Highrise: A Digital Nation

Highrise started out as a social game, but it’s evolving into a digital nation: a place where citizens can live and thrive in a vibrant online world. With over 1 million monthly users, Highrise is the size of major cities like San Francisco, Austin, Boston, and many more. Our goal is to grow Highrise into the largest digital nation on the Internet, where citizens can live, play, serve each other, and earn an income.

Sharing the wealth is key: digital nations like Highrise impact the largest number of people when they enable their citizens to make an income by playing and living within the digital space. Going forward, our goal is to ensure that Highrise citizens keep most of the money that flows inside Highrise.

That’s why we’re pursuing three major initiatives that will alter the economics of Highrise to give most value to Highrise citizens:

  1. Cashing out: we want Highrise citizens to be able to cash out from playing Highrise. We’re going to introduce a new currency called Pocket Coins that can be redeemed for cash. That means when you tip or trade, you can receive a currency that’s exchangeable for cash, in lieu of our usual app-bound gold. Pocket Coins will allow Highrise hosts, creators, and traders to profit from delivering value to other citizens of Highrise.
  2. Blockchain ownership: we want items in Highrise to exist on the blockchain to give Highrise citizens more freedom to use the items they own. You’ll be able to trade them, sell them, use them in another game — in general, you’ll be able to do whatever you want with them. We’ll build our own marketplace for Highrise items, but you won’t be locked into our marketplace — you’ll be able to trade items on any marketplace that supports NFTs and blockchain items. Our first NFT project is called the Highrise Creature Club, and you can join our Discord here. We’ll be revealing more about this project as it evolves.
  3. Blockchain participation: we’ll be exploring ways to give our community more ownership over Highrise through tokens. These tokens will entitle holders to vote on the evolution of Highrise while collecting income from primary market and secondary market sales. This is a longer-term, more complicated project that we’ll be working on.

All of these initiatives fundamentally change who captures most of the value in the Highrise economy. We, the developers, used to capture most of the value, and this enabled us to build a bigger team and a better product. But now we can flip the value equation because (1) we’re at the stage where we can and (2) technology has evolved to support a new economic model. As we build these features and technologies into Highrise, we’re excited for Highrise citizens to capture the bulk of the value in the Highrise economy. I hope you’re as excited as we are!

We’ll be hosting weekly AMAs and discussions in Discord and Highrise to discuss the evolution of the Highrise digital nation. Stay tuned for the schedule!