By KIMBERLEY HAAS and TYRONE TOWNSEND
TCG World has announced a strategic partnership with Curzio Research, which has spent $5 million to acquire 19 commercial real estate properties inside the Metaverse.
The acquisition is one of the largest real estate purchases for virtual property inside the Metaverse, and Curzio plans on building its headquarters in the Asia region of TCG World, near WallStreetBets.
By being part of this region, company leaders expect to have access to traders. VIP members can meet with other investors, attend live events, host conferences, listen to exclusive podcasts, and hold special education courses, according to a video posted online.
Curzio is expected to complete its headquarters before September.
More celebrities and companies are putting money into Metaverse real estate, including hip-hop artist Snopp Dogg, JP Morgan, and Samsung.
CNBC reported in February that Metaverse real estate sales topped $500 million in 2021.
MetaMetric Solutions projects that real estate sales on the four major Metaverse platforms could reach nearly $1 billion in 2022.
One factor that is driving interest in real estate on the Metaverse is the fact that brands which have traditionally relied on physical retail locations to sell goods are looking for ways to use these virtual properties to sell items for people’s avatars, who can show them off to friends in their virtual houses.
In May 2021, Roblox hosted the Gucci Garden exhibition. The exhibition took place in different rooms to give visitors a unique virtual experience and allowed visitors to purchase items for their avatars.
“With every person experiencing the rooms in a different order and retaining different fragments of the spaces, they will emerge at the end of their journey as one-of-a-kind creations, reflecting the idea of individuals as one among many, yet wholly unique,” Roblox said.
A digital version of the label’s Dionysus Bag with Bee typically sells for 475 Robux (equal to $6 USD). However, in the aftermath of the sale, scalpers began selling the virtual product for excessive rates.
Although customers turned down ridiculous six-figure Robux offers, some were ready to pay hefty sums for the desired bag. One user spent around $4,115 USD, or 350,000 Robux, for the Roblox-exclusive purse – over $800 USD more than the physical Dionysus Bag with Bee, which costs $3,400 USD.
Wendy’s introduced “Wendyverse,” where users virtually interact with their business and can win free meals.
Adidas and Nike are selling NFTs. Adidas, for example, might offer a series of NFTs for customers who put an Adidas billboard on their virtual property, invite 100 friends to view an Adidas commercial, or dress their avatar in Adidas-branded clothing regularly.
Hrish Lotlikar, co-founder and CEO of Superworld, told The Mortgage Note he believes that initially, brands will create and amplify interactive content to reach audiences.
“By creating (or being a part of) immersive experiences for anyone to connect with that leverage thing happening IRL seems like an easy on-ramp for brands to engage with audiences in the space while still seeming authentic and bringing value to the Metaverse as a whole,” Lotlikar said.
Lotlikar added, “To be successful at advertising in the Metaverse, brands will need to have an initial understanding of how these technologies operate. Right now, with the Metaverse in its infancy, coming into the Metaverse without any prior research can lead to major roadblocks and ineffective results. The best thing for brands to do is to slowly enter the space, learn how all the technology works, and then implement a strategy for how to appeal to different communities and customer bases.”
However, brands must embrace the power and creative potential available to them by carefully curating and developing environments where consumers want to spend time. That involves establishing communities that don’t feel out of place, don’t offend people, and aren’t just display advertising.
“If, as a brand, you create clutter, chances are people will choose to mute you, ” Lotlikar said. “If, on the other hand, you bring value and make a better (meta)world, people will want to interact with you. We already see this in some of the Metaverses currently out there – successful brands are adding to the worlds they interact in (e.g., Snoop’s mansion in Sandbox) or, on a platform like SuperWorld, creating content/interactions that sit in both the Metaverse and IRL – enhancing both.”
Lotlikar said a reliance on traditional techniques may work for brand recognition but it won’t give people the sense that the company knows what it’s doing in the Metaverse, merely that it is there.
“In some ways, this is not too different from placing advertisements within a video game – it helps make the experience more relatable and gives the brand a ‘cool’ factor but, it’s passive and not particularly innovative. The beauty of what we’re seeing with the development of Web3 and various Metaverses is that it gives brands opportunities to create things that are interactive and which can connect to an audience in an authentic way – the goal shouldn’t be to exactly mimic the real world but, to create one that is better,” said Lotlikar.
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