For a while now, video games have profited from selling digital goods or “skins” to more than 2.5 billion people who spend an estimated $100 billion on virtual goods. Fortnite itself has made a billion dollars over two years of selling “skins” for players to dress up their characters.
Now, brands and social media platforms are eyeing a piece of the digital goods economy for themselves.
Today, luxury fashion brand Gucci and gif-sharing and creation platform Giphy are introducing virtual avatar creators into their apps, and with them, the potential to make money from digital goods that users can purchase to personalize and dress them.
Both brands are partnering with Genies, known for creating bobble-headed, expressive avatars in campaigns for brands like Procter & Gamble and New Balance, and celebrities like Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and DJ Khaled.
Genies has created a new 3D Avatar software development kit (SDK) enabling its partners to place a branded avatar experience and online marketplace directly in their apps so users can express themselves through avatars and thousands of digital clothing and accessories. How this SDK is being used varies depending on the partner and platform.
Akash Nigam, Genies CEO and co-founder, believes this SDK offering caters to Gen-Zers and millennials looking for more ways to express themselves digitally, and brands looking to reach young shoppers online—something the pandemic has only accelerated. “I think they’re looking at that next level of expression that gets them to their authentic selves,” he says.