For decades, video games were, for the most part, closed worlds – digital spaces that no one other than you and your playmates could enter. Sports games were obvious exceptions to this, encompassing actual car brands for racing titles or football sponsorship deals. The odd fast food brand also popped up, and the highly anticipated Death Stranding left gamers in awe when it included significant product placement from Monster Energy.

Until recent years, fashion brands maintained a cautious distance from the gaming world, but the rapid expansion of esports, mobile games, and streaming has seen many of these brands re-evaluate things.

On the occasion of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, fashion brand Charli Cohen has teamed up with Selfridges to allow fans to buy a custom digital collection which could be ported to avatars on over 500 platforms, including an AR body tracking lens on Snapchat. Other recent crosses include Axel Arigato partnering with the Aglet app to sell digital sneakers through his in-game store, Balenciaga. start your own video “game”, and Asos signing a three-year deal with esports firm Fnatic, which will include in-game activations and digital content. And there’s hardly a brand that hasn’t done something in Animal Crossing.

Top image: Balenciaga x Fortnite collaboration; Above: Charli Cohen x Pokémon, which could be browsed and purchased through a digital town