GamesBeat Summit 2022 returns with its biggest event for gaming leaders from April 26-28. Book your place here!
QuestoWorld is a sort of real-world metaverse where players complete quests by walking outside. And it will soon reward players with non-fungible tokens for walking around and buying virtual real estate.
The company presents its Pokémon Go-style game as a kind of NFT game metaverse (the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, as in novels such as Snowfall and Loan player one). built on top of the real world and the Ethereum blockchain network.
Unlike other NFT game projects, this game encourages people to go out and walk around to find things. It’s similar to geocaching or Pokémon Go. But it differs in that it uses what’s already in the city: statues, buildings, small items, CEO Alex Govoreanu said in an interview with GamesBeat. .
“It’s an economy we’re building,” he said. “I understand that people are more convinced that metaverses are only virtual. But for us, a metaverse can also be something built on top of the real world. What matters to us is that it is a community of digitally connected people.
More than 200,000 players have already tested the role-playing game (RPG) and traveled more than 500,000 kilometers while solving challenges in more than 140 cities.
Players can play user-generated content (UGC) or games created by locals (writers, tour guides, editors, etc.) to let fans enjoy a place in the real world.
Welcome to QuestoWorld
You play these games in real life (IRL) and you can discover new places and their stories. It’s a different way to view the Metaverse, as most psychics think of it as a 3D virtual world that you visit via computers or futuristic VR headsets. In these worlds, real-world interaction is minimal.
But this version of the metaverse is more like Pokémon Go, where you can see things in the real world that you can identify through online data. Govoreanu has a different vision for the future where the company will build a layer of entertainment above the real world. It enhances the real world, rather than ignoring or replacing it.
Realms are linked to real-world spaces where games can be built. Game creators and gamers will collaborate on real game projects, creating a game network; a narrative-driven metaverse.
The company started working on the technology more than five years ago to imagine a layer above the real world. Govoreanu started thinking about it as he explored Rome. He felt the trip was cut short because he was just following in the footsteps of hundreds of thousands of people who had done the same thing.
“It was impersonal. And what we thought, at the beginning, was that whatever kind of trip it is, it should be as valuable to locals as it is to travelers,” he said.
QuestoWorld was designed as a “pain reliever” for travelers who were tired of imitating others. Govoreanu wanted to learn some cool local stories about the places he visited. Or he wanted to solve challenges and be motivated to go for a walk.
Each game has 10-15 chapters which include directions, challenges, and stories. Each chapter is a combination of text, images, videos and audio.
“Soon we will also add other features, such as a compass, and by the end of the year we also plan to add AR scenes to enhance storytelling,” Govoreanu said.
The Bucharest, Romania-based team has 25 full-time employees and has already raised $2.2 million. There are employees in seven countries.
Today, more than 300 games are available in 140 cities around the world.
“Each of them is unique,” Govoreanu said. “And in each of them you play the role of a different character. So, for example, one of our most successful is in Rome. You play as Robert Langdon, the main character of the Angels and Demons movie and book.
Your job in this mission is to save the papacy. You have to overcome challenges like finding a hidden code or an inscription on a building. (The game is not based on a license from the author/publisher, so it doesn’t go into much detail). And QuestoWorld tells you about Rome and the places you visit during the trip.
The most successful game takes place in Paris, in a romantic neighborhood on a hill. You play the role of lovers and you find out at the end of the game if the couple is still together. You will discover many love stories related to the city.
“The main vision has always been to open the platform at scale,” Govoreanu said. “Because what we want to do is turn the whole world into a playground.”
Gamers use the Questo Creators Room on the company’s website to start creating their own games. User-created games are reviewed and the team offers feedback. Then it will be released in QuestoWorld. Community players help review the best games in the app.
The average user is around 35 years old. About half are locals and the other half are travellers. In Vienna, travelers come to the city for art or culture, and therefore the average age is higher, around 40 years old. In Berlin, the average age is 30 years old. Families or groups of friends will play.
Many people are also interested in seeing places where movies have been filmed, such as the Game of Thrones sets in Croatia. QuestoWorld teams up with HBO Max on a game project in Bucharest.
Sometimes games draw crowds for special events. During COVID, the company stopped doing these events. But he started picking them up again. In places like San Francisco, Govoreanu hopes to see games about haunted houses or characters. One of his favorite creators is a 65-year-old woman from Glasgow who created a game about haunted places in that city. Its games have great reviews, and that’s how players find content.
“These kind of people really gave me a lot of energy because I never imagined working with them,” he said.
As for NFTs, the company will release 100,000 digital objects to the world, and each one will be an NFT. Players will be able to own land connected to specific locations like Montmartre in Paris. Players can simply play, create games, or own realms. Whatever revenue the games generate, QuestoWorld plans to share a large portion of it with creators (currently 75%).
“Your incentive will be to get players to create and build on your land,” he said. “It’s like getting passive income.”
The GamesBeat credo when covering the video game industry is “where passion meets business”. What does it mean? We want to tell you how much the news means to you, not only as a decision maker in a game studio, but also as a game fan. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about and engage with the industry. Learn more about membership.