Ad Age’s ranking of recent metaverse activations from brands and others leaning into the virtual craze
This month: More than one scary metaverse world, and it’s not even October!
No. 5: Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3)
A group of leading blockchain-based metaverse companies, spearheaded by Animoca Brands, formed a consortium to develop an open and interoperable metaverse. The members include The Sandbox (which is owned by Animoca), Decentraland, Dapper Labs and Cryptovoxels, among others. These companies will collaborate to build infrastructure for the ideal vision of the metaverse, which promises to grant users full ownership of their assets and the ability to move these assets between worlds without permission from platforms.
The group is called Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3) and will operate as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Members will retain governance over the group’s decisions and plans. OMA3 also invites any other blockchain-based metaverse platform to join. The requirement of a blockchain foundation protects the group from other self-proclaimed metaverse platforms that are actually centralized. These platforms also formed their own open metaverse coalition last month, including Microsoft, Meta and Epic Games.
During San Diego Comic-Con, the CBS tv show “Ghosts” announced a metaverse experience on Decentraland. The map features a recreation of the show’s haunted Woodstone Mansion created from actual blueprints. Players are able to solve puzzles, participate in quests, earn NFTs and interact with the show’s characters, who are voiced by their actors. The activation was designed with Web3 agency Creative DepartMint and will run up to the show’s season two premiere on Sept. 29.
Days after Playboy announced an activation on The Sandbox, Tony Hawk Inc. revealed its own virtual world—a collaboration with the Animoca Brands-owned platform and NFT company Autograph. The legendary skateboarder’s destination will be—you guessed it—a skate park where players will be able to use gamified versions of Autograph’s Tony Hawk NFTs. Skate culture is composed of a tight community of athletes, whom The Sandbox will seek to usher into Web3 with the help of one of their top idols.
No. 2: Jordan Peele’s “Nope” world
“Nope,” Jordan Peele’s third horror film, hasn’t even been in theaters a week, yet it has its own experience in the metaverse. Hosted on Meta’s Horizon Worlds platform and accessible via Quest 2 headsets, the effort is a collaboration between Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, Universal Pictures and VR creators who designed the space based solely on clips from the film’s trailers (so, no spoilers!). At the center of the world is Haywood Ranch, the fictional setting for the film, where players can participate in mini-games and other interactive elements.
In addition to “Nope World,” another Peele-inspired space takes players on a train to virtual cabins where they can find Easter eggs from his suite of movies, which also includes “Us” (2019) and “Get Out” (2017). Those two films will receive their own metaverse experiences later in the summer.
No. 1: Yuga Labs’ Otherside passes the first test
Otherside, the highly anticipated metaverse from Yuga Labs—the company behind NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club—opened its doors for the first time to users for a tech demo called a “First Trip.” The experience saw 4,300 invitees, known as “Voyagers,” run around and interact with each other in the “Biogenic Swamp.” Many of these players later took to social media to proclaim that the demo was a major success in graphics and entertainment.
While Otherside is still in a testing stage, Yuga Labs will ultimately open the world for “Phase 1,” in which players will participate in an 11-part narrative game. Until then, however, only “Voyagers” can enter the First Trips; “Voyagers” are holders of Otherside land NFTs known as “Otherdeeds.” The auction for these land tokens went live in April and caused such a surge in activity that it jammed the Ethereum network. It also generated $561 million in sales—not bad for a metaverse that isn’t even open yet.