Ready Player Me Debuts Premium Skin Catalogue for Avatars

Credit: Ready Player Me

Ready Player Me, a metaverse gaming platform that reaches over 50 million players across 10,000 games, announced today the launch of a premium skins catalogue, bringing digital fashion into its ecosystem. Now, players will be able to buy skins from five top companies and use them on their avatars across all the platform’s games, a nod towards interoperability in a crowded multiverse landscape.

The five companies that will be producing skins are Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group’s merchandising arm ‘Bravado,’ Rovio’s Angry Birds, McLaren Racing, and ITV Studios’ ‘The Voice.’ The Voice merchandise will come in partnership with Virtual Band Group, which has pioneered immersive marketing experiences.

In a press release shared with Rarity Sniper, Ready Player Me co-founder and CEO Timmu Tõke said that the platform aims to make it easier to add avatars to their games, just like AAA studios can, which generates revenue for these companies. Now, developers on Ready Player Me can add skins from top companies to their offerings, all with just a few clicks.

According to the release, the direct-to-avatar and in-game purchases economy is a multi-billion industry, with Fortnite alone making $9 billion in its first two years delivering these items. Now, through the premium skins catalogue, developers on Ready Player Me will be able to sell skins directly to consumers through custom storefronts.

Jillian Rothman of Warner Music Group (WMG) said in a statement that the company is committed to enabling its songwriters and artists to connect with fans, wherever they may be. Now, through the partnership with Ready Player Me, WMG is “empowering developers” to offer fans a way to express themselves in the digital space, where the creative possibilities are endless.

According to the release, the premium skins catalogue will be available soon. To be among the first notified, interested parties can sign up for a free developer account, joining a community of more than 10,000 other developers in the Ready Player Me ecosystem.

Virtual Brand Group CEO Speaks with Rarity Sniper

For this piece, Rarity Sniper reached out to Justin Hochberg, the CEO of Virtual Brand Group, to get his thoughts on the new “The Voice” fashion line in Ready Player Me and other topics. Virtual Brand Group has been at the forefront of creating immersive marketing experiences in various virtual worlds. Here is our three-question interview with him, edited for clarity.

First, what opportunities does this multifaceted partnership open up for licensing? 

Launching The Voice fashion line today is transformational because it demonstrates how VBG and ITV Studios embraced a global brand’s core values and extended them into a new product category they would likely never produce in the physical world.

We see this as a $25B market over the next few years with no market leader. So why can’t The Voice become the Supreme or Channel of virtual fashion? In fact, it’s what I’ll be wearing to the “Meta Gala” when Anna Wintour throws one. 

VBG operates two partner models. First, we provide strategy, go to market plans and marketing to support brands how they can enter this market effectively.  Second, we license IP, which enables brands to test the space and [allows] VBG to be more nimble than brand driven efforts, which can vacillate due to by internal inertia, especially in new markets.

This dual approach has enabled VBG to deliver Forever 21, Barbie, and The Voice, among others, a first mover advantage across multiple metaverse platforms from Roblox to Decentraland and now Ready Player Me. As a result, every one of VBG’s partners has either won or been nominated for a metaverse innovation award.

What do you see in terms of trends for fashion in virtual worlds — is there a particular audience more interested in these types of products and how did VBG design its fashion line to meet these trends?

Every generation has a new way to shop and consume trends. Gen Z and Alpha are moving past being digital natives on 2D social media to “spatial natives” playing, making relationships, and buying 3D items in 3D worlds.  For example, spatial natives spend more time on Roblox per month (78 hours on average) than TikTok, YouTube and Instagram combined. 

They also not only purchase items more frequently than in physical retail but swap outfits multiple times a day from their wardrobe because it’s so easy and they want to take on different personas in different worlds, with different friends. 

VBG’s designs are driven by two core principles. First, virtual worlds offer a tsunami of data if you know where to look for it. This allows us to track trends in ways you could never do in the physical world. Second, there are no design rules.

Every human at a base level wants to express themselves. The physical world limits that. However, the laws of gravity don’t apply to virtual goods. We don’t have supply chain issues. Sizing is irrelevant. So, we unleash creativity like never before at unprecedented scale and speed. We take more risks and as a result are able to tap into more potential opportunities. And so is every brand reading this. 

How will this partnership impact the brands as they think of new ways to monetize the metaverse?

Metaverse fashion to date has largely been used for marketing and brand awareness.  This partnership among VBG, ITV Studios, and Ready Player Me will change that with retail revenue in two ways.

First, distribution drives retail. The Voice clothing line when launched, in one deal, will be available to 50M consumers per day globally across the Ready Player Me platform reaching 10,000 games, which will now be stores where anyone can buy our clothing.  To put this in context, Nike has only 1,000 stores globally. But that’s not enough.

VBG has built a vast array of virtual marketing products for brands to amplify their reach on platforms through interactive ads and immersive experiences that deliver a better ROI than any legacy social media like Facebook or TikTok program you can buy.

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