The word “metaverse” has been thrown around, with no regard as to what the word actually means, ever since Facebook changed its name to Meta. Even Bandai Namco has recently decided to spend massive amounts of money investing into the concept. A report indicates that the Japanese publisher is investing US$130 million (~RM545 million) into what it calls an IP Metaverse.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, at the heart of this massive Bandai Namco investment is what the company calls its IP Axis Strategy. Ticking the usual metaverse boxes, this strategy “includes building a virtual space” for “connecting with fans, enhancing IP value, and improving its global presence to drive sales outside of Japan”.
Bandai Namco also plans to “fuse physical products and venues with digital elements”. No details on what this means exactly either. But overall, it’s a lot of money that the company is throwing into the plan. And that makes the whole plan sound like something to appease shareholders rather than something for customers.
The plan itself sounds about as broad and vague as it gets. There are already plenty of platforms that allow fans to interact with each other, from Facebook and Reddit to Discord. So it remains to be seen what this IP Metaverse hopes to achieve that’s not already possible.