Users will be able to purchase physical Gunpla to interact, battle with other players across digital platform
Last month, Bandai Namco Holdings announced it is investing 15 billion yen (approximately US$130 million) to develop a Gundam-themed “Metaverse.” The company announced further details about the project in its third Gundam press conference on Tuesday.
The “Metaverse” platform will be a “fusion” between physical and digital services. Users will be able to purchase Gunpla through the platform, as well as upload images of their Gunpla and data. Players can use this data to interact with and “battle” other players.
The platform integrates categories of the Gundam IP, such toys, anime, music, and games, as virtual “Colonies,” each offering their own services. An Esports colony will launch in 2022 focusing on the Gundam Evolution and Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 free-to-play action games. The colonies will be connected through a space hub called “SIDE-G.”
Test runs of a VR Gunpla store were held in 2021 at The Gundam Base. An official “The Gundam Base Gunpla Colony Store” virtual space will have its test opening in fall before launching in 2023. The company aims to operate a large-scale Metaverse by 2025.
According to Gundam business supervisor Kо̄ji Fujiwara, the details are still being worked out, including whether the Metaverse will be accessed through smartphone or PC. Feedback from fans will be taken into account during the testing phase. The company also hopes to incorporate fan creations and connectivity with other companies beyond the Bandai Namco group into the Metaverse.
Nikkei Asia reported that the Metaverse project will create a database to consolidate and share customer data between Bandai Namco companies.
Sources: Gundam Conference, Press Release, Famitsu.com
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Rights Marketing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.