Playboy is set to launch a metaverse version of the brand’s famous Playboy Mansion, with the digital pad set to host social online events, gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) releases.
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, lived in the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles until his death in 2017. The building and its parties became symbols of sexual liberation and hedonism, but also of suspect behaviour and antiquated attitudes to women, following reports of ‘Playboy Bunny’ models allegedly being abused there.
With Playboy attempting to rebrand itself as progressive and empowering to women in recent years, the brand’s chiefs will be hoping that no such behavior goes on between avatars at what they’re calling the MetaMansion. With reports of abusive behaviour taking place in other metaverse spaces recently, they might well have to implement some rigid moderation practices.
The MetaMansion is being developed by The Sandbox gaming platform, which released a short teaser video about the forthcoming venue. The video suggests that it will be populated by sexy, subservient women wearing bunny ears, as the original mansion was, although in the new version they’ll be in pixelated avatar form.
The Sandbox said that the MetaMansion will be linked to Playboy’s NFT project, Rabbitars. The NFT collection features 11,953 ‘bunny’ avatars which have been sold for around $800 each. After being bought in October 2021 the value of many of the NFTs dropped dramatically, in line with the global cryptocurrency and NFT crash seen in recent months.
Rabbitar owners will be able to console themselves by using their Playboy NFTs to gain access to the MetaMansion, when its virtual gates swing open. If they have any money left after shelling out for the NFTs, they will be able to buy virtual land plots next to the virtual mansion.
Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox COO and co-founder, said: “Playboy is emblematic for its charm, lifestyle and entertainment content that has transcended generations and that has already stepped into Web3 with early success.”
Having shut down its print magazine in 2020, Playboy recently moved into the world of online adult content creation with its new creator platform, Centerfold. The platform is part OnlyFans, part magazine, with the brand billing it as a home for “the world’s most daring creators”.