Get in the game: App introduces millions to home furnishings

HIGH POINT— It could be described as a digital bridge between home furnishings and an app-inspired path to purchase, but for the players who compete to design a winning interior, Redecor is competitive recreation centered around all things home.

Founded in 2019 by Reworks, a Helsinki-based mobile games studio now owned by Playtika, Redecor is a free gaming app that launched globally during the heart of the pandemic in 2020. Within 18 months, company officials state that it had become the No. 2 design entertainment app in the world based on in-app purchase revenue, and in 2023, there were 8 million unique players from around the world on Redecor, all competing in virtual design challenges for every room of the home.

“While not the initial vision, Redecor went live during the peak of COVID in April 2020, a time when many were locked in their homes and seeking activities, and the interest in ‘redecoring’ homes, home makeover and interior design was at an all-time high,” said Aino Heinäsuo , head of design at Redecor. “The main reason for the success of the app is that the game art is photo realistic. People can feel that these rooms they’re designing are actually out there in the real world. That, together with vibrant global community of like-minded people that came together during 2020, were the main starting points to success.”

According to company representatives, the game’s content and art are created by 3D artists and content creators, many with a background in interior design or architecture. In select design challenges, the artists partner with well-established home furnishings professionals and brands, recreating notable interiors as part of the Redecor play package.

“Any brand, person or artist featured in our game will see their work presented in the most realistic, authentic and creative way, and then be shared and reshared again and again all over social media across the world,” Heinäsuo said, adding that once the brand is featured in the game, the tangible benefits begin to emerge.

“The main benefit is our audience because we are putting the brand right in front of them,” she explained. “Our users love getting things in real life that they’ve seen on Redecor. They get super excited when they see something from Redecor in a store or on a TV show; they immediately share it and call it ‘Redecor in the wild.’ Our users love to learn, especially when it comes to design.”

Genevieve Gorder Heinäsuo added that Redecor has partnered with several home furnishings professionals including Genevieve Gorder, Mary Tjon Joe Pin and Carmeon Hamilton.

“We’ve had partnerships with Genvieve Gorder where her real-life rooms were available to design in the game and her real-world rug and wallpaper collections were turned into in game collections, meaning players could design with her materials from the real world, and then go to her website and purchase them. It was very successful, and we saw a clear rise in all KPIs during this partnership.

“More than just designing their rooms, we love actual content collaborations, so each of these designers brought a lot of value to our community,” Heinäsuo continued. “Throughout the month of February we will have Tia Mowry’s real life rooms in the game, and she will be our presenter of 2024’s Black History Month.”

In the past year, Reworks started modeling human figures and going into new domains beyond interior design, like fashion and food design, according to Heinäsuo. In the fashion category, players can now design dresses, shoes, bags, jewelry, swimwear, men’s fashion, nails, lipstick, etc., and the “smash hit” response underscores the potential power of app-based brand building and a digital-first direction on the path to purchase.

“As we go deeper into beauty and fashion, our first brand integration will be happening this February with Revlon,” she said. “Their new collection of super lustrous lipstick will turn into a ‘pattern’ in the game, and players will be able to use this collection to design surfaces, walls and counter tops with the new Revlon lipstick shades. We will also incorporate their messaging of ‘power to the fearless’ and ‘be bold’ with special live challenges, events and briefs. This is just the tip of the iceberg for our upcoming lineup of brand partnerships.”

On the home front, Redecor continues to evolve with innovative features to attract new players.

“We just released a new feature called Design Blitz and in August last year, we released a new feature called My Design Journal,”Heinäsuo said. “It’s been nonstop dedication and learning and optimizing to get us to where we are today, turning the app into a full-on game, with game modes, live events, etc.

“It’s been really important for us to understand our players, their personal motivations and how we can cater to their needs like relaxation, creative outlet, inspiration, education, self-improvement and, finally, the need for community,” she added. “Today, we have players in 161 countries who are young, intelligent, curious, creative individuals interested in design, culture and different activities like travel, cooking, reading, etc., and most are women, over 90%, who are between 25-44 years old.”

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