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Jadu announces that it will release thousands of avatars built on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as it prepares for the augmented reality metaverse.
In late August, the Los Angeles-based company plans to sell 11,111 avatars, or AVAs, which can be uniquely owned via blockchain authentication, Jadu CEO Asad J. Malik said in an interview with GamesBeat. . .
The sale of NFT is part of a broader ambition to create an AR gaming experience and a real-world ecosystem with a continuous narrative that brings players back to a place that blends animation and physical reality into a kind of narrative of mixed reality.
Jadu has raised a lot of money to date – $ 45 million to date, including a $ 36 million round led by Bain Capital Crypto – and has also sold a variety of AR items in the past, such as virtual hoverboards and jetbacks. New avatars will be able to use these items to maneuver around the game world.
The playable 3D avatars are called Jadu AVA and will be the centerpiece of the gameplay. In the story, Avatars are robots that have crashed to Earth through a mysterious portal from another world. Each AVA belongs to one of the 5 types Blink, Rukus, Disc, Yve and Aura.
During the minting of NFT, partners will provide collections. These partners include FLUF, Meebits, VOIDs, Chibi Apes, CyberKongz, and CryptoWalkers. These partners have helped the company gain momentum for its AR articles in the past.
In the past, the company has partnered with Elton John to auction off a one-of-a-kind Rocket Man Jadu Hoverboard NFT for 75 ETH (Ethereum’s cryptocurrency), the largest NFT hoverboard sale to date. , with all proceeds donated to the Elton John Foundation for AIDS (EJAF). He also teamed up with seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton; dirt; Snoop Dogg; visual artist, Mimi Onuoha and NFT curator, Trippy on her NFT hoverboards.
Malik said the company will use the proceeds from the NFT sale later this month to create the AVA Community Treasury, which will use the funds on behalf of the community.
Avatars are designed to work with augmented reality because they were designed for augmented reality. The game will have several chapters in one story. Avatars will be able to perform parkour maneuvers. And this is how the company will gradually launch its ecosystem.
“The community element is really crucial,” said Malik. “It’s like treating our members and our players as citizens.”
About $ 5 million could come from the sale of NFT avatars, and the company will use it to create a community treasury, where the community can discuss how to spend resources. Rather than focusing on a game with millions of people, the company now focuses on getting 10,000 or 20,000 hardcore players initially.
Malik immigrated to the United States at age 18 for college, started an AR project at the Tribeca Film Festival, and founded Jadu about seven years ago. Malik’s mission is to reverse the trend of digital experiences by dismantling our connection with the physical world.
The company has a full team of people in Pakistan (they are paid in US dollars and are doing well despite the instability there) working on blockchain technology. Jadu has also hired people who have been laid off at other tech companies in the midst of the current crisis. The company employs around 50 people.
“We attract people who want to create proper AR gameplay,” Malik said. “The basic type of AR we do is based on gameplay. AR has always been a first person medium where you play with things. What we’re doing is making it a third person game. So instead of being the player, you have an avatar and you see that avatar in your room and you control it with an on-screen joystick.
He added: “And the avatar goes and does all the interactions on your behalf. The avatar can ride a hoverboard and jet pack and do a wall flip. Many forms of AR we build focus on the avatar going through different interactions. And our first step is to launch some gameplay ourselves, so we’re building the first season of our world.
Initially, Malik worked on AR experiences for film festivals, and some of his work is taught in AR and hologram courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. He released a project for Magic Leap in 2019 and built holograms for musicians.
“We were playing with AR storytelling,” Malik said.
And now he’s building an AR gaming platform. Over the past 2.5 years, the team has founded Jadu with the goal of bringing a richer form of AR technology and narrative storytelling to mobile games.
“In the last year, we have moved to Web 3,” he said. “We released our jetpack collection in AR, so we released these hoverboards that worked in AR. Nothing ever made sense. When we first started seeing NFTshappen, we thought it was a new way to gain value.
When NFTs started taking off last year, the company started focusing on AR games in the Web3 space. Players will be able to play in AR with their own 3D avatars. Jadu raised around $ 5 million from NFT sales and also saw around $ 30 million in side trade for his jump bikes and hoverboards.
“We’ve been working on it for the past six months or so,” Malik said. “We have a lot of resources behind this.”
Prepared for troubled times
I asked if the company had encountered any resistance to its NFT sales. Malik said he agrees with criticism of NFT companies for not doing well, throwing shoddy articles or engaging in fraudulent behavior.
“I fully agree with the gaming community’s criticism of NFTs,” he said. “We are not a traditional gaming company. We are fundamentally an AR company and our mission is always to bring new forms of AR to people in a very experimental and engaging way. We want to create forms of AR that didn’t exist before. “
As for the cryptocurrency winter, Malik said the company has a lead for the next three years or so. This reassures the company that it has time to properly develop its products and wait for players to embrace the AR multiplayer market.
For the most part, the company’s target audience are people who are already part of the crypto and NFT ecosystem. They are familiar with crypto wallets and are early adopters of the technology.
“We are about to reach a tipping point where he will feel really good, he will feel ready for a wider mainstream audience. And then we’ll move on to them, ”Malik said.
Over the next 30 days, the company will launch tools that players can use to submit contributions for others to vote on and more. And once the NFT avatars are released, the company will launch new chapters of its stories for players.
Malik said he hopes the movement to create interoperable NFTs and an open metaverse will progress, so that the company’s avatars can be usable across multiple platforms and apps. But for now he may be further away in the future.
“In theory, that’s what we’re aiming for, too,” he said. “At the same time, I mean it’s not a huge priority. It is something that we are ideologically aligned with. But if another virtual world has 600 users, we won’t be spending our time creating resources for that world right now.
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