Games publisher Bandai Namco has invested 3 million dollars in Genies, a project that creates personal avatars with tokenized fashion items on the Flow blockchain. The investment happens one month after Genies started focusing on consumers instead of celebrities-only, and a week after the announcement of blockchain integration.
Genies will open an office in Tokyo, and CEO Yasuo Miyakawa from Bandai Namco Entertainment will join the Genies KK directors. This already connects the avatar business to gaming franchises like Pac-Man, Tekken and Soulcalibur.
The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the business for Genies, and celebrities like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Cardi B and Shawn Mendes. Miyakawa told VentureBeat that he expects major growth in the avatar business.
“Recent advancements in augmented reality, virtual reality, 5G and other technologies have allowed consumers more opportunities to gather together in digital spaces. The metaverse, what we call these 3D virtual spaces built online, is also growing, and we believe it will only continue doing so from here on out.”Yasuo Miyakawa, CEO Bandai Namco Entertainment, to Venture Beat (20 nov 2020)
Genies on Flow
Avatar platform Genies will be using the Flow blockchain to create and customize three-dimensional avatars, including a first one based on Justin Bieber. The singer used his Genies avatar to announce a new Christmas album on Amazon Music. He could potentially issue digital clothes signed by him when someone buys his album.
When Genies launches its avatars on the Flow blockchain, celebrities aren’t the only ones who are able to create avatars. Everybody can. The developers describe Genies as a portable virtual identity that users can use across different virtual worlds/games/software packages. Yes, it’s basically an SDK.
Avatars top of mind in blockchain space
This month Somnium Space announced that they allow putting avatars on the blockchain and selling them. Cryptovoxels is also – finally – allowing forms of self-expression again by enabling their minting platform for wearables. At the same time there are efforts happening to create an universal standard for avatars. These would then work in Somnium Space, Cryptovoxels and VR Chat without any issues.
Last month I wrote an article about how a digital identity is more than just an avatar. On the blockchain an avatar connects with everything you do and have done.
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Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, working on Play to Earn and for a variety of third party magazines and websites.