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Manticore Games is enabling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in its Core metaverse platform, where users can create and host their own multiplayer games and now bring their collections to life.
As crypto enthusiasts and popular brands grow their digital asset collections, Core, a free creator-powered metaverse platform, is setting a new standard for NFT utility by allowing users to import NFT assets on the Ethereum blockchain and create engaging experiences in the Core Metaverse.
Manticore CEO Frederic Descamps said in an interview with GamesBeat that he views NFTs with utility as a big expansion to what the company offers inside its Core metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.
Core users — there are more than three million registered — can now easily bring NFTs to life in its user-built metaverse that provides true utility and functionality for owners, communities and the crypto-curious, the company said. Several prominent NFT communities, including MekaVerse and 0N1 Force, have already begun building fully playable social worlds inside Core.
Core has also integrated with OpenSea, the world’s largest marketplace for NFTs, and created an applications programming interface (API) that can read, display, and create content based on any NFT on the Ethereum blockchain.
“The crypto community has been searching for the next phase of NFTs – one based on utility, interoperability and creativity. Core’s latest features and services set a new standard for all three, providing unprecedented value creation by combining the power of Core and NFTs through custom interactive experiences,” said Descamps. “Core is the first platform to bring interactivity to NFT projects in the metaverse so that fans, enthusiasts, gamers or anyone curious about NFTs can unlock ways to create, explore and play with their digital assets in an immersive, virtual world.”
The effort is aimed at taking blockchain-based games to the mainstream. So far, such efforts have been hampered by the complexities of trading cryptocurrencies, interoperability issues, and user resistance to NFT games.
In an interview, Descamps said that the company did its own research asking players what they thought about NFTs, and it found that the majority were willing to give them a try, despite the loud opposition to NFTs on social media such as Twitter.
“You remember when people were crapping on the people who were playing Facebook games and free-to-play games, and it was so demeaning,” Descamps said. “Fifteen years later, League of Legends is the biggest game on the planet. I think there is a big disconnect here. And I think we are going to see that play out.”
Beginning today, users will be able to connect their MetaMask crypto wallet (which has more than 30 million monthly active users) to their Core account, allowing them to ascribe any utility and features in Core to NFT ownership, whether its access rights to an area, special powers or privileges in a game, custom cosmetics or simply displaying their NFT in their personal space or on their avatar.
Core’s goal is to become the central destination for crypto communities looking to offer unique, customized experiences to their members, whether it’s in the form of a game, special interactive chatroom, live parties, concerts, expos, or pretty much anything else you can imagine.
“At Core’s foundation is an accessible and incredibly powerful metaverse platform — one that’s been tested and strengthened over many years of development — where users can create and share any virtual experience, from multiplayer games to live events and social hubs,” said Maynard. “For instance, creators can leverage Core’s composability by using the tens of thousands of free assets in Core’s Community Content library. By adding web3 technology, we’re expanding the creative and economic potential of Core exponentially and adding even more tools to the ever-growing arsenal that creators have access to.”
Tools for NFT content
Alongside today’s expansion, Core is also launching dozens of free tools and other content examples to help users get started creating NFT content, including VIP gates, galleries and games, as well as creator bootcamps and workshops covering Web3 development, art and community building.
These features are the first in a series aimed at creating the metaverse. Through its new Core Collab program, Manticore is teaming up with several top NFT collections, including Neo Tokyo, MekaVerse and 0N1 Force to help them build out their own community experiences in the Core Metaverse. There are a limited number of these types of collabs available as they provide additional resources and guidance directly from the Manticore team to help NFT owners and operators unlock true utility in the metaverse.
Core is live now and free, delivering an Unreal-based metaverse platform for users who want to build virtual worlds and experiences, as well as those who want to explore the metaverse in stunning high-definition. In its first year, the Core Metaverse welcomed more than three million users and more than 50,000 experiences. Core has more than 15,000 creators, which is impressive considering Unreal is a very sophisticated game development tool.
Available now on PC, and coming to iOS later this year, Core has become a social hub for new types of interactive experiences in the metaverse, including live events and concerts such as Deadmau5’s Oberhasli and Geoff Keighley’s Axial Tilt, which featured the first live broadcast of The Game Awards in the metaverse.
The journey to NFTs
Descamps said the company’s journey into NFTs has been deliberate and it has taken time. Manticore partnered with artists such as Deadmau5 and learned more about the metaverse and what people wanted from it.
“We were looking at the crypto space, and especially as a whole, but especially the NFT crypto communities, and we started to realize that lots of them were looking for what was next,” said Descamps. “Some of them were kind of stuck. They had created these, these collections and these communities based on the interest and social part.”
Manticore had already built Core as a kind of metaverse, where players could move from one world to another and could even create their own worlds. And now Manticore plans to bring both utility and interoperability to all of the NFT communities out there by enabling their items to work in Core. It does so through an integrate with the MetaMask wallet, where you can store Ethereum purchases such as NFTs.
Descamps said the company started to think of all of the things you could do with the NFTs.
“You can have your own club room, games, worlds, stories, etc.,” he said. “Oh, and by the way, with this new feature, you can ascribe any feature to the NFTs. The reception has been absolutely tremendous. And we are mentioning a few of these partnerships with crypto communities. We have way more coming.”
NFTs with utility
The promise of NFTs and their communities is that they can be anything, but they’re missing one necessary thing: function. The simple truth is that the majority lack utility. Core is changing that, the company said.
Core now integrates with MetaMask, which is the largest wallet provider with more than 30 million monthly active users. Anyone with a MetaMask wallet can connect it to their Core account, enabling Core to view the NFTs it contains. (Core does not receive any permissions related to creating or signing transactions).
Thanks to this connection, experiences throughout the Core metaverse can tell what that player owns in their wallet, and create experiences customized to you. Users can also show off their NFTs on their Core avatar, set one to their profile picture, and recognize other owners from their collections.
Core has also integrated with OpenSea, the world’s largest marketplace for NFTs, and created an application programming interface (API) for Core that can read, display, and create content based on any NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. This unlocks ways to create, explore and play with content from NFT communities in an immersive, rich virtual world.
Here are just a few examples of what’s possible:
- NFT-themed worlds, social spaces, concerts, and live events.
- Art-filled galleries on the moon, under the ocean, or in alternate dimensions.
- VIP areas for owners of an NFT collection.
- Procedurally generated environments, characters, dungeons, art, music, and more, right from the metadata.
- All-new NFT collections with Core-utility baked in from the start.
- Virtually any style of game based on a collection.
NFT communities and their owners can create amazing experiences exclusive to their fans, the company said. Anything that is possible in Core is now also possible on Ethereum, and the tools are completely free.
Manticore has built a self-contained metaverse where a player playing a game inside the world of Core can easily transfer assets or characters to another game inside the Core universe. But Descamps said the interoperability will extend beyond that.
Since the game world of Core links to your MetaMask wallet, Manticore can see what you own and give you proper credit for it and help you bring it into the world of Core. That gives NFTs that you already own some interoperability and utility inside the world of Core, Descamps said. Core might not give you the exact same item, but it will give you credit for that item inside the world of Core.
As the service spreads beyond MetaMask to other wallets and blockchains, Descamps said it will spread to no gas fee, carbon-neutral platforms over time. In the meantime, moving an NFT that you own from MetaMask to Core does not require a transaction to take place at all, Descamps said.
“I think it’s going to be a thing it’s going to be super interesting to see what people do with it and especially with the partnerships we have I think it’s going to blow people’s mind to see an NFT
all of a sudden flying around in the metaverse,” Descamps said.
Core also has its own voice chat and other elements of the metaverse such as multiplayer. That means that players can hang out with the community within the 3D metaverse of Core, rather than on voice chat communities such as Discord.
While constantly looking for ways to improve Core, Manticore Games has been monitoring how Web3 is evolving technology in the video game industry. After months of research, prototypes, and discussions with community members, it became clear that Web3 features in general, and blockchain tech specifically, is the future of user-generated content.
What struck us in our conversations with top creators was the excitement, even among those less familiar with blockchain, Core said. Your feedback included wanting to see more design options, better ways to attract an audience, and better ways to build a business. Blockchain tech, along with a new avatar system and the upcoming release on iOS, are all designed to dramatically expand the creative and economic opportunity on Core.
The company showed an example of how it can bring utility to an existing NFT. If an NFT describes a dungeon, there isn’t anything special you can do with that particular NFT. But inside the world of Core, the company or its creators can associate that NFT with an animated 3D dungeon, bringing the imagery of that NFT art or digital item to life. While the NFTs didn’t seem like anything special, the actual animated dungeon built inside Core could be a very cool place to hang out.
“We can actually read that metadata and create that dungeon in 3D programmatic,” said Jordan Maynard, Manticore’s chief creative officer, an interview with GamesBeat. “So all of a sudden, this thing that was a 2D image of a dungeon that one would never get to go visit, I could now jump into a 3D dungeon, programmatically, that really bring your real utility and a sense of space and place to a lot of projects.”
And once these NFTs are associated with real worlds inside Core, then it becomes harder to pull off a fraud with an NFT, Descamps said. You can instantly check whether an NFT has real utility or not by going into the world inside Core. And that dungeon should have a social community around it.
“It takes 30 seconds to figure out if something is fake or not” when it is associated with something like Core, Descamps said.
Maynard said that combining user-generated content with crypto can be powerful as it puts more power in the hands of creators, enabling them to do more of what they want because they can share in the rewards. Creators might be able to make one-of-a-kind items in the world and sell them, at some point.
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