The rise of play-to-earn gaming in the Philippines offers opportunities for SuperWorld, a virtual world in augmented reality (AR), its top official said.
“The Philippine audience is very interesting for us, and play-to-earn is a very important mechanism in that part of the world, and we’re creating live-to-earn, and so it is something that we hope to really build out in the Philippines,” Hrish Lotlikar, co-founder and chief executive officer of SuperWorld, told BusinessWorld at the recent South Summit 2022, a global business summit in Madrid co-organized by the IE University.
“We have team members in the Philippines. It’s a very important part of our strategy, so I’m very excited about it,” he added.
SuperWorld allows its users to sell virtual real estate in the metaverse, a virtual world that relies on technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies.
“SuperWorld is a virtual world mapped on top of the real world. It’s all around us. We’re in it right now. It’s in augmented reality,” said Mr. Lotlikar, who is known as among the most influential people in the metaverse.
The company, which was founded in 2017, divided the surface of the Earth into 64 billion virtual blocks of land, each of which is a unique digital asset. SuperWorld users can buy virtual properties via the company’s platform using a crypto-wallet.
According to SuperWorld’s website, each plot of unowned virtual real estate is currently priced at 0.1 ETH (Ethereum), or P6,702 as of June 28.
“You can buy a place in Manila, Cebu, London, Tokyo, New York, anywhere in the world,” Mr. Lotlikar said.
“Once you have it, you can reprice it to whatever you want. Someone else can buy it for that price or give you another bid, but the point is it’s your asset. The ownership of that asset allows you to benefit from all of the activities in that location from everyone.”
He said the platform’s average paying user does about 10 to 15 transactions and spends about $4,000 in the first month.
Currently, SuperWorld is focused on what customers do when they come to the platform.
“When I talk to customers, the first thing I hear is that they are excited and galvanized about the opportunity to create, discover, and monetize anything anywhere in the real world,” Mr. Lotlikar said.
“People talk about it because they love talking about the places they love in the world.”
On why people should care about virtual real estate today, he said: “Our lives are going much more virtual whether you like it or not.”
“You are definitely doing more Zoom calls. You are probably watching more movies on Netflix. You are doing more online activities. Maybe you’ve started getting into crypto. People have become more digital.”
“Now, the opportunity to start owning these places is available, and if you are a forward-thinker, if you understand that people’s lives are going digital, and you see trends like Pokémon GO doing things in real-world locations, you know that these spatial computing environments will be where we spend a lot of our time, even in the physical world,” he added.