Prada Metaverse: From Gaming into NFT

A Look At Prada’s Metaverse Project From The Viewpoint Of A Gamer

Technology in Fashion

30 May, 2023

Table of contents

Let's get phygital!

Before we five into our analysis of the project, let's see what Phygital means. Phygital is the concept of using technology to bridge the digital world with the physical world in order to provide the user with a unique interactive experience. 

When fashion enters the digital realm

Fashion is always a forward-thinking, innovative and changing industry. Therefore, you shouldn't be surprised when you see new trends and technologies. One and most obvious example of this is definitely Fashion Gamification. Many fashion game collaborations have started offering customers the chance to own a physical product, such as an exclusive, limited edition piece featured in the game.

As a new and young generation, we create our avatar by choosing new identities and personalities in the digital world and while creating this personalized avatar. Many game addicts are very particular about the appearance of their avatar. They may spend hours or days working on it.

That's where fashion gamification comes in. Already, high fashion brands are bringing many outfit combinations and skin options to our digital world. Burberry and Honor of Kings, Gucci and Roblox, Bulgari and Zepeto, Fortnite and Balenciaga and finally Riders Republic and Prada and many more.

Is the metaverse the future of advertising?

The Metaverse, a virtual environment, holds the potential to transform advertising. An immersive 3D experience is replacing conventional campaigns. Although this parallel universe is still in its infancy, several brands are still hesitant to enter it, but Prada has already made the first move by partnering with video game industry titan Ubisoft.

Prada X Riders Republic

Prada X Riders Republic, a game that successfully integrates all these concepts into its gameplay. If you're a winter sports enthusiast, you may already have noticed Riders Republic. The game's collaboration with Prada has made this game even more interesting. As winter sports enthusiasts, most of us prefer Dynamic, versatile and high-performance and cool outfits and equipment while doing outdoor sports. Prada made a wise strategic choice by using this as a billboard and marketing tool at the same time. It enables the company to reach a wider audience by leveraging the expanding digital gaming market. And what better place than the popular game from Ubisoft. Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Marketing Director, also said that they are - 

“excited to partner with such a creative company like Ubisoft to offer our own interpretation of the gaming world. Riders Republic is about outdoor sports and performance – the perfect match with the Linea Rossa collection and its DNA. Technology and innovation have always been a natural part of Prada, so we will continue to explore new scenarios whenever interesting opportunities for the brand arise to build original and authentic experiences.”

Gaming in style

Riders Republic's main theme is a massive multiplayer playground where you can play on bikes, skis, snowboards, wingsuits and rocket wingsuits in the great national parks of the United States, build your career or join your friends in multiplayer events. The game will be available on PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia and UPLAY+. It will also be playable at 60 FPS on next-gen consoles.

One can easily download the game on a PS5, for about $18 and start playing immediately. At the beginning of the game, it asks you to choose the gender of your character and after that you have to customize your avatar, such as face shape, hair style, skin color, etc. Unfortunately, the game doesn't give you the option to customize your clothes at the beginning of the game. You can earn specially designed outfits by completing in-game events and races, or you can purchase week- or season-specific outfits from the game's market section.

Now we'll learn how to unlock the new sponsor added to the game and the rewards you can get. Also, if you're not familiar with it, we'll give you a quick introduction to how sponsors work later in the article. As  mentioned in the article, there is a new collaboration in the game in the form of a partnership with high fashion brand Prada.

Before starting the analysis of the game and the Prada collection, you should know that the Prada collection we see in the game is unfortunately not available in real life stores. However, it is possible to find similar items in Prada stores.

As part of the collaboration it gives riders a chance to unlock some exclusive specially designed outfits by completing in the Shackdaddy Bandits weekly challenges, by completing contracts from the in-game Prada sponsor program or by challenging their friends in a permanent event entitled ‘Prada Beyond The Line'. The character below is seen wearing one of the Prada Linea Rossa outfits added.

Other Prada Items are available as unlockable sponsor rewards. Sponsors are available in the progress tab of the menus, when you select a sponsor, you get 3 daily missions to complete and as you can see today's missions for Prada are related to mass races, but they rest and change every day.

As you complete missions, you level up on that sponsor and unlock various rewards. To unlock the Prada sponsor, you need to earn 40 stars in the game and then complete the Prada Cross Line event, which can be found on the map. Freestyle is a multi-sport acrobatics event using snowmobiles, jumbo bikes and skis. It also gives you a chance to check out The Flame outfits and equipment, which is a good start for the prizes you can win by leveling up the Prada sponsor.

Our first level is the camouflage rock hat, part of the third and final Prada outfit. Level 4 is a set of glasses to match the Zebrafish Wild Stripes outfit.

Level 7 is the pants for the camouflage rock outfit. Level 10 is a snowboard with wild stripes. Level 13 camouflage rock jacket Level 15 wild striped bicycle. Level 16 is the helmet for the flame suit shown in the Prada event. Level 18 is the matching pants, jackets are level 19 and level 20 is a set of Prada skis. Some of you may not know this, but just in case. Prada has a specially designed wingsuit skin hidden at coordinates 7967 N, 2871 W.

All the outfits and gears are great if you're a fan of the brand and even if you're not a fan it's a nice change to have more realistic gear to unlock. Compared to the other outfits in the game, Prada's exclusive collection is absolutely stunning, very bold, colorful and eye-catching. Of course, it's up to you which outfit you want to dress your avatar in.
For us, playing this game wearing Prada’s collection was an incredible experience, with every detail meticulously taken care of. The collection itself was already incredibly well thought out and added a lot of dynamic and pleasure to the game. Fans will eagerly wait for new updates and new collaborations of the game. It was a very successful and at the same time very realistic experience. One sentence to describe this game, Daredevils wears PRADA.

Final thoughts

One of the most fundamental Metaverse marketing strategies is where avatars serve as people's representations, also called digital identities. 92% of respondents in a research by the Digital Fashion Institute said they valued customization while making their virtual avatar. Consumers can now spend a large amount of money to express themselves both online and offline.

This has led to the emergence of the direct-to-avatar (D2A) economy, which enables businesses to market and sell their virtual goods to digital avatars directly. Naturally, the players who are taking advantage of this Metaverse digital marketing potential are primarily luxury fashion brands. Prada has partnered with Riders Republic to design virtual clothing, accessories and snow sports equipment that players can purchase for their avatars.

Prada's strategic partnership with Riders Republic has served as both a marketing tool and billboard for Prada, which already has a large player base. The in-game Prada beyond the Line event brought Prada to thousands of people who may never have been its main target customers, as it became increasingly popular with Generations Z and Alpha.  

The in-game clothing and equipment was never the point of the game and was positioned as something that could be earned within the game, not disrupting the story of the game, but simply adding enjoyment.  This allowed the brand to enter the growing digital gaming space and attract a new audience. It showed the thousands of people playing the game that Prada could produce dynamic and versatile clothing that was also good for outdoor sports.