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How Virtua is about to take a giant leap into the metaverse

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When Virtua President Gary Bracey and I first discussed the concept of Virtua, it was at a coffee shop in 2017. We were there to discuss a possible collaboration, combining our skills and experience in technology, gaming, licensing and interactive entertainment.

My background is in creating, building gaming and tech businesses. Bracey was part of Ocean Software, the game company that pioneered crossover licensing of movies and games, from RoboCop to Batman and Jurassic Park.

The convergence of these different elements brought together in an ambition to create a pioneering company that would be a significant player in the metaverse. Bracey was hoping to advise on a project, but I convinced him to join me and Virtua was born.

Fast forward to 2018, we launched Virtua at a screening of Ready Player One. We presented the film as a two-hour trailer, showcasing the company’s ambitions in the metaverse. We were joined by peers and colleagues from various industries who shared our interest in space, including Epic Games.

Jawad Ashraf

Later that year, we were ready to launch our fully interactive virtual environments, a precursor to the metaverse. But industry enthusiasm for large virtual worlds had waned, and hardware had not been adopted or developed at the same rate as software.

We focused on digital collectibles, items that would become the building blocks, and items that the public would take into the metaverse. Our long-term vision for building a metaverse has remained the same. We made sure to create premium 3D assets with credible partners and original IPs, ready to enter the metaverse at a later stage.

Virtua officially entered the business in 2020, and we’ve collaborated with partners including Paramount Pictures and Legendary Entertainment – successfully launching projects across art, entertainment, and sports.

In 2021, when Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta, the world suddenly realized the potential of the metaverse. The technology had been developing for a while, but expectations had also become more realistic about what the Metaverse would be like in its early days.

We’ve also come to understand that the wider audience isn’t as interested in a decentralized metaverse, and hardcore industry enthusiasts think it’s the only way forward. However, we believe the metaverse should be a controlled and regulated space for mass adoption.

We also believe that a safe environment will ensure people are protected, a place where brands are happy to do business, encourage interoperability, create community and make NFTs useful.

At Virtua, we have continued to work on our collectibles and digital objects while developing virtual environments. We have also developed games designed for the metaverse, where digital elements retain their value through NFTs.

Since 2022, we have completed the first deed sale for our metaverse. Cardano Island is launched and we are about to meet the deed claim event in the next few days.

We have also entered into several new partnerships, including Williams Racing as the Official Metaverse Partner and have collaborated with Kevin Hart. These elements will come together as part of Virtua Prime, our home planet in the Virtua metaverse, which is set to launch in the coming months.

From the humble beginnings of coffee in 2017, Virtua is now poised to take another giant leap into the metaverse.

Jawad Ashraf is the CEO at Virtua

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