There was a time when playing a video game meant that your character looked the way the game’s creator wanted it to look. As Polygon reported on Friday (May 21), that can mean buying a virtual Gucci bag for as much as you would for a real one.
These days, it’s not unusual to be able to outfit your avatar in all different ways, whether that means completing portions of a game or — in the case of the hugely popular platform Roblox — purchasing outfits and hairstyles on a virtual marketplace.
Roblox sells its own digital currency called Robux — 1,700 Robux costs $19.99 as of Friday — that users spend in games or on the marketplace. In some cases, marketplace items are sold as part of a limited event.
One of those events was the Gucci Garden Experience, where users could spend time in a space created by Gucci or go shopping. While the event was derided by users, Roblox still went ahead with it, selling Gucci items, some based on actual products from the company’s fashion line.
One of those items was a virtual purse that sold for 475 Robux, or less than $6. And although fans might have been unhappy with the Gucci event, the purse became a sought-after item.
Scalpers began selling the virtual purse for astronomical prices. One YouTuber recorded a transaction where someone purchased a bag for 350,000 Robux, around $4,115. By the end of the day, the average price for the Gucci purse had hit $1,578. An actual Gucci bag costs slightly less.
“This is just one example of the independent marketplace (run by its young player base) of user-generated content that lives on Roblox,” Polygon’s reported. “Roblox has its own fashion industry and these sorts of dashes to buy are very reminiscent of buying hard-to-get items in the pandemic. And now, despite people hating on it, everyone wants the item.”
Roblox went public in March in a record-setting direct listing. And while the Polygon article referred to it as a “children’s website,” the company has been pushing to attract adult users as well, as PYMNTS reported earlier this year.