Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, pals proclaim 'Japan Metaverse Economic Zone'
Updating the nation through the power of games. And ads. Lots of ads
Ten Japanese companies, including IT services giant Fujitsu and automobile manufacturer Mitsubishi, have embarked on a collaboration to create an advertiser-friendly immersive gaming environment they've grandly named the "Japan Metaverse Economic Zone."
"This agreement is based on the concept of 'updating Japan through the power of games,'" declared the participating companies in an announcement on Monday. The gaming element to this metaverse is the brainchild of game director, CEO of JP Games and Web 3.0 advisor for the Japanese government's Digital Agency, Hajime Tabata.
Also included in the endeavor is global bank Mizuho, JP Games subsidiary TBT Lab Group, insurer Sompo, printing company Toppan, and other industrial titans. Each company will contribute their expertise – such as gamification, FinTech, and ICT – toward building an open metaverse infrastructure called Ryugukoku.
Ryugukoku is intended to be interoperable between different metaverse platforms and support social platform type activities – meaning governments and corporations will be able to use it to deliver services, marketing, branding and public relations.
The collaborators billed Ryugukoku as a "metaverse infrastructure with a worldview." It incorporates elements of a fantasy role-playing game and takes on the form of a moving city or castle roaming through a virtual landscape, as the user interacts with content and services.
The experience will be customized to the user as they adopt an avatar and the system starts to learn and predict preferences.
Businesses can gamify consumer experiences using tools called "Pegasus World Kit."
And of course users will be able to purchase NFTs, avatar skins and other digital goods and store them in a "Multi-Magic Passport" as they interact with brands in the virtual world, thanks to the enabling of identity authentication and secure payments.
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While the idea of fantasy game environment dominated by brands might not seem an obvious recipe for success, it does advance Japan's national agenda for wide adoption of Web3.0 technology and greater availability of digital services.
Japan has displayed a certain resistance to digitalization, shunning digital IDs and clinging to fax machines.
But Japan is ahead of most of the world in several areas, including its regulations on new tech like cryptocurrency and its video game market, which Statista predicted would surpass 67 percent user penetration in 2027.
The country's leaders have vowed to invest in digital transformation and has been supporting that intention through tax incentives.
Prime minister Fumio Kishia sounded every inch the tech bro in October when he announced the government would "promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services utilizing the metaverse and NFTs." ®