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Ubisoft and Disney Crash the NFT Party As Brands Continue Raising Funds – NFT Weekly




October came and passed so quickly we barely realized Halloween had arrived. Nonetheless, developments in the NFT space over the month proved that the sector is not slowing down any time soon.

Last week, Facebook made headlines following the announcement that it was transforming into Meta and would also focus on non-fungible tokens. The social networking company revealed a framework for the virtual world dubbed Metaverse. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg explained that the change reflected the company’s objective of seamlessly merging the real and digital worlds.

Here is a look at other major events in the NFT world that you may have missed:

Animoca Brands’ NFT Game the Sandbox raises $93 million

NFT gaming platform The Sandbox told Reuters that it had raised $93 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision 2 Fund. Other participants that contributed to the fundraising included Galaxy Interactive, Polygon Studios, and SCB 10X. The round is one to showcase the growth of the Ethereum-based game, given that it is a little over a year since it secured $2 million in its last funding round.

The gaming platform has been under the ownership of Animoca Brands since 2018, when the venture capital firm completed the acquisition of Pixowl – the game’s original developer. The Sandbox has seen several developments during this period. It now intends to use the raised funds to develop its metaverse by including live performances, facilitating more creators and embracing more brands.

The game currently boasts more than 500,000 registered wallets, in addition to 12,000 exclusive owners of digital pieces of real estate. It operates on a play-to-earn model, which allows users to monetize their time through activities involving minting and ownership as they explore the virtual experiences on the platform.

McDonald’s is giving away McRib NFTs

International fast-food chain McDonald’s revealed last Thursday that it would be giving out ten exclusive McRib NFTs to mark the iconic meal’s 40th anniversary. The global foodservice retailer brings the chance to walk away with a token from its Twitter platform. Interested users have been asked to retweet the company’s primary tweet about the NFT between November 1 and November 7.

From these, the fast-food company will then pick out ten lucky winners by November 12. The digital art pieces will start at an ARV of $20. Being commemoratory, McDonald’s placed some restrictions on the program. Winners will neither be allowed to alter/ create derivatives based on the McRib nor use the McRib to market or sell other products. Only a direct sale of the NFTs would be allowed.

This is not the first time the company is immortalizing items into digital art. Early October, McDonald’s China announced that it would give out 188 NFT pieces to employees and customers to mark its 31st anniversary in China’s mainland. The cube-like pieces were created on the Conflux blockchain and modeled in the form of McDonald’s recently launched headquarters in China.

Renovi NFT marketplace launches targeting architecture and 3-D design

A new NFT marketplace, dubbed Renovi and aimed at architects, 3-D designers and developers, was launched this week on Monday. Renovi is the first of its kind, given the exclusivity to 3-D design and architecture. The platform will allow its users to display and sell their products. It supports popular crypto wallets, with plans to host live auctions and hot bids in the pipeline.

Renovi’s Adonis Zachariades expressed delight in the platform being a unique NFT marketplace, revealing that he sees it as becoming the go-to marketplace for property development, 3D designing, and the architectural sector. Zachariades explained that given the necessary presence of alternate digital realities on a metaverse, the company would enable users to establish profiles, promote their pieces, and put them up for sale.

Disney digital art and other items to roll out on Veve

Digital collectibles app Veve announced last Wednesday that entertainment franchise Disney would be rolling out a series of NFTs as part of celebration plans for its first annual Disney+ Day event. The project will not just be restricted to Disney characters. It will also feature several other brands under its umbrella, including Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and more.

The Disney Day event is scheduled for November 12. Image Source: Disney

Veve said the digital collectibles were slated for progressive release ahead of the Disney+ Day. The blockchain firm further revealed that the pieces would feature ‘Golden Moments’ frozen into statues that could well be displayed in digital showrooms. Neither Disney nor Veve revealed the specific details on what characters would be included in the series.

Disney squashed any environmental concerns about the digital pieces to be rolled out as Veve said they are minted using gasless transactions, reflecting a 99% cut-down on the environmental footprint. Previously, Veve received licensing from Disney for NFTs based on Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics. The NFT company has also collaborated with media distribution company Metro Goldwyn Mayer to release collectible posters for the recently released James Bond movie, No Time to Die.

WWE inks deal to enter NFT space as HTX NFT marketplace heads into trial

Professional wrestling company WWE in collaboration with Blockchain Creatives Lab, an NFT creation studio formed by Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment, announced a multi-year partnership that would see a digital catalog of past and present iconic WWE moments digitalized into art.

Scott Zanghellini, WWE Senior Vice President for Revenue Strategy & Development, explained that this partnership would help the company better engage with the fans. Also, on Monday, HTX exchange announced the trial for HTX NFT, a digital artwork marketplace intended to host digital items around music, art, animation, and games.

Through the marketplace, the exchange hopes to implement its global expansion strategy. The project perfectly fits into the exchange’s metaverse plans, given that NFTs would be a new asset class introduced to the exchange’s portfolio.

Ubisoft intends to bring NFTs to its platform

Blockchain technology and play-to-earn models are increasingly becoming synonymous with virtual games. French game development firm Ubisoft recently expressed its interest in joining the NFT space. The video game company was among the investors who raised $65 million for blockchain gaming firm Animoca Brands.

Image Source: Ubisoft

In an earnings call last week Thursday, CEO Yves Guillemot said that the possibility of embracing blockchain as a revolutionary technology is, now more than ever, on the cards. Guillemot, who views the move as an attractive long-term investment prospect, explained that his company would soon develop blockchain games and allow NFTs onto its platform.

The CEO further averred that this technology would increase the play-to-earn opportunities, with more players able to own and earn from the game. Ubisoft’s move is in stark contrast to what some of its major competitors have recently done concerning NFTs.

Mid last month, Valve’s gaming store Steam updated its policy to ban all games that allowed crypto/NFT trading and those built on blockchain technology.  The decision affected the blockchain games on the store, including the sci-fi action game Age of Rust. In the case of Epic Games, the company cited the extent of scams in NFTs as to why it chose to abstain from collectibles.

The latest projects in the NFT space strongly indicate that we are yet to see the peak of digital collectibles and tokens. More launches, endorsements and investments are expected to follow this month.

Sam is a financial content specialist with a keen interest in the blockchain space. He has worked with several firms and media outlets in the Finance and Cybersecurity fields.