Bandai Namco’s Gundam ‘metaverse’ dream mixes esports, Web3, and Gunpla

2 months ago 25

Bandai Namco is making immoderate large investments into the vaguely-defined thought of the metaverse, and it’s starting archetypal with what it’s calling the “Gundam Metaverse Project.”

Here is the summary of Bandai Namco’s wide metaverse vision, from a March property release. (I volition pass you that determination is simply a batch of jargon ahead.)

The caller mid-term program volition present a caller means of connecting fans to amusement properties by gathering a metaverse for each IP nether Bandai Namco Group’s portfolio, which is besides utilized arsenic a cardinal portion of the company’s IP based strategies. Development volition statesman with the instauration of the “GUNDAM Metaverse” wherever it volition go a level of opportunities for GUNDAM fans worldwide to travel unneurotic to converse and link successful a assortment of categories.

This metaverse volition steadily turn to physique a coagulated instauration arsenic the task moves guardant into the future. First measurement for the metaverse is to make virtual communities for each category, and to alteration connections to the categories done usage of the BANDAI NAMCO iD.

As for the Gundam-specific aspects, Bandai Namco is readying to physique retired virtual communities for aspects of the fandom similar video games, anime, music, and Gunpla (aka Gundam model-building). “These virtual communities volition meld with the satellite of GUNDAM arsenic the virtual spaces volition beryllium made successful the signifier of abstraction colonies, which volition beryllium connected to the ‘GUNDAM Metaverse’ abstraction hub nether the sanction ‘SIDE-G,’” the institution said.

Bandai Namco’s diagram outlining the mode it feels these Gundam virtual communities volition connect. Image: Bandai Namco

The archetypal of these SIDE-G colonies volition beryllium 1 focused astir Gunpla, wherever “where assorted Gunpla related experiences volition beryllium made disposable wrong the virtual world.” Bandai Namco is besides readying an esports-themed colony for 2023. Basically, the communities look similar they’ll beryllium absorbing virtual spaces to nerd retired astir each things Gundam.

However, successful the “near future,” Bandai Namco wants radical to physique businesses astir making Gundam-themed content. Here is the company’s statement of that vision:

In the adjacent future, Bandai Namco Group volition impulse companies different than the Bandai Namco Group to articulation the GUNDAM marketplace and let wide users to behaviour C2C businesses utilizing the GUNDAM brand successful the signifier of idiosyncratic generated contented (UGC).

By gathering a metaverse successful which quality rights are preserved and implementing this initiative, it expects that caller Gundam businesses volition beryllium created and that this volition pb to further enlargement of Gundam IP co-created with fans.

The “GUNDAM Metaverse Project” volition physique “SIDE-G” by launching abstraction colonies for each disposable category. Bandai Namco Group volition make a caller economical domain to beforehand C2C businesses with an invitation for different companies to articulation a virtual abstraction wherever GUNDAM fans astir the satellite tin bask the virtual satellite unneurotic arsenic portion of their regular lives.

It’s unclear however the mechanics of this volition enactment oregon precisely what the “user generated content” volition look like. I desperately anticipation it won’t beryllium NFTs, but an announcement made Friday indicates Bandai Namco is taking astatine slightest immoderate involvement successful blockchain technologies. The institution has launched the “Bandai Namco Entertainment 021 (Zero to One) Fund” to put successful “global startup companies that supply entertainment-related products and services that utilize technologies specified arsenic blockchains, VR/AR/xR, AI, etc., and are engaged successful metaverse and Web3-related businesses.”

While it remains to beryllium seen if the metaverse is much than a flash-in-the-pan tech trend, Bandai Namco says it is committed to its imaginativeness for Gundam for astatine slightest the adjacent fewer years. “In bid to turn to an adjacent larger standard aft 2026, Bandai Namco Group volition beforehand the improvement of each colony with the ‘Gundam Metaverse’ arsenic a pillar of the Group,” the institution said successful its March property release.

And Bandai Namco has lone gone into item astir this Gundam metaverse; the institution has a big of different immense franchises similar Pac-Man and Tekken that it could effort to make caller virtual worlds around. (It besides publishes Elden Ring, though I americium praying that Bandai Namco does not bash thing metaverse-y with it. Put those foolish ambitions to rest.)

Many different tech and gaming companies are besides rushing to involvement their ain claims to the metaverse. Meta is making web and mobile versions of its Quest VR-only Horizon Worlds, crippled instauration instrumentality Core is expanding from PC to Apple platforms this summer, Epic Games and Lego are partnering on a metaverse for kids, and adjacent metaverse OG Second Life is making a renewed propulsion by bringing backmost its laminitis as a strategical advisor. But they’ll each beryllium competing against Fortnite and Roblox for relevance successful the virtual world.

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