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VRJam is launching its digital venue for virtual concerts and live events. It bills itself as a Web3 metaverse entertainment platform, and it’s part of a wave of such things coming our way.
After five years of development, VRJam said anyone can now access the platform by going to its website to transport themselves into virtual worlds. You can participate in a VRJam world using a virtual reality headset such as the Meta Quest 2 or use more conventional platforms. I joined a session using a combination of my Meta Quest 2, an Xbox game controller, and my PC.
VRJam uses real-time motion capture technology and visual effects to enable creators to provide the most real live experience that’s available in a virtual world today, said CEO Sam Speaight, in an interview with VRJam. The idea is to enable content creators, celebrities, artists and culture brands to redefine fan experiences in digital spaces.
“We’ve been chiseling away at this for five years,” Speaight said.
VRJam will now make these tools available for brands and performers to host live events in the metaverse unlike ever before. On top of that, Speaight said that it has received a MegaGrant from Fortnite creator Epic Games and it has partnered with Ethereum scaling blockchain protocol Polygon.
The company also partnered with NASA data-based Martian 3D mapping company Mars4 and launched its native cryptocurrency VRJAM Coin.
VRJam will build Planet Polygon, a new immersive live events space within VRJam’s platform. With Polygon’s expertise in blockchain solutions and VRJam’s virtual world-building in the metaverse, the two will create an interactive branded virtual arena for gaming, music, and esports fans.
I wandered around a concert venue for a while, watching flashing lights and listening to a DJ. I also got to see a regular home that looked like something out of The Sims, with a barbeque grill and a bunch of fake Belgian beer and people at a block party.
Broadcasters will engage with spectators, and they will take ownership of all on-screen content, commenting and interacting with each other. Events will also be streamed live from inside Planet Polygon to viewers on major streaming platforms including Twitch and YouTube.
With Mars4, VRJam will build the Mars Block 398 plot in the metaverse. Mars4 simulates a 3D map of the Martian terrain based on NASA Mars data, similar to a Google Earth 3D map of Mars. After the development of the plot, the two parties will jointly build it into an integrated community gathering club on Mars, with a complete VR experience, panoramic view, and real-time chat, interactive (3D) game objects, galleries, meeting rooms, huge open spaces for performances and collaborative events.
Speaight contends that VRJam’s multiverse platform is years ahead of other similar platforms. It provides features, including a persistent always-on virtual world with a variety of live events happening every day. It has a platform for the creation and rendering of revolutionary new types of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
VRJam has a space for direct-to-fan engagement and the creation of “fan experience” esports powered by its native in-game cryptocurrency VRJAM Coin. It has a digital solution to empower game streams and esports inside its multiverse, and it has a platform for the distribution and monetization of avatars, NFTs and recorded content from professional players, and spectators.
VRJam has been on a long journey, as Ivo Slivkov and Speaight started it in 2017 with a vision to combine blockchain and immersive technology to transform the human experience in digital space. You can use it either through VR on the Meta Quest 2 or a Windows PC. They bootstrapped the whole company, working out of London and Amsterdam.
“We’re immensely proud of that, to be honest,” Speaight said. “I’m not sure how many companies there are in our space who can say that they did it on zero VC money.”
The company did raise money through its game tokens by preselling them. that enabled the company to create a full-time team of 18 people.
“Our ambition is to scale up the team quite a lot in the next six months,” Speaight said.
Over time, Speaight wants to be able to support tens of thousands of concurrent users. They’ve built the place. Now we’ll see if the crowds come.
Today, VRJam is an immersive, live experience platform built on the Matic blockchain designed to magnify the connectedness of human beings in virtual space. It will help transform the metaverse for the better and create new ways to enhance and value the human experience.
The VRJam advisory board is made up of a team of gaming, film and entertainment industry veterans including hip-hop pioneer Arabian Prince (founding member of N.W.A), electronic music industry veteran Jonas Tempel (Beatport cofounder); Scott Hagen, CEO of heritage turntable and music hardware brand, Victrola; and Susan Paley (CEO of DropLabs & former EVP of Beats By Dre).
Other advisers include Steve Satterthwaite (managing partner at Red Light Management); film industry legend Richard Widgery (CEO of Take4D); tech specialist Robert Boehm (VP of Photon Engine); and Andrea Chang (partner at Web3 VC, NGC Ventures).
“We want to bring our live events solution for immersive spaces to brands and content creators so they can engage with audiences in more authentic ways than are available today,” Speaight said.
Speaight said that the company will sell everything from avatars to clothing items to help generate revenue for the platform. It can also sell tickets for events so content creators can more easily monetize their audiences, and it is working on an advertising solution as well.
“It’s basically a way to use 3D graphical avatar objects to advertise brands and products inside the virtual worlds that we build,” he said. “And that really is the end game for revenue creation and how advertising can become present in the Web3 space.”
Most of the work has been done in the last three years. The platform was a little wonky when I tried it out, but we eventually got it so I could move around in the 3D space and listen to a music concert. It’s a bit like Second Life, which has been around since 2003, but it has some modern advances as well.
“We’re finally bringing the consumer-facing public platform to market for first time,” Speaight said.
Users spawn into a landing zone, or a central space with flashing lights and a DJ booth. You can maneuver with a controller or a keyboard and hump into new spaces much like you can in a multiplayer game. You can fly through the spaces with a camera and record video of your event. The video quality was good, and you can slap a playback on the wall for everybody in the virtual world to see.
Speaight said it is possible to do professional conferences inside the environment as well. You don’t need to install anything, as it works in a browser.
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