Metapolis on the way to becoming a virtual megacity4 min read
That’s something to be proud of. A 3D world connected by domes, car races on a futuristic Golden Gate Bridge, beat ’em up scuffles in dark alleys and cheering avatars everywhere: On first trailer to the Zilliqa metaverse conveys a promising impression of the 3D world flooded with neon light. Metapolis, that’s the name of the Zilliqa-Metaverse with a cyberpunk aesthetic, launching April 2nd in Miami celebrated has to become an interoperable and interactive VR world. An open space that can be tailored for all applications of the digital economy. An ambitious project. How are the chances?
What do you get when you lump cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, NFTs and gaming together? One of the biggest hypes of the last few months: The Metaverse. While our avatars interact with millions of people around the world, professional and social life should be reorganized in virtual hyperspace, games should be tied into the crypto corset according to the play-to-earn principle, cultural events should be brought into cyberspace and thus the boundaries between “physical” and “digital” are gradually being softened. Mankind celebrates progress in a gigantic party on the holodeck – so the partly childish expectations.
However, the previous implementations seem poor. Worlds anchored in the crypto ecosystem such as Decentraland or The Sandbox are already tempting with enormous income opportunities. Graphically, however, the implementations don’t look particularly progressive – more like a step back.
Zilliqa wants to take a step forward with its Metaverse-as-a-Service platform (MaaS) Metapolis. Metapolis is an open 3D world based on the Zilliqa blockchain. The hubs are the domes – individually adaptable domes, small metaverses in the metaverse, through which the virtual economy is to be networked. Hence Metaverse-as-a-Service: Metapolis is not a ready-made world. Users, artists, brands and companies can (or have) individually designed the domes and build corresponding mini ecosystems there, networked by the megacity Metrapolis.
Zilliqa platform for virtual life
As a result, Metapolis is “able to design, build and open Web3-based environments for the specific needs of each industry, whether it’s gaming, esports, fashion, music or anything else,” explains Sandra Helou, Head of NFTs and Metaverse at Zilliqa, opposite BTC-ECHO. “Users can expect exciting features like customizable avatars, NFTs, player-vs-player and play-to-earn games, and even marketplaces for showcasing, trading and consuming digital assets,” says Helou.
Graphically, Metapolis relies on the proven Unreal Engine. As an XR (Extended Reality) platform, both augmented and virtual reality elements should exploit the entire panorama of virtuality. “Augmented reality will become the new frontier of engagement, instead of chatting through social media, people’s avatars will be the new way of communicating,” Helou says. Avatars, according to Helou, “form the basis of their digital identity and their mode of transport between cities within Metapolis.”
Metapolis: A 3D world is born
After the platform was launched in front of a selected audience at the beginning of April, the 3D megacity Metapolis is to be assembled piecemeal in the coming months. “As we offer Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS), this means that there is no single launch date, instead Metapolis allows our partners to build their own Metaverse cities. There will be multiple separate launches as each partner decides when to go live with their city,” explains Helou.
The domes can be adapted to the respective needs and optimized for specific applications. “Each city will have its own functionality depending on how it wants to appeal to its audience, fans or consumers. Each city will have its own development phase and build-up period,” says Helou. “The Metapolis team will create these environments from A to Z: including engineering, design, integrations and XR implementation, but ultimately partners are free to enable or limit accessibility and launch at their discretion.”
Now that the building blocks have been developed, the development focus is now on interoperability. A multichain wallet is to be launched in October, and the VR connection will follow in just under a year. “At the heart of Metapolis is creating an interoperable, gamified ecosystem that brings together the best of AR and VR,” said Helou. “While each city can implement its own digital economy, our vision is to build an interoperable metaverse that is open and accessible to all and by all.”
On paper, Ziliqa has everything it needs for the claims of a Metaverse world. Whether Metapolis can keep what the pictures promise ultimately depends on demand. Several providers are vying for an industry standard here, not least the social media giant Meta. With the e-sports organization RRQ, MAD Lions and Ninjas in pajamas Zilliqa announced the first partners from the e-gaming sector. Also the social media app agora has entered into a partnership in the Metapolis context with Zilliqa. Zilliqa will have until the launch party own information raised $2 million in upfront investments from its partners.
However, given the staggering investments made by the competition, such as buying a $650,000 virtual luxury yacht in The Sandbox, the sum falls even more into the peanuts category. The list of partnerships is still thin at this point in time. The same applies to the range of applications, which has so far been heavily tailored to e-gaming. There is no lack of potential for this. If the network effects of Zilliqa – the blockchain has over 190 partnerships – unfold on Metapolis, the virtual metropolis should be one of the most promising platforms in the Metaverse landscape.
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