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Jadu announced that he will release thousands of avatars built on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as he prepares for the augmented reality metaverse.
In late August, the Los Angeles-based company plans to sell 11,111 avatars, or AVAs, that will be uniquely owned through blockchain authentication, Jadu CEO Asad J. Malik said in an interview with GamesBeat.
The sale of NFT is part of a larger ambition to create a real-world AR gaming experience and ecosystem with a continuous narrative that keeps players coming back to a place that mixes animations and physical reality in a kind of mixed reality narrative.
Jadu has raised a lot of money so far – $45m so far, including a $36m round led by Bain Capital Crypto – and he’s also sold various AR items in the past, such as virtual hoverboards and jetbacks. New avatars will be able to use these items to manipulate the entire game world.
The 3D playable avatars are called Jadu AVA, and they will be the focus of the gameplay. In the story, the Avatars are robots that crashed on Earth through a mysterious portal from another world. Each AVA belongs to one of the 5 types Blink, Rukus, Disc, Yve & Aura.
When printing NFTs, 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 items in the past.
Previously, the company partnered with Elton John to auction 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 Elton John. AIDS Foundation (EJAF). He also teamed up with seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton; impurities; Snoop Dogg; visual artist, Mimi Onuoha and NFT curator, Trippy with his 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 for the community.
Avatars are designed to work with augmented reality because they are designed for augmented reality. The game has many chapters in one story. Avatars can maneuver in parkour. And this is how the company will gradually roll out its ecosystem.
“The community element is very important,” Malik said. “It’s like treating our members and our players like citizens.”
Around $5 million will come from the sale of NFT avatars, and the company will use it to create a community repository, where the community can discuss how to spend resources. Instead of focusing on a game with millions of people, the company is now focused on getting 10,000 or 20,000 hardcore players first.
Malik immigrated to the United States at the age of 18 for college, and he started an AR project at the Tribeca Film Festival and founded Jadu about seven years ago. Malik’s mission is to change the trend of digital experiences that break our connection to the physical world.
The company has a whole team of people in Pakistan (they are paid in US dollars and are doing well despite the instability there) working on blockchain technology. Jadu is also hiring people who have been laid off by other tech companies amid the current downturn. The company has about 50 people.
“We’re attracting people who want to create proper AR gameplay,” Malik said. “The basic type of AR that we’re doing is game-driven. AR has always been a first-person medium where you play things. What we’re doing is making it a third-person game. So instead of you being the player, you have an avatar and that avatar appears in your room and you control it with an on-screen joystick.
He added: “And the avatar goes and does all the interactions for you. The avatar can ride a hoverboard and ride a jet pack and do a wall flip. A lot of the AR forms we’ve built are focused on the avatar doing through different interactions. And our first step is to launch a set of games ourselves, so we are now building the first season of our world.
Earlier, Malik worked on AR experiences for film festivals and some of his work was 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’re playing with AR storytelling,” Malik said.
And now it is building an AR gaming platform. For the past 2.5 years, the team has built Jadu with the goal of bringing a better form of AR technology and storytelling to mobile gaming.
“Last year, we pivoted to Web 3,” he said. “We released our own collection of jetpacks in AR, and then we released these hoverboards that work in AR. It just didn’t make sense. When we started looking at NFTshappen, we thought it was a a new way of getting value.
As NFTs started last year, the company started focusing on AR games in the Web3 space. Players will be able to play in AR using their own 3D avatar. Jadu raised about $5 million from NFT sales and also saw $30 million in secondary trades for his jump bikes and hoverboards.
“We’ve been doing that for the last six months or so,” Malik said. “We have a lot of resources behind it.”
Be prepared for difficult times
I asked if the company encountered any resistance to its NFT sales. Malik said he agreed to criticize NFT companies that misbehave, by launching bad articles or engaging in fraudulent behavior.
“I wholeheartedly agree with the community’s criticism of playing NFTs,” he said. “We are not a traditional game company. We are fundamentally an AR company and our mission has always been to bring new forms of AR to people in a more experimental and immersive way. We want to create AR forms like never before.”
As for the winter of crypto, Malik said that the company has a track for the next three years or more. This assures 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 is 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’ll hit an inflection point where it feels really good, it feels ready for a wider mainstream audience. And we’ll move on to them then,” said Malik.
Over the next 30 days, the company will launch tools that players can use to make submissions for other voting, and more. And when the NFT avatars are released, the company will launch new chapters in its stories for players.
Malik said he hopes the movement to create interoperable NFTs and an open metaverse will grow, so the company’s own avatars can be used on multiple platforms and apps. But it may be more in the future than in the present.
“In theory, that’s what we’re aiming for as well,” he said. “At the same time, I want to say that this is not a big priority. It is something that we are ideologically aligned with. But if another virtual world has 600 users, we will not spend our time creating property for that world today.
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