Why Bulgari’s metaverse strategy is a contradiction

In some ways, his calculus is resonant. Several of marketers’ favorite virtual platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite belong to companies and, since they do not use technology like NFTs that afford users ownership, have the final say for every item in their ecosystems. Even decentralized worlds like The Sandbox are not yet linked with other worlds that allow users to port over their assets.

On the other hand, brands and platforms can support the vision for interoperability without yet being interoperable. Web3 technology is still in early stages of development—what is impossible today may not be in a year or two.

Paloni not only agreed with this idea, but also said it was the basis for why Bulgari built its own metaverse space.

“Interoperability is a long way [away]so now the best thing we can do is to set the tone with our community, start talking the language and learn how to work in a digitalized world,” he said.

The “Bulgariverse,” built with tech studio experience and using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 platform, will feature icons and visual codes that harken back to the brand’s Italian roots. It was first previewed in June, but while no official release date has been announced, Paloni said fans can expect more news by the first quarter of 2023.

The LVMH-owned brand has previously dropped NFTs around its products, although the blockchain technology will not be incorporated in the “Bulgariverse.” By stripping away these kinds of Web3 tools, including crypto and wallets, Bulgari hopes to reduce complications for consumers and instead focus on providing them with a frictionless experience.

“In the future, there could be a mix between NFTs and the ‘Bulgariverse,'” Paloni said. “But at the moment, we have kept these two worlds separated, because whatever we do are steps.”

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