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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Latam startups are changing the real world through video games like Animal Crossing

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, businesses everywhere are leaving their comfort zone and entering new, somewhat uncharted territory. One of my favorite novelties is the way in which video games are garnering attention and the role startups in Latin America are playing in this dynamic.

From luxury brands playing virtual tennis to snazzy pixelated outfits, the boundaries between the digital realm and “the real world” are being erased by startups and video games.

Gucci gang with Wildlife Studios?

Earlier this month, Brazilian video game startup Wildlife Studios and Italian fashion company Gucci announced a partnership.

Through their collaboration, users of the startup’s Tennis Clash game can tap into Gucci-branded outfits and gear. The pair will also host a special tournament, “the Gucci Open” starting next Thursday (25). During the event, users will face off in a special tennis court.

Branding in the background: Gamers might not necessarily be familiarized with Gucci swag. However, by offering an immersive experience bombarded with the fashion house’s designs, Gucci is adopting a creative way to stay top of mind.

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The augmented reality of gaming

With the release of Pokémon Go, video games that mesh our real world with the virtual one have gained popularity (and investors’ attention). A case in point is Mexican Wabisabi Design. It’s the first startup from Latin America to be accepted into Yellow, Snapchat’s accelerator program. 

Wabisabi Design works with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)  tech to create video games and other creative content. For the merit of getting Yellow’s green light, it raised US$150,000 last month.

Fashion tech meets Animal Crossing

Nintendo’s anxiety-relieving game, Animal Crossing, is also part of fashion tech Amaro’s latest approach with its customers. The startup recently hired a professional gamer to play on behalf of the business within Animal Crossing under an original character named “Mara”. 

Video games often develop a cult-like following which represent potential new markets for other businesses.

As Mara interacts with other users, the gamer will take note of their outfits. This information is then passed off to Amaro.

The startup then intends to launch a real clothing line dubbed “Cross Collection” inspired by these digital outfits during the second half of this year.

An interesting approach: Analysts are continually stating that the next frontier for marketing is building a community around your brand.

Amaro is taking a step in that direction by merging a popular game and its fan base, with its own products.

The bottom line: Companies that want to stay relevant among novel circumstances would be stupid to scoff at the opportunities within the video game industry.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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