The uncanny combo
Who could have thought that the uber-classy synonym of luxury, Louis Vuitton, would one day enter our mobile phones and that too via a gaming app. While the second wave of the ‘era-changing’ Covid-19 was rattling the world, back in August 2021, Paris-based French fashion house Louis Vuitton made waves in the world of fashion by joining the elite NFT club, via launching a brand-new mobile gaming app.
In order to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of its founder, the world’s most valuable luxury brand, Louis Vuitton launched “Louis: The Game”. Compatible with both Android as well as iOS devices, the video game is embedded with NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens by the luxury brand.
However, LV isn’t the only luxury brand which has entered the mobile gaming arena or forayed into the NFT-club via a mobile app. In order to promote their brand, fashion giant Burberry also released an NFT-game character called Sharky B for an online multiplayer game developed by Mythical Games Inc., known as Blankos Block Party.
What makes “Louis: The Game” stand out from the crowd is the fact that it has digital art by world-renowned digital artist Beeple. Beeple has designed 10 of the overall 30 NFTs available in the game, all of which can be collected by players during the course of the game. Even though the embedded NFTs are collectable, the players would not be able to buy NFTs.
Louis The Game: What’s in the game?
To remind ourselves of the iconic brand value of LV, statistics state that it is the 9th most valuable brand in the world (by Forbes 2020) and is estimated to be worth more than a staggering $47 billion. The adventure game, which is a first-person story quest, had more than half a million iOS downloads in the first week of being live.
“Louis: The Game” is somewhat based on Louis Vuitton’s personal life and professional journey. “Vivienne”, the fashion brand’s mascot and the lead character in the game, takes the player through the early days of Vuitton’s journey towards the brand’s creation to Paris. The character herself is designed around the brand’s monogram print with her facial design features inspired from floral patterns.
The adventure-based game features a fancy world with six real-world locations, wherein Vivienne traverses through different nations including Japan, France, China, Britain and the United States. As the protagonist journeys through these whimsical locations, the aim of the game is to collect 200 candles to commemorate the birthday of Louis Vuitton. Alongside, the player also comes across the 30 embedded Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs as well as a passel of postcards about Louis Vuitton’s life, family, and the fashion brand itself.
Each of the 200 candles in the gameplay unlocks interesting tales about the journey of Louis Vuitton, his family and the fashion house. Once you enter Louis The Game, an adventure begins wherein you are able to run around, jump and collect memorabilia along the way. Vivienne can be customized and given a total of 12 different looks including casual denim and an astronaut-inspired all white attire. You can also choose different Louis Vuitton monogram prints and color themes to customize your character while you learn about LV’s history throughout the gameplay.
First outing or second time lucky?
Although the gaming universe is already inundated with ultra-successful apps such as Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Angry Birds and so on, a first-of-its kind mobile game by the world’s poshest luxury brand has surely created ripples in the fashion and the tech world. However, this is certainly not the brand’s first outing with the gaming industry.
Back in 2019, Louis Vuitton collaborated with the “League of Legends” to create a unique, capsule collection of designer clothing inspired by the League of Legends video game. But “Louis: The Game”, also known as “200 Anecdotes” in some regions, is definitely the brand’s first direct involvement with NFTs. One question still prevails though. Why did Louis Vuitton decide to develop a mobile game?
Why the crossover?
Yes, celebrating their founder’s 200th birthday is surely one of the most important reasons the company decided to release a mobile game. However, that’s not the end of celebrations for sure. In fact, a novel as well as a documentary based on the life and brand of Louis Vuitton are in the pipeline too. But the real reason for LV’s gaming attempt, experts believe, was to catch the attention of the Gen Z. Traditionally, Louis Vuitton mainly targets wealthy women from mid-30s to mid-50s along with young female fashion-followers. The mobile game on the other hand, is in complete contrast of LV’s business approach.
The layout of “Louis: The Game” seems to have been designed to attract and amuse a fresh, young audience, especially the tech-savvy individuals. It is a means for LV to create a new base of followers, the hard-to-impress Gen-Z. And what can do the trick more effectively than creating a challenge that everyone can take part in, especially without purchasing anything! While it appears to be a brilliant opportunity for the brand to introduce itself to the younger audience, for the consumers it is one of the pocket-friendly ways to be a part of the LV universe.
Unfortunately, the brilliant plan isn’t quite perfect when it comes to execution. “Louis: The Game” has its own fair share of technical issues which range from sound issues to random crashes and lagging. Many players reported problems with the game being unable to produce any music, while some complained about the game’s frame rate. Gaming controls, however, remained the top issue along with the lag in the gameplay.
Nevertheless, Louis Vuitton did a commendable job with the game’s visualization and conception. The players lauded the graphics and the idea behind the game. Just with some more development, the gaming experience and the overall charm of the mobile game could be enhanced further.