The first Metaverse as a Service (MaaS) has been announced on the Zilliqa network. The recently announced metaverse project, called Metapolis, will be supported by an IRL early access event in Miami on April 2. The price of ZIL broke $0.12 Sunday morning from a low of $0.43 the day before. This represents a price increase of 159% in less than 24 hours.
Currently, the only way to access it is through the contest hosted on this Reddit post. Prices include tickets to the event or a limited edition NFT and T-shirt. More information should be released on Discord on Wednesday, March 30 at noon EST via a Metapolis AMA featuring Zilliqa’s leadership team.
This isn’t just some old metaverse announcement. Zilliqa partners with Agora, a global talent awards app. The partnership will allow creators to upload content to the Agora app and, through community votes, have their work added to the Metapolis metaverse. Furthermore, Agora award winners currently receive up to $150,000 in scholarships. Helou, head of Metaverse and NFTs and Zilliqa said:
“We are excited about this collaboration as we can not only bring creativity to life within the metaverse, but also open borderless access for creatives around the world to connect in the digital world. The collaboration between Agora, Zilliqa and Metapolis means we are at the forefront of web 3 innovation.”
Zilliqa has also partnered with some of the leading esports organizations in the world. Ninjas in Pajamas, RRQ and MAD Lions. ZIL branding will now appear on “team jerseys, content creation hoodies, and integrated marketing campaigns.”
The new head of Gaming and Sports at Zilliqa believes that “gaming will be the industry that will drive the next exponential growth in blockchain users. These kinds of partnerships can accelerate that adoption.” However, given the recent reaction and backlash to the addition of blockchain services to existing games, this is clearly going to be a difficult task.
How Metapolis is built
The Metapolis project will be built on Unreal Engine, Unity and Nvidia Omniverse. Using Unreal Engine means graphics similar to Fortnite, Street Fighter 5, Valorant or Gears of War.
Developed by Epic Games, Unreal Engine is one of the most popular game development tools on the market, especially for consoles and PC. Unity is the world’s leading mobile game engine with an estimated 45% market share of the mobile game market.
Popular Unity games consist of Hearthstone, Cuphead, Rust and Monument Valley. Nvidia Omniverse is a developer ecosystem designed to “make it easier for developers to share assets, sort asset libraries, collaborate, and deploy AI.”
The game engine market is expected to explode in the next 5 years as end users become more accustomed to what to expect from a game built in a specific engine. Zil’s price hike following the announcement of Unity and Unreal Engine is a prime example of this.
How does Metapolis work?
Prior to the AMA, there is limited information on specific details about how Metapolis will be experienced by users. The use of Nvidia Omniverse will likely be used in conjunction with the Agora partnership to enable easy 3D content creation and user collaboration. Agora’s goal is to provide opportunities for people around the world to create. A metaverse of creating global community content where creators can be directly remunerated through NFT sales sounds like an innovative way to achieve that goal.
In terms of direct gameplay, there are a few options. Unity and Unreal Engine are not compatible with each other. You build a game with one or the other. Therefore, it is possible for the metaverse ecosystem to be built in Unity to make it work well on both desktop and mobile devices.
The community projects within the metaverse can then be built using a collaboration between Unreal Engine and Nvidia Omniverse. However, this would take a lot of testing to get the backend servers to talk to each other and require a way to host Unreal Engine instances in a Unity game wrapper, so this seems unlikely.
Another option is that Unreal Engine is only used for asset creation and collaboration. The assets can be imported into Unity, subject to adjustment. In this case, Unity would be the main engine for the entire metaverse.
Either way, the fact that Zilliqa uses the best non-proprietary tools in the industry suggests the experience will be a real world first. There are other smaller metaverse projects that want to build in Unreal Engine, such as Netvrk, but nothing major that will be released to the public.
The main stats of Zilliqa
Some key stats on Zilliqa’s performance over the past 12 months:
512% increase in total number of dapp users Unique wallet addresses grew from 1,170,000 million in 2020 to more than 3,070,000 Transaction volume increased from 11,000,000 in 2020 to 30,000,000+ in 2021Total trading volume exceeded 120,000,000,000,000 $ ZIL
Are you interested in buying the metaverse? Can Metapolis compete with The Sandbox of Decentraland? Let me know on Twitter or send me an email if you have more information.
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