Virtual Reality mask with Metaverse illustration

Japanese firms to collaborate on a Metaverse Economic Zone project powered by gaming

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Several Japanese firms have entered into a preliminary agreement to work on creating the “Japan Metaverse Economic Zone” as part of its bid to improve the country’s digital economy.

The firms involved in the ambitious project, dubbed “RYUGUKOKU (TBD),” include Mizuho, Mitsubishi Corporation, Fujitsu, SMBC, and Toppan, amongst others. Under the terms of the agreement, the firms will deploy their individual expertise in building the metaverse infrastructure for enterprises and individuals looking to dabble in the virtual world.

RYUGUKOKU (TBD) will be designed as a virtual world with elements of a role-playing game (RPG) with services illustrated as cities or vehicles in the metaverse. Users can interact with the services by roaming the virtual world in search of new experiences.

The ambitious project will be able to glean information from users to create personalized data on health and hobbies with the additional option for scalability. They can use the proposed RPG Editor to launch their own games on the platform in addition to a “Multi Magic Passport” (MMP), an authentication certificate to serve as a payment service for users.

“Furthermore, by providing this infrastructure to companies and government agencies outside of Japan, we will be able to expand the ‘Japan Metaverse Economic Zone’ globally,” the press release read.

Mizuho will use its expertise in banking to provide payment functionalities on the platform, while Sumitomo will provide gamification features. Resona will handle research in next-gen ID authentication and payment, with risk analysis and expansion drive being handled by Sompo and Mitsubishi, respectively.

No date for the official launch was provided, but the next event on the agenda is a media conference scheduled for early summer. According to the official statement, the collaboration will “continue to invite a wide range of companies” to support the project.

Japan marching into the metaverse

Japanese firms are scrambling for a piece of the metaverse pie driven by consumer and government interest. Video game publishers like Konami and Square Enix are exploring the possibilities of building virtual worlds and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) around their bestselling titles.

Recently, The Sandbox announced a partnership with Japan-based animation firm Toei Animation that would see fighters from the Dragon Ball franchise make their debut in its virtual world. Prime Minister Fumion Kishida’s digital transformation strategy disclosed in October 2022 puts NFTs and metaverse development at the top of its objectives.

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