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When Metaverse meets game: Roblox & Zepeto

Hello, this is Team Protocon.

In the last episode, we talked about <Metaverse and Blockchain>.

In this episode, we will take a closer look at representative cases of metaverse.

In the 2000s, the metaverse started and grew around games, gradually rising to the surface, but with the spread of smartphones, it gave its position to social networking services (SNS) for a while. The reason why metaverse, which had been sparkling and slowly forgotten, began to draw attention again is due to the contactless trend caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The metaverse has emerged as a means of resolving the desire to meet in a situation where it is difficult for people to face each other.

As mentioned last time, metaverse is a compound word of ‘meta’ meaning virtual/transcendence and ‘universe’ meaning the real world, meaning a virtual world connected to reality. In other words, it means a worldview of social, economic, and cultural activities using an avatar, a fictional character on the web. The most important point here is ‘virtual’. Since it is a ‘virtual’ space that does not actually exist, it has a great advantage in that the physical limit is close to zero.

Today, among various fields of application of metaverse, we would like to learn about its performance in the game field.

Roblox, a representative metaverse success story, is an open world sandbox role-playing game that was released on September 1, 2006 and developed and distributed by Roblox Corporation.

The aforementioned ‘sandbox’ means ‘sand box’ and ‘sand playground’, and refers to a genre in which young children can freely create something as if they were playing with sand.

So, what does the ‘open world’ genre mean?

An ‘open world’ refers to a game in which the entire movable area in the game is connected to a single map and can be moved without loading. In other words, Roblox, a combination of sandbox and open world, has a lot of freedom, so there are many elements that users can create in-game.

It seems that this is enough to explain the game terminology, so let’s move on to the description of Roblox, shall we?

[Source: https://www.roblox.com/create ]

Roblox is the most used app by teens in the United States, with approximately 150 million monthly active users (MAU), of which a third are under the age of 16. It is also known that two-thirds of children aged 9–12 in the United States play Roblox. Even 52% of teens said they spend more time in Roblox relationships than with real friends.

In Roblox, users engage in various activities by moving their avatars in games that resemble Lego. They can create their own games, make calls and chat, and use tools and platforms to allow users to freely engage in activities. In addition, users communicate directly through avatars, and any individuals can create and sell their own creations and games.

Game developers receive Roblox virtual currency ‘Robux’ in return for their creation. ‘Roblox’ is not only used in the game, but also can be exchanged for real money. There are over 2 million developers who create games within Roblox, and over 1,000 developers who have made more than $10,000 in revenue. In other words, developers can earn money and users can enjoy more than 55 million games.

[Source: https://borderpolar.com/]

As such, Roblox’s core competitive edge is the ‘game development ecosystem’. With a structure that allows users to develop games without coding knowledge, an American boy named Alex Balfanz developed a popular game called “Jailbreak” in his third year of high school and once made about $250,000 a month (monthly). As game development is easy, various contents are updated frequently and various entertainments are continuously provided to users.

If there is a metaverse representative game, Roblox, in the United States, let’s look at Zepeto, a representative metaverse game known as an Asian version of Roblox.

As face-to-face performances and fan signing events became difficult due to COVID 19, the metaverse platform emerged as an alternative. In September last year, YG Entertainment’s girl group BLACKPINK and in February this year, JYP Entertainment’s girl group ITZY held fan meetings and fan signing events using Zepeto, showing that Zepeto has become the next generation of metaverse platforms.

[Source: Zepeto]

Zepeto was developed and distributed by Naver’s subsidiary NaverZ and is a global augmented reality (AR) avatar platform launched in 165 countries around the world in August 2018 with 200 million global subscribers as of December last year. Zepeto is an avatar platform that allows users to enjoy games, activity elements and social activities in virtual spaces with their own unique 3D avatars using face recognition, AR, and 3D technology. In addition, you can buy various decorative items for avatars or call and text each other freely.

In the case of Roblox, it is based on games, but Zepeto has grown mainly on K-pop and fashion. In the case of Zepeto, unlike Roblox, it has SNS requirements. Content created within Zepeto can be uploaded to my avatar’s page just like the ‘posts’ on Facebook and ‘feeds’ on Instagram. You can also visit other avatars’ pages and leave ‘Likes’. In this way, Zepeto distinguishes itself from other metaverse games by focusing on ‘social’ and ‘User Creative Content’ (UGC).

Roblox provides a platform for developers to produce games whereas in Zepeto, anyone can create and sell their items through Zepeto Studio. Zepeto Studio opened in April last year and has 700,000 accumulated creators and about 2 million submitted items. About 25 million created items were sold.

[Source: https://www.gucci.com/ ]

Zepeto Studio provides item templates that make it easy for anyone to work without professional design knowledge. Templates allow you to modify simple 2D graphic images to create Zepeto items without understanding professional modeling and 3D design tasks. By making and selling such products, you can get digital currencies called “Gem” and “Coin” in return which can be used within Zepeto.

Metaverse & BlockCity

Protocon’s Block City is an open world survival defense type cooperative RPG game that will be released in the first half of 2022. Players must explore the open world within the game map to solve basic food, clothing, and protect shelter from monster attacks. Also, the users can work together to effectively carry out the battle. Also, since it is an RPG game, you can raise your own levels and stats.

In line with the metaverse era, the Protocon supports interchangeable networks between dApps. Records of real estate purchase by users, item ownership, and game stat in Block City will be documented and stored in BlockSign (document management dApp), which will enable sharing and verification of game data. If you’re curious about Block City and BlockSign, please keep an eye on the research that will be updated in the future!

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Protocon is a combination of “protocol” and “Economy." Protocon Network is a blockchain project that aims to provide the infrastructure needed in the digital transformation era.

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