Chinese firm bets on ‘metaverse’ experience for FIFA World Cup

Chinese tech companies are reportedly working on technology that will allow Chinese football fans to watch the FIFA World Cup in the Metaverse.

The efforts are part of a five-year plan released by the Chinese government in early November to boost the capabilities and development of the local virtual reality (VR) industry.

Video streaming platform Migu is one of six Chinese companies to have won the rights to broadcast the World Cup, and plans to create a “metaverse-like” space accessible through VR headsets for users to watch the matches live, according to According to a Nov. 20 report in the state-run Global Times.

ByteDance, which owns TikTok and its Chinese version Douyin, has licensed the rights to broadcast the match, and ByteDance’s VR headset subsidiary Pico is offering a live World Cup broadcast in which users can create and hang out in “digital rooms” to watch the match together.

The World Cup appears to be being used by China’s nascent VR industry as a test bed for the technology, as China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and four other agencies push for an ambitious industry plan November 1.

The five-year plan from 2022 to 2026 outlines China’s desire to strengthen its VR industry and ship more than 25 million units, totaling $48.56 billion, though the plan doesn’t clarify whether its unit targets are annual or cumulative over the life of the plan.

The stated plans, which did not mention whether the Metaverse would use blockchain technology such as that proposed by the Chinese city of Wuhan, were later amended to remove references to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

X2Y2 Rollback Optional Royalty

NFT marketplace X2Y2 said in a Nov. 18 Twitter post that it will once again make creator royalties mandatory on all existing and new collectibles.

The marketplace was one of the first to introduce optional royalties back in August, moving to a “flexible royalty” that allows buyers to set how much they want to pay, receiving mixed reactions from the NFT community.

X2Y2 said it decided to resume royalty enforcement after learning from its peer Opensea, which on Nov. 9 decided to enforce royalties.

X2Y2 also acknowledged that many of the new collectibles are using OpenSea’s royalty enforcement tool, which blacklists NFTs sold on marketplaces that don’t enforce royalties.

In response, OpenSea said it “proudly supports” X2Y2, adding that it removed the marketplace from the blacklist.

Givenchy drops ‘phygital’ NFT

French luxury fashion house Givenchy has become the latest company to offer “phygital” NFTs — physical goods backed by digital tokens.

On November 18, the company freed A series of physical-backed NFTs as part of a collaboration with streetwear brand Bstroy.

The collaboration between the two brands sees a new limited-edition “capsule collection” of six items, including a “free NFT twin” of the physical item.

As you’d expect from a luxury brand, the items aren’t cheap, with the lowest priced item being a $595 T-shirt and the most expensive $5,450 for a wool and leather bomber jacket.

Screenshot of a featured item listed on the Givenchy website that includes an NFT. resource: Givenchy

Givenchy creative director Matthew M. Williams was quoted as saying that Bstroy’s founders were “old friends” who “shared [his] Fashion’s vision”, while Givenchy and Bstroy “focus on creating streetwear with unexpected treatments”, “entering the contemporary art field of street and Web3”.

Other “phygital” NFTs offered recently include the Azuki NFT project, which created a Physically Backed Token (PBT) standard that has sold skateboards and used for streetwear collaborations. The sandals of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs were also sold at the auction as “phygital” NFTs.

Johnnie Walker continues to enter Web3

Scotch whiskey maker Johnnie Walker continues its push for Web3, allowing NFT holders to vote on limited-edition bottle designs for its top “Blue Label” range.

The whiskey company has teamed up with luxury alcohol NFT marketplace BlockBar and streetwear designer Junghoon Vandy Son (known as VANDYTHEPINK), who will design the bottle.

Johnnie Walker has left the design to NFT holders, who will vote on the final design or artwork that Masayoshi Son will produce for the bottle.

This is the first time designers have undertaken a Web3-related project based on the brand.

related: Helping Mainstream Artists Enter Web3: Triumphs and Struggles

Once the physical bottles are made, they will be held by BlockBar, and once they are ready for exchange, they will only release the physical bottles to NFT holders, “burning” their NFT “bottles”, initially priced at $355 for replacements the real thing.

The brand has in the past partnered with Gary Vaynerchuk’s NFT project VeeFriends in May to delve into Web3 to offer spirits-related products to holders of specific NFTs. This collaboration is also being spearheaded with Vaynerchuk’s Web3 consultancy Vayner3.

More exciting news

Metaplex is feeling the sting of the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, with NFT Protocol firing “several members” of its team on Nov. 18, citing “indirect effects” of the FTX debacle. Its finances were not directly affected, but Metaplex chief executive Stephen Hess said the company needed to “take a more conservative approach going forward”.

James Mabbott, a partner at the Australian arm of Big Four accounting firm KPMG, told Cointelegraph on Nov. 18 that he believes the “explosive growth” of the Metaverse will be driven by corporations. The company created a new head of Metaverse Futures role aimed at building out its own Metaverse for the company’s internal business operations and business-to-business services.