Move over, Meta, the gamers are getting in on the Metaverse buzzword bandwagon. While the social media giant previously known as Facebook may be infamous for kickstarting the Metaverse train, it'll take a concept known as “fun” for it to take off. Enter: Bandai Namco!
Reported by VGC, the Japanese game publisher is not skimping of its version of The Metaverse. In fact, the beloved studio is planning to put a tonne of financial and IP backing into its version of the virtual world.
Bandai Namco Metaverse will feature Dark Souls, Dragon Ball and more
The Japanese studio announced its plans to enter to Metaverse during its recent mid-term plan call. During the shareholders meeting, the company revealed its “IP Axis Strategy”, a tactical way for the company to increase the value of its intellectual properties.
Bandai’s main move in this regard is to create an “IP Metaverse”. Essentially, the publisher is planning to make an interconnected virtual world with 3D representations of its brands. Think of VR Chat worlds, but official.
“Bandai Namco will develop a metaverse for each IP as a new framework for connecting with fans,” the publisher announced. “In this IP Metaverse, we are anticipating virtual spaces that will enable customers to enjoy a wide range of entertainment on an IP axis, as well as frameworks that leverage Bandai Namco’s distinctive strengths to fuse physical products and venues with digital elements.”
Current plans for Bandai's IP Metaverse budget out ¥15 Billion ($130 million) for the project. This budget will go towards establishing the “data foundation” for the interconnected worlds, as well as creating content to fill them.
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Keeping the community gated
Bandai Namco’s Metaverse initiative is described as a way of strengthening its already existing communities. In simpler terms, the publisher is looking to create VR walled gardens consisting of their own established IPs.
Essentially, it's a VR representation of a subreddit, a community designed entirely around a topic its participants already enjoy. However, by being official, it also acts in a similar way to a brand-owned Twitter page, but with a direct, engaged audience with a screen strapped to their face.
Just like most “Metaverses”, there probably won't be much to do in the Bandai Namco Metaverse, but it'll be there. At least they’re not selling NFTs.