Burberry designs skins for Honor of Kings characters

By Cristina Criddle
Technology reporter

Image source, Burberry/Tencent
Image caption,
An Honor of Kings character wears Burberry

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has designed outfits for one of China’s biggest video games.

Players can buy the clothes - known as skins – to adorn in-game characters.

Tencent-owned developer TiMi Studios collaborated with the designer for its multiplayer online battle game Honor of Kings.

The new skins - which feature Burberry's signature trench coat and tartan - will be available in mainland China only.

“By allowing our Chinese customers to explore virtual products through the medium of online games, we can connect with our communities in a way that really resonates with them,” Josie Zhang, president of Burberry in China, said.

“We want to empower our community to explore their surroundings, whether it is online or offline.”

Honor of Kings is similar to popular titles in the West such as League of Legends or Dota 2 – and Tencent’s game, available for mobiles, has more than 100 million daily active users worldwide.

'Highly desirable'

Its popularity has led the technology company to limit the amount of time children can play each day.

“These sorts of luxury-fashion partnerships seem to be relatively confined to Asia for now, where European brands are particularly desirable,” Louise Shorthouse, senior games analyst at Ampere Analysis, said.

“It's about putting those characters in highly desirable, decadent fashion labels so the fans will look at them and want to emulate that.

“As owning a Burberry coat or scarf in real life is a symbol of wealth or status, the same can be said for in-game.”

Image source, Louis Vuitton/Square Enix
Image caption,
Louis Vuitton released its collection for Final Fantasy, in January

Louis Vuitton and Prada have both designed outfits for characters in the Final Fantasy XIII video game.

League of Legends has also collaborated with Louis Vuitton.

“Burberry's continued commitment to experiment with gaming either by developing their own in-house games or strategically partnering with organisations like TenCent demonstrates their eagerness to connect with the third of the world's population who identify as gamers,” Karinna Nobbs, co-chief executive of digital fashion marketplace The Dematerialised, said.

“Building long-term relationships with future consumers of Burberry is clever in terms of maintaining relevance for a heritage brand.”

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