While the reality of Ready Player One’s ‘The Oasis’ may still be a long way off, companies are already making headway when it comes to social virtual reality (VR) universes. One of those is Somnium Space, an open-world launched for PC VR headsets in 2018, designed so that users can not only create but also own thanks to the power of blockchain. Today, Somnium Space has announced two new partnerships to improve that blockchain integration as well as prepping for an upcoming Initial Land Offering (ILO) in October.
The platform has partnered with Loom Network and OpenSea to help create a safe crypto-collectables marketplace where users can purchase items that they’ll actually own, as well as being able to sell them to other people. Using the Ethereum blockchain network for its transactions, Somnium Space’s in-game assets (land parcels, avatars, wearables, collectables, etc.) are fully controlled by the users that own them, with Somnium Space completely decoupled from ownership of the in-game database.
Explaining who this works the Somnium Space team say: “Once users have put their Somnium creations and in-world items on to the blockchain, there sparks an instant need for a trusted, secure, and widely used marketplace. After all, users need to be able to buy and sell those items. That is where OpenSea fits into the puzzle. OpenSea is the world’s largest digital marketplace for crypto-collectables with more than 4,000,000+ digital assets currently traded and over 20,000 ETH in transaction volume. Somnium citizens will be able to instantly place their creations or belongings on the OpenSea marketplace directly from Somnium PC client.”
This isn’t just about trading cool jackets or building a car collection, in Somnium Space you can actually buy land to build whatever you like. Somnium Space has previously sold ‘Land Parcels’ on crowd-funding platforms like Indiegogo. From 6th – 13th October it’ll begin an Initial Land Offering (ILO) auction where you can bid for particular areas of land within the virtual world. Just like in our real world, the land inside cities is expected to reach a far higher price than in the middle of nowhere.
“We have partnered with Loom and OpenSea – recognizable leaders in the blockchain industry to make sure that our process of ILO (Initial Land Offering auction) and blockchain integration is well designed, programmed, and executed,” says Artur Sychov, Founder and CEO Somnium Space in a statement. “We are dedicated to delivering a long-lasting and decentralized in-game economy with an ability for everyone to start monetizing their experiences and creations from day one.”
“Somnium has proven itself a pioneer in social VR, and blockchain tech will now help catapult them to the next level. Users will soon get the ability for true and absolute ownership of their digital items, paving the way for completely new kinds of virtual economies and experiences that were never possible before. Loom is excited to provide the scalability and UX layers necessary for Somnium to deploy high-performance blockchain applications that can still maintain stunning immersive experiences,” adds Matthew Campbell, CEO and Co-Founder of Loom Network.
Ahead of the auction, you can check out Somnium Space now by downloading it for free via Steam Early Access, supporting HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Oculus Go and Oculus Quest versions are also in the works. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.