Vault’s pillars such as vintage, emerging designers and Web3 activations. It also expects to draw non-native users, and recognises the potential need for hand-holding for those newer to metaverse experiences. NPCs (meaning “non-playable characters”) will wander throughout Gucci Vault Land, ready to help players throughout the activities.
In addition to the mini-games, there are digital collectible NFTs for players to win, which they can then wear in other Sandbox lands; think hats, skate ramps, and a car. There’s an extra perk for Gucci’s metaverse loyalists: Gucci Vault NFT holders (including Supergucci and the Gucci Grail NFT) will be airdropped a Gucci Vault Aura collectible, which their avatars can wear throughout The Sandbox, showing off their Gucci loyalty in a new metaverse space.
The announcement comes off the back of Gucci’s appointment of Robert Triefus as CEO of Gucci Vault and metaverse ventures, joined by Micael Barilaro in his new role of VP of metaverse ventures. Under Triefus’s leadership in his previous role of EVP of brand and consumer engagement, Gucci experimented with global gaming worlds such as Zepeto, Genies and The Sims. The brand has since deepened its metaverse presence in 2022 with Gucci Town on Roblox, and its partnership with NFT project 10KTF.
The latter two projects were under the Gucci Vault umbrella, following the concept store’s debut in September 2021. This next move is more explicitly tied to the Vault, cultivating a metaverse space to bring together the project’s combination of NFT drops and curation, vintage Gucci pieces and emerging labels and creators.
Fashion brands have been quick to begin experimenting in the metaverse and with NFTs, but these activations will be put to the test as Forrester predicts a “metaverse winter” as hype cools off. For now, Gucci’s continued commitment to firsts in the metaverse indicates the long-term value the brand sees in the digital space.
In March 2022, CEO Marco Bizzarri told Vogue Business that “Gucci is not afraid to be a first mover in many areas and will continue to adopt this mindset and challenge the status quo.” Gucci’s strategy was not — and still isn’t — about playing it safe. “Other big players prefer instead to wait, following up at a later stage, adopting a more conversative approach — a respectable strategy, but it is not ours and it never will be.”
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