We’re all used to seeing product placement in films – think James Bond’s Aston Martins or Pizza Hut popping up in Wayne’s World – but what about in video games? If you’re already a gamer you’ll know that product integration isn’t uncommon at all – in fact everything from Vote Obama posters to Subway sandwiches can show up on screen when you least expect it. However on October 13, luxury fashion brand Gucci announced a collaboration with Sims 4 modders (the people who make modifications to video games), and may just have kicked off a new industry trend. Now you can ‘try on’ Gucci’s Ace sneakers using an AR app View this post on Instagram A post shared by Activist Bae (@htown.chinadoll) on Aug 29, 2020 at 7:04pm PDT For the uninitiated, The Sims 4 is a life simulation game developed by Electronic Arts (EA), whose other hits include fan favourites Fifa and Battlefield , and the game has garnered a huge audience of loyal players over the years, many of whom have been playing since its initial release as The Sims in 2000. However, today’s fan base is primarily made up of teenagers and young adults. In fact, The Sims franchise is such a significant player in the video game industry, YouTubers who create Sims content on their platforms have been able to amass millions of followers and views of their own. What’s next for Yoox Net-a-Porter Group as it turns 20 this year? So why did Gucci think a Sims partnership was the way forward? The collaboration is part of Gucci’s new initiative, Gucci Equilibrium, which the brand says is its “commitment to generate positive change for people and our planet”. Not only is sustainability a big part of the initiative, but the amplification of Gen Z voices too. Given the size of the young audience The Sims 4 has, it makes sense the luxury brand would want to integrate its latest sustainable collection – appropriately called “Off the Grid” – into the game. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Moschino (@moschino) on Apr 10, 2019 at 8:24pm PDT Believe it or not, Gucci isn’t the first fashion house to turn to the video game industry . In The Sims 4, basic content is available to anyone who purchases the game, and then periodically, The Sims team releases new content packs for purchase that expands players’ gaming experiences, incorporates new clothing, and lets them build things. 5 times high-end fashion brands have collaborated with video games Last year, Moschino worked with the EA team directly on The Sims 4 to create a for-purchase game pack, allowing people to become a freelance fashion photographer and featuring clothing styles inspired by classic Moschino collections. After the packs’ release, Moschino even sold a limited edition “Moschino X The Sims” collection with real items for purchase, including a phone case, earrings and bathing suit. Hats and tree houses However, what’s different about Gucci’s collab is the brand’s decision to work directly with two “modder” content creators instead: Grimcookies and HeyHarrie. Why? Modders are a central part of The Sims 4 community and keep the game creative and fun; the fact that Gucci wanted to convey similar brand values to its young audience may explain such a choice. Gucci fans previously caught a glimpse of this through the brand’s MX collection with its youthful, playful, genderless designs, and in the partnership with musicians Tyler the Creator and A$AP Rocky for its Tailoring ad campaign. Grimcookies developed two hats and two pairs of trainers for the game – direct replicas of the original Gucci Off the Grid items. He also created 11 “build mode” items, including purses and handbags that Sims can place in their rooms. However the key feature of the Off The Grid collection is that it’s sustainable, something that inspired the other creator Gucci teamed up with – HeyHarrie – to build a treehouse for Sims to show off their new accessories. Now, both the treehouse and the fashion items can be downloaded by anybody who plays the game. Is glamour dead? Never – post-pandemic power dressing is inevitable A new trend? Amid a still-raging pandemic, people are spending more and more time playing video games – there could hardly be a better time (or more perfect platform) for a luxury retailer to make its mark. So will it catch on? Besides Gucci and Moschino, others are now beginning to get in on the action too: Louis Vuitton is designing outfits for League of Legends characters, and Burberry is even creating its own fashion game, B Bounce . As video gaming redefines norms – including the fact that e-sports and professional video gaming leagues have the ability to garner bigger audiences than some traditional sports – luxury retailers are starting to see the size of the opportunity … and, luckily for us, have fun with it. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .