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Aftermath Islands has raised $25 million from LDA Capital through the sale of in-game utility tokens for its metaverse project.
Rather than raise money through a conventional venture capital deal, the company opted to sell utility tokens from its metaverse game to LDA Capital over a period of time, said David Lucatch, managing director of Aftermath Islands, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We’re building a metaverse based on Unreal Engine 5 graphics. So it’s a departure from the cartoon-based low-res graphics that everyone is used to,” Lucatch said. “We’re also using pixel streaming. And we’ve already done over $2 million dollars in revenue from 6,000 purchases. What makes us unique is is we’ve sort of booked and bookended decentralization.”
He added, “At the front we have decentralization with identity making sure that people who are going to come into our metaverse are real people, real users. And on the back end, we’ve got NFTs and everything else, but in the middle, we’re still looking at centralized gameplay because we need to be to have clear direction for management and what to do.”
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That means the company isn’t opting for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) yet. The company has about 12,000 members on its Discord channel and 20,000 on Twitter.
The company will use the money to accelerate the roadmap for Aftermath Islands, which is working on both a realistic world where it will sell virtual real estate and a play-to-earn blockchain game that will be revealed in the future. Aftermath Islands plans to scale its ecosystem, support the growth of its non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and work on its digital identity, multi-chain initiatives, play-to-earn game, virtualization and blended reality, and other decentralized initiatives.
“We are making sure that people that come into our metaverse who are authenticated on some level to assure everyone that they’re a real person,” said Lucatch. “We want real people want, one user one account. That’s really important. And we wanted it to be realistic graphics.”
Aftermath Islands Metaverse Limited together with Aftermath Islands Tokens Limited secured the investment. The company is based in Barbados in the British Virgin Islands, while Lucatch is based in Toronto. LDA also has an option to purchase equity in Aftermath Islands Metaverse Limited.
Aftermath Islands Metaverse Limited is a Barbados corporation which is 50% owned and is controlled by Oasis Digital Studios Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc (CSE:LQID / OTC:LQAVF).
“LDA Capital is proud to participate in the advancements brought by Aftermath Islands to the virtual worlds and games which will transform how players interact and transact with in-game collectible NFTs,” said Warren Baker, managing partner at LDA Capital, in a statement. “More importantly, the Company is an industry leader when referring to Digital Identity verification, enabling a whole new world of in-game interactions. Ultimately, Aftermath Islands is transforming science-fiction into history, and we are proud to be co-authors of this story.”
Lucatch said the company chose to raise its initial funds from a long-term investor rather than sell tokens at the outset to the public. It plans to use digital identity to support safety, privacy and security and has adopted using high resolution graphics and pixel streaming to give users a fast, no-download, photo-realistic gaming experience on any device. He said the company is building its world in Unreal Engine 5.
“It very much emulates sort of the concepts that Ernest Cline came up with for Ready Player One, where you combine education and work in a virtual world. And then you can go out and do quests and all kinds of great things. We can create communities of users based on things they do every day, but things they want to do like defying the laws of physics and nature.”
LDA Capital will purchase Aftermath Islands Utility Tokens over three years based on the achievement of certain milestones, which Aftermath Islands expects to begin, but cannot guarantee to achieve towards the end of 2022.
Aftermath Islands Metaverse is being built as an open-world, realistic graphics platform with islands that represent destinations in a global virtual game. In Aftermath Islands Metaverse’s virtual world, users can buy, develop, trade and sell virtual land, property and items, like buildings, crafted items, transport and other items all through in-game collectible NFTs, a non-fungible token that represents the ownership of virtual and other items.
Each plot or parcel of virtual land is unique and owners get to choose, based on themes and other fair play rules, what content they want to publish on their virtual land. This can range from simple scenery and structures to an interactive game, business, warehouse, dwelling, facility or destination.
Users can purchase virtual land as well as all other goods and services in Aftermath Islands Metaverse with fiat and other authorized currencies, coins and tokens. In the future, users will be able to use DUBS, short for Doubloons the Aftermath Islands Metaverse in-game currency. Aftermath will issue those DUBS tokens as a cryptocurrency at sometime in the future. But you will not be able to cash it out, otherwise it could be considered a regulated security in the U.S.
Supported by digital identity verification, Aftermath Islands Metaverse is a shared virtual open world, inspired by the science fiction novels of Ernest Cline: Ready Player One and Ready Player Two. Expected to launch its beta platform in the latter half of 2022, Aftermath Islands Metaverse will allow users to connect and interact with each other, create content, craft, participate in activities and quests and play games.
Aftermath Islands Metaverse will have an in-game virtual economy where users can engage with in-world economic transactions as well as monetize the content, items, quests, and applications they build.
The company has 30 people, both internal and external, in locations spread out around the world.
Lucatch said the play-to-earn game will be economically inclusive, as you can buy plots of land for as little as $35 and you can earn NFTs from playing the game.
“Someone can go out there to play, not have to buy land, create NFTs and sell them in the marketplace,” he said. “And then they can earn enough tokens to go out and buy land.”
Players will be able to craft their own items. Lucatch said the company will have fun activities like metaverse karaoke, where players can sing into their microphones, as well as other unique features.
NFT opposition, crypto winter and competition
Lucatch is aware that hardcore gamers have expressed their opposition to NFTs as scammy.
“We haven’t gone out to the market for dollars, just to issue tokens,” he said. “We’ve done this in a way where our first funding is through an institutional funding group. We’re an experienced group of people and we don’t hide behind pseudonyms. We’re real people and we are not out there promoting and pimping the deal. We are doing this slowly and methodically to get traction.”
As for the crypto winter, he said the move toward inclusiveness gives people a chance to try it before they spending a lot of money. So the target is a more mainstream consumer, not just the crypto rich.
Of course, the tough thing will be to go up against the likes of Epic Games, Microsoft, Roblox and even Bored Ape Yacht Club.
“That’s going to be major competition,” he said. “But I think about amusement parks. I’m a rollercoaster fan, and there are many different amusement parks and travel destinations. We are looking at opportunities to work together and interoperability.”
The company is beta testing a play-to-earn game now and hopes to open one of its islands soon, and it will have an open beta for its platform late this year or in early 2023.
Lucatch has been in tech marketing for about 40 years, and he and his team have worked in a variety of industries in the financial and entertainment and sports markets.
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