Burberry Gets Into the NFT Game

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LONDON — Burberry is continuing its mission to target younger generations, delving further into gaming and experimenting with digital ownership for the first time.

The British heritage brand has announced a partnership with Mythical Games at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Gone are the days when big launches only happened at fashion week.

As part of the tie-in, the label will launch a limited-edition NFT vinyl toy, dubbed Blanko, for the company’s open-world multiplayer game Blankos Block Party.

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As part of the game, players are able to collect, upgrade and sell digital toys. Gaming companies are continuing their push towards digital ownership within gaming and fueling a new “play-to-earn economy.”

“Player ownership is the future of games, and our driving principle is making these new economies a reality. Blankos Block Party sits at the intersection of games, art, music and fashion, and presents players and collectors new ways to engage with and even own a piece of the brands they love,” said Nicole Yang, vice president of marketing at Mythical Games.

This marks the first time the gaming platform has partnered with a luxury brand, Yang added.

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Burberry’s digital toy is set to launch in July, and the brand has yet to reveal what it will look like.

“Being a part of this creative and pioneering community with Mythical Games is an incredible synergy for us and a perfect evolution of our existing engagement with the gaming communities,” said the label’s chief marketing officer Rod Manley.

“This is our first exploration into the world of NFTs, unlocking an entire new platform of possibilities, empowering digital natives and gamers to own a piece of our brand and to actively engage and participate with our house codes.”

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The brand has been experimenting with online gaming for a while now, starting with China and expanding further into Asia, U.K., the U.S. and Canada, with B Bounce, its own game where players get to control a Burberry-clad cartoon character and win custom GIFs and virtual Burberry puffers.

Last summer, it opened a social shopping store in Shenzhen together with Tencent. Shoppers are asked to press their WeChat accounts into action as they game their way around the store, making virtual, and real-life, discoveries.

Thanks to a custom-made, mini WeChat program, the store offers games, personalized experiences and the opportunity for customers to build and spend “social currency,” all in a hyper-polished, futuristic environment.

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“The more you engage, the more you unlock, both in terms of content, features, experiences. It really is about connecting, joining the dots between social and physical,” said Burberry’s chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti in an interview last year.

In March, Burberry teamed with Elle Digital Japan on a virtual replica of its Ginza flagship in Tokyo, inviting customers to browse and shop the spring 2021 collection.

Customers were able to navigate themselves around the virtual store and make purchases by selecting digital icons.

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