As new metaverses pop up every day on different blockchains it is inevitable that gamers will want to jump in to play in these new virtual worlds – the trick is to figure out how. Established metaverse Upland has recently announced a partnership with Gala Games – to provide true interoperability between metaverses and games. This announcement evolves the metaverse concept from a standalone largely siloed digital world to one with many access points. 

Other big players have approached the gamification of metaverses in different ways. Decentraland has concentrated on music events and poker tournaments so far, while Sandbox, the Ethereum-based metaverse, allows users to create, share, and monetize in-world assets and gaming experiences. The tokens from both, Mana and Sand, dominate the metaverse prices.

Then over Covid lockdown, Axie Infinities burst upon the scene providing a new way to earn money while gaming, and coined the expression Play to Earn or P2E. While flavour of the month for 2021, and certainly providing much needed income for poorer individuals without jobs in the Philippines, the ‘Play’ part of the equation was hotly contested by traditional gamers.

Mike Rubinelli of Tyranos Studios, formerly WAX Studios, was recently quoted on the DappRadar podcast in August as saying that the results of gaming should not be to earn. He further expanded this reasoning as he feels players should care about the game not the bottom line. 

“If the feeling is ‘hurry up and get my money’ then it’s not a game,” says Rubinelli.

Kevin Rose, CMO of Alien Worlds, echoes this sentiment, when he says gamers don’t want to make money, they want to have fun. He believes that financial speculation should not be part of a game or ingame assets. “Sure, own assets, sell them, or create content and get paid for that – that is enlarging the game – but don’t get paid for grinding, that is not fun,” Rose says.

Asset ownership is increasingly a first step when combining games with the metaverse and this aspect is not contested. This also makes sense for the Upland metaverse, which started life as a property trading game like a digital monopoly. It has been steadily growing as it maps parts of the US and more recently Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and  Porto in Portugal into its metaverse. 

Upland is now the largest property-trading, city-building Web3 metaverse platform, with the highest reported DAUs at 50K and highest number of unique land-owners at 308K, that empowers players to become metaverse entrepreneurs. It moreover attracts more active users per day than any other metaverse.

Gala, a leader in Web3 entertainment, is using its vehicle VOX and will be Upland’s first Ethereum partner in the Upland Ethereum’s operability portal. Through the partnership with VOX, collectible ERC-721 NFTs will integrate into the Upland ecosystem and open economy using Upland’s NFT portal. 

The Gala-Upland collaboration is setting the foundations for the partners’ shared vision of an open metaverse that allows for interoperability and ownership of assets. 

Upland will have a headquarters in the VOXverse, a forthcoming metaverse created in partnership between Gala Games and founder of SIMS Will Wright. Additionally, VOX will have a presence in Upland with a metaverse structure, stores, and ‘dev-shops’ leading to experiences and games. 

Currently, fun engagements in Upland include competitive city openings, treasure hunts, car racing (Alpha), as well as collaborative activities such as the joint construction of sports stadiums with exciting Upland partners like FC Porto or the NFLPA, and organic community activities’.

These organic activities are especially popular as an opportunity to create nodes and neighborhoods where like-minded people work towards common goals. While the VOXverse is being finalized, fans will be able to play VOX Odyssey, a text-based choose-your-own-adventure game that will be playable in the Upland Discord. VOX Odyssey allows users to take their VOX on quests and adventures while collecting resources. Part of the VOX-Upland collaboration will include Upland-specific storylines that will be revealed at launch.

James Olden, Chief Strategy Officer at Gala, shared this on the partnership with Upland: “Upland’s success in the blockchain gaming/metaverse space hasn’t gone unnoticed and it’s exciting to bridge our worlds and communities together – chasing our shared goal of true interoperability and moving the space forward in a meaningful way. We welcome them with open arms into the VOXverse and are eager for VOX to begin exploring Upland in various ways as well. Beyond excited to see where this goes.”

Idan Zuckerman, co-founder and co-CEO of Upland: “From the start we believed that working closely together with like-minded platforms to create interoperability will be the key for the future success of an open metaverse. We’re excited to partner with VOXverse who share this vision, and to have the Gala Games and Upland communities come together to co-create and co-build on the two platforms”

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The Metaverse Insider