From mobile and beyond, how Motorverse is expanding its web3 hub of digital motorsports

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Building a home for motorsports and digital vehicles, Motorverse is connecting gaming and motor enthusiasts, with web3 technology at heart. Currently consisting of 10 racing games, the Motorverse hub is off to a good start with its licensed deals with some of the world’s top car brands including Nissan, Honda, and Toyota.

Part of Animoca Brands, Motorverse is also enhancing its blockchain features by integrating interoperable governance token REVV. More generally, the brand is also looking to expand beyond mobile distribution, potentially releasing some of its games on console.

To discover more about where Motorverse is up to, we spoke to GM Will Griffiths.

BlockchainGamer: What’s your view on the current pace of blockchain adoption in gaming?

Griffiths: I think the pace is accelerating, there are multiple experiments proving different types of web3 features and artifacts, it’s a fascinating time with new models emerging what feels like every week or so. 

It’s been a bit of a journey for web3 games since 2017/2018 when early games like Axie Infinity and Zed Run launched, kicking off the evolution to where we are today with more and more AAA multiplayer web3 games coming to the market. This process is reminiscent of the progression of the mobile and social games market from premium games and then on to the freemium model we see today with amazing free-to-play AAA games like Fortnite and PUBG being the norm. The industry was learning how to use new microtransactions and economy balancing, optimising for 100X the players of premium titles, with many lessons learned along the way. 

There are some really exciting web3 gaming projects in the works across all key categories such as FPS, RPG, racing, strategy, ppen world with most in beta or soft launch (such as our own, Torque Drift 2). We are adapting and learning, optimising these products and learning about product market fit and what that means in the web3 space. I would say we’re about 6-12 months away from launching final games with all the bells and whistles of traditional games plus more user benefits and capabilities such as cross-game interoperability and tradeability (only possible with blockchain technology.)

Web3 hasn’t got a spotless reputation. What measures are Animoca Brands taking to build trust?

In the past 10 years the gaming world has fully embraced free-to-play, social gaming, downloadable games vs physical disks, subscriptions over of premium models, streaming, new genres, and more each with their own hurdles along the way. In short we are used to tech constantly evolving all the time, most of these technologies experienced a turbulent start with many detractors before wider adoption.

Speaking for the Motorverse, we are working with many top brands who are happily joining us on our journey, and part of my job is educating them and translating the benefits into the language of business. I think each new partner acts as a trust marker in this turbulent space. As we progress through this phase in web3 I expect it to become more normal before ultimately accepted as the standard. I would say we are around halfway through the cycle.

You recently showcased Motorverse at Token2049 in Dubai. Can you tell us more about the Motorverse ecosystem and how its various games are coming along?

The Motorverse is a place where you buy a car once, it works in a growing list of games, you tell a story with it, and you can sell it. This is made possible by: blockchain tech, vehicle standards, and our awesome licensors and creators.

The goal is to become the home for digital vehicle culture, replicating real world ownership, where motorsport and gaming fans can collect and trade officially licensed digital vehicles, including Honda and Nissan with more to come, while competing in racing games tied to collaborations. On top of car brands we also work with top motorsport IPs like Formula Drift, Formula E and MotoGP. Through our hub, users get access to real-world utilities, including IRL racing events, partner loyalty programs, and more. 

The Motorverse is built around a key set of elements, products, and processes:

The REVV token: REVV is our primary interoperable layer, the governance and utility token that powers the Motorverse economy.Motorverse games and experiences: The Motorverse is designed to be a collaborative effort between many ecosystem partners with over 10 racing games already involved with many more on the way.Motorverse licensing and metadata standards: Interoperability plays a pivotal role in the ecosystem, allowing users to use their assets across as many projects and games as possible.The Motorverse Hub: The hub is where users can purchase digital cars, explore games and experiences compatible with their vehicles, and browse content related to the wider ecosystem.

Our top titles include

Torque Drift 2 a drifting game built on Unreal Engine with AAA quality graphics, advanced driving physics and an official Formula Drift license. It leverages NFT technology for cars, parts, and other in-game items, and is available for free in early access on the Epic Games Store.REVV Racing, an arcade-simulation racing game playable directly from a web browser.MotoGP Guru Predict a cross-media fantasy app for MotoGP fans and MotoGP Racing 2024, the official mobile game for MotoGP. Formula E – High Voltage, the first official Formula E racing management game on the market that lets players take control of a racing team to win the Formula E championship. 

What’s it like working with IP holders such as MotoGP? How sensitive are they to blockchain?

We love working with MotoGP, they have a wonderful team and embrace new technology where it makes sense for them and their fans. You can see that evidenced in projects like the Gresini Team Fan Sponsorship and MotoGP Guru Predict both of which have enjoyed a lot of support both internally and from the market. 

Can you elaborate on the web3 specific features of Motorverse such as community involvement, tokenomics model, and cross-chain adoption?

The Motorverse has 10 racing games with more on the way. We are leveraging web3 to offer ownership and interoperability by building a vehicle standard that means that cars can be traded and freely used in a growing list of titles. We believe cars are a perfect match for ownership and interoperability as they have real world specs, can be rendered to photorealistic quality and have intuitive interoperability use case and are a meaningful purchase users identify with IRL. As cars are driven and customised across the ecosystem they will build unique stories in the data from different experiences and owners making them genuinely unique.

This interoperability is a collaborative effort between vehicle brands, motorsports, experience creators and our community. Ultimately we will operate as a DAO, as we make our journey towards that we are inviting all web3 motorsport related projects to join us any way that works for them including: by publishing on our platform, supporting our standard, token swaps, spaces etc. 

For vehicle brands, Motorverse helps them solve for asset utility and secondary markets, experience creators benefit by solving for licenses and user acquisition as they get access to our holders and the vehicles published on the Motorverse. Meanwhile users can enjoy truly interoperable cars. Everyone’s incentives are aligned, just like in the real world! 

In order to support the transition to this model, we have built our hub – Motorverse.com – where we connect users to an array of racing games and experiences. On the hub, users will soon be able to purchase digital cars, explore games and experiences compatible with their vehicles, and browse content related to the wider ecosystem. As the first interoperable layer, REVV token (already listed on OKX and more) is offered as the governance and utility token at the center of the Motorverse, the utility will naturally expand as new experiences and partners join.

Motorsport currently has 10 games either live or in development. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on fewer games? 

The existing games and the studios we have in house at Animoca Brands put us in a great position to prove the model to show the way for our partners. By working with these amazing studios internally we can make sure that the incentives are balanced correctly and the vehicle standards are practical to implement. It’s brilliant to start with this portfolio of racing titles and millions of players. As we grow I anticipate more games from our original in house studios but also many more from 3rd party experience creators and studios.

What’s the function of the REVV token?

REVV is the native token that is used as a store of value across Animoca’s portfolio of racing games and the entire motorsports ecosystem, acting as a currency to transfer related assets and services as well as a governance token.

Our vision is for REVV to be synonymous with web3 motorsports and operate as the core of this shift towards digital vehicle culture, allowing the creation of a global community with a shared love of cars & bikes, racing games & motorsports. Holders can stake REVV to back the vision and gain exclusive access to items, tokens, and unique experiences. Players in the Motorverse ecosystem will be able to use REVV to pay for goods (cars, parts, tracks, etc.) and services. 

As the Motorverse ecosystem grows we expect existing REVV utility to grow with the user base as well as new innovative forms of utility to come into play. We are excited to see what the future holds. Maybe we will be buying irl cars with REVV at some point. 

Some of the Motorsport games are mobile-based. Have you encountered any challenges in getting them approved by Google Play and Apple App Store?

As with any new technology, the app stores are appropriately cautious around web3. Their policies are evolving with regular updates as our collective understanding grows around the space. This steady change is actually really helpful for us and we are watching with interest. We are constantly considering how to introduce web3 benefits to these audiences but we are taking great care to preserve our existing experiences. 

We have multiple games on Apple and Google. For example MotoGP Racing is available through both the Google Play and Apple App stores, with a combined total of over 50 million downloads and a 4.5-star rating on both stores. We will soon release a major update for the 2024 season, bringing some exciting new features to gameplay. 

What are your thoughts more generally on distribution of web3 games via traditional mobile app stores vs web3 native platforms?

Owning and trading one’s digital assets across different platforms is a major improvement over the current norms, in the long term we expect this to gain widespread adoption as web3 technology matures. While we watch this trend we publish some of our titles directly on the web which is great for rapid experimentation and leaning into web3 but also means we miss out on the distribution power of the big players.

The stores are starting to take notice of the market: Epic Games Store, a leading platform for PC games, has recently embraced web3 games, which is why we’re excited to publish our latest title, Torque Drift 2, there, along with another soon-to-be-announced title. Google Play is gradually adjusting web3 policies, and we anticipate that Apple’s App Store will follow suit in the near future. We’re actively exploring opportunities to bring some of our games to Google Play.

Additionally, as Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo become more receptive to web3 games, we’ll be ready to bring our expertise and advanced technology from Motorverse studios to their consoles.

Stay up-to-date with the Motorverse hub via its X account, and discover more via its website.

 

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