Its official, we now have our own blog ! You can expect a new article every week diving in a different range of topics, from project updates to relevant metaverse and industry news.
What better way to introduce this new feature than giving an introduction to Agoraverse as well as explain how we started and how we got to the point we are at today.
Agoraverse is a french metaverse development studio that opened its doors in March of 2022. The company is 13 members strong, with the majority of the team being comprised of Unity game developers and 3D artists.
After months of intensive research, market study, trial and error, we have since August formed a solid understanding of what the metaverse is and what challenges lie ahead.
The mission is simple : help companies leverage the metaverse as a marketing or e-commerce tool. Our vision is that every company will end up having a metaverse experience in the same way they all have a website.
Of course, this is not something that will happen this year or even in two year’s time. Experts predict the metaverse boom to start in 2026, and for mass adoption to take place by 2030. Right now is the time when startups and big companies are trying to find their footing and offer the best metaverse introduction to the public.
How it all started
It all started when four friends, Claude, Léo, Amaury and Oscar sat around a table and brainstormed on their respective ideas of the metaverse. Is it a game ? Does it need blockchain ? Is it useful at all ?
Around that same time period, our eyes were glued to the Solana NFT ecosystem and the various projects that were being created every day. We figured that by assembling our respective skills and visions of the metaverse, we could create a project that would be of interest to people and kickstart our efforts. The idea that resulted from this process was the following : our NFTs would be used as keys to virtual properties, called the Lofts. A simple concept that could be gradually worked and improved on and that could leverage the unique aspects of the blockchain to create scarcity and different tiers of property.
So, we got to work behind the scenes with the goal to present something that would be of interest to the NFT world. Léo came up with the name and graphical identity, Claude with the 3D visuals of our first concept apartments, Oscar the english marketing and PR and Amaury with the redaction of the first whitepaper. It was time to present our ideas to Solana.
What followed, we couldn’t have predicted even in our wildest dreams. A massive amount of attention from the whole Solana NFT ecosystem, from regular user to the biggest influencers. To say we were not ready would be an understatement. We grew from 30 to 1000 members over the span of a single day. At the peak pre-mint era, there would not be a single second in the day where a message was not sent in our Discord server.
The craziness meant a whole new level of expectation from the public. We had to step up considerably in order to remain competitive and keep the users engaged with the project. Around the same time, Paul, our CTO, joined the team to add to its credibility.
From very early on, we always communicated our will and commitment to be in it for the long run. We were doxxed (industry term that refers to project members’s identity being public knowledge) weeks before our NFT sale to increase our legitimacy, our mint price was never changed from the initial 1.5 Solana and our roadmap was something we were confident we could achieve and had value. We knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on something that we loved.
Our NFT collection, The Lofts Business Club, sold out in seconds when hitting the public market. Secondary market volume was some of the most important recorded in the ecosystem by that time. We had succeeded in the first step of our project, but were now anxious to start working on the real deal. We knew that the toughest challenges were ahead of us and that the mint, as soon as it ended, was a thing of the past.
The present, and how we got there
Remember when we mentioned challenges ? Oh boy.
There were tons. The crypto bull run was coming to an end, market sentiment was turning sour, and so was the community. An important aspect that we failed to realise in the beginning (and painfully learned over time) was that 99% of the individuals that bought in our project were only interested in it because of the attention it had gartnered and thus, its potential for speculation.
Realising this meant that our holder base wasn’t so much interested in the product’s quality, but rather its perceived quality. Pressure was on us to deliver news day in and day out to maintain the hype. Unsuprisingly, this was not achievable in a healthy manner.
We had, in fact, quickly identified that NFT royalties were an unsustainable and unhealthy way to fund our company. The goal was to create a product that would generate revenues independantly of the collection performing well. And we were proven right when the bear market hit. Even the top projects on Solana were not confident in their ability to exist solely on their creator royalties.
Time to re-assess the situation. The metaverse was and still is a vague topic, one that we are experts in today. We decided that on top of creating our virtual appartments, we would also be in the business of creating experiences catered to the most fitting use-cases : e-commerce and marketing.
Months and of months of rewriting our whitepaper, creating material and educational content on the metaverse, pitching our product to venture capitalists, potentiel clients and experts have led us to the crystal clear vision we have today.
The metaverse is a way to enhance user experience. It has to be entertaining, easy to access, rewarding for visitors to spend their time in and something that has never been seen before. It has to take example from what has worked for decades in online gaming, and should not try to reinvent the wheel. Blockchain is a nice addition, but is not compulsery. Mass adoption will always remain the driving factor behind its development.
For Agoraverse, this is only the beginning. Very soon we will be releasing our first metashop experiences, and hopefully create a new standard for the industry. How we achieve this will be by doing the following : entertaining, and thus convincing you, the future metaverse user.