Posts tagged with "Fortnite"

This $7.7 million Miami mansion comes with a metaverse ‘twin’

September 7, 2022

A $7.77 million luxury chateau, dubbed Reflection Manor, currently is listed for sale on the coveted Miami Shores. With six bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths, it clocks in at 6,000 square feet and is situated on a 12,975 square foot lot. It boasts a game room, wellness wing, covered terrace, and more.

But all of those features, while lovely, aren’t what set it apart—at least not in a town like Miami, reports Futurism.

Instead, what’s been drawing headlines is that it comes with a digital replica attached to an NFT — albeit in a metaverse called Alpha City, which hasn’t actually launched yet. Still, the people trying to sell the mansion insist, it’s going to be worth a fortune.

“It’s not only a $7 million house, but I mean, you bought virtual real estate,” said Jorge Guinovart, a real estate developer and crypto entrepreneur behind the project, adding, “Two to three years from now, when alpha is fully open… you have virtual property that could be worth one million, two million dollars as well.”

Sure, anything’s possible. But selling a digital house in a digital world that doesn’t exist yet—well, you’d be forgiven for getting a certain type of magic bean vibes, notes Futurism.

In the event that the magic beans really do deliver, though, the pitch is expansive. Alpha City says it’ll offer shopping, events, and dating; you’ll be able to start a small business, host your own event, or do some virtual consultations. Of course, there’ll be a lot of billboards, but how different is that from Web2, let alone the real world?

That’s what both Guinovart and the property’s realtor, South Florida-based Juliet Silver, believe that Reflection Manor and its digital twin embody. Unlike gaming-focused metaverses that already exist, like Fortnite, they’ve chosen a ‘Zuckerbergian’ approach — albeit with a luxe Miami flair—to the future of the Internet: realism.

They want Alpha City to feel like an elevated extension of the real world, a digital environment that blends effortlessly into real life.

“This is really much more of a seamless connection between the real world and the virtual world,” said Silver. “And the aesthetics are really not gaming, or… hero avatar based. They’re really based on the aesthetics of, you know, a beautiful modern city.”

It’s important to note that neither virtual houses nor virtual real estate is anything new. Virtual property has been bought and sold for years.

But where Reflection Manor does differ from those projects is that you do actually get a real, tangible house. As such, it’s one part promise, one part bet, and one part sweetener. Instead of hinging the worth of a digital asset on sheer hype alone, the folks behind this project have attached it to one of the safest investment bets in history: real estate.

To that point, though, the state of the real-world housing market does raise the frustrating specter of a virtual world as inaccessible as the physical one. If you have to be able to afford a multimillion-dollar mansion to get your hands on any worthwhile chunk of metaverse land, it’s hard to envision much room in the digital world for upward economic mobility. But, well, if the goal is realism, sounds like Alpha City’s gonna nail it.

Is Reflection Manor a sign of things to come? What will it end up selling for, and if Alpha City ever launches, will its future owners actually hang out there? Only time will tell. Still, Futurism expounds, it’s intriguing to see a blockchain project that’s grounded—literally in reality.

“I think a lot of time and thought has gone into how can we bring extra value to the buyer,” Silver concluded. “I think this is a pretty rare piece of inventory.”

Research contact: @futurism

Lowe’s expands into the Metaverse with a tool to help customers visualize home projects

June 22, 2022

It seems like every company is getting into the Metaverse—a collective virtual shared space including the sum of all virtual worlds and the Internet—these days. And Lowe’s doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to use it to help builders imagine projects, reports CNBC.

But unlike other retailers, which chose a particular virtual platform or game, such as Fortnite or Roblox, Lowe’s’ Metaverse assets—including free downloads of 500 product assets, including items such as chairs—are available on its own hub.

“It’s all emerging, and it’s all up for exploration,” Lowe’s EVP and Chief Brand and Marketing Officer Marisa Thalberg told CNBC in an exclusive interview. The retailer decided not to choose one Metaverse platform, but rather “a kind of an agnostic and kind of democratized approach,” she said.

While other brands have found immediate ways to make money in the Metaverse, even on an experimental basis, Thalberg said “this isn’t about immediately jumping in and trying to make an event or immediately commoditizing it.”

Rather, she told CNBC, “Our goal really is to take this new frontier and help people use their imaginations and help them make their virtual spaces as exciting and inspirational and enjoyable as their real-world spaces. And that’s the only benefit we seek to obtain at this point.”

At least that’s the only stated benefit. As the first major home improvement retailer to enter the Metaverse and make its applicable assets available for free, no doubt a key goal is watching consumer behavior to eventually capitalize on the opportunity that might exist. The assets are based on real products the company currently sells online and in its stores. 

Seemantini Godbole, Lowe’s EVP and chief information officer, told CNBC in an exclusive interview the retailer is applying many of the principles it currently uses for shoppers for this metaverse project.

“What we have noticed in our current mediums like and in our stores … people like to experiment and while they’re shopping and getting inspired they like to put things together in the virtual world before they start their project,” she said. “It’s the same idea for the Metaverse. That you want them to experiment, feel and understand how it’s going to look before they start the project in the real world.”

Godbole said many of these Metaverse assets had already been created as 3D digital versions of physical products available for purchase, to help online shoppers visualize the real-life dimensions and features. Lowe’s is already using virtual and augmented reality technology to allow shoppers to design an entire kitchen online or map their home’s floor plan using their smartphone as examples.

“There is just a huge appetite from our customers to use emerging technology” like the VR and AR tools Godbole said. “We are applying some of those lessons in the Metaverse.”

Right now, Lowe’s isn’t offering a physical good with the purchase of a virtual one, or any link back to its website from any Metaverse platforms, Godbole said. But that could change.

“In the future, we could absolutely think about, how do all these different things link, and make sure that [Metaverse users] are able to shop these items on Lowe’s dot com or in our stores,” she said.

Thalberg acknowledged that the typical metaverse participant “skews really young,” likely younger than the typical Lowe’s shopper or homeowner today.

“But if you look at kids who’ve used platforms like Minecraft and Roblox, a lot of what they do there, is fascinatingly enough, build and design. This idea of being able to build and decorate and design and improve is kind of core to how these spaces are emerging,” she said. “And so if we catch them young, that’s great, but we see a real utility too, as we look to a huge wave of millennial new homeowners who aren’t afraid of technology.”

Research contact: @CNBC

Foul ‘play’? Lawsuit accuses Fortnite developer of designing game to be addictive

October 10, 2019

Epic Games—the North Carolina-based software development company that banked more than $3 billion in profits in 2018, alone, off the game Fortnite, according to TechCrunch—has been accused in a lawsuit of designing the online video competition to be addictive.

The game—which is free to play, but makes money selling digital items—has about 250 million players worldwide; many of them, too obsessed to turn off their screens.

The Canadian lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, reportedly likens the game play to taking cocaine, in terms of dependency, CNET reported on October 7.

A legal notice was filed Friday in Quebec Superior Court accusing US-based Epic Games of designing the game specifically to hook users, Canada’s Global News reported on October 4. Players have had to seek treatment for their addiction, according to the complaint.

Indeed, the filing says, “The addiction to the Fortnite game has real consequences for the lives of players: Several don’t eat or shower, and no longer socialize.”

Jean-Philippe Caron, the lawyer who brought the lawsuit, alleged that the game’s creators enlisted the help of “psychologists to help make the game addictive.”

He accused Epic Games of failing to “warn about the risks and dangers inherent in their product.” Similar accusations have been lodged in lawsuits against tobacco companies.

Epic Games didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by CNET.

Research contact: @CNET