A top five gaming Dapp, which allows players to buy, sell and trade virtual properties mapped to actual addresses, has announced that it’s expanding its metaverse to New York City.
Upland combines real and virtual worlds and has featured properties in San Francisco since its beta launch in January 2020. It now includes Manhattan real estate, too.
A parallel world mapped to the real one, Upland allows people to play, earn income from business activities and connect with others. Each property is a non-fungible token (NFT), which has value in a secondary market, similar to other virtual worlds.
Upland’s current market already consists of highly active traders who enjoy flipping properties with other participants on a daily basis. The app’s developers say that tokenising these properties as NFTs adds permanence and ease of trading, enhancing the overall experience.
“We have been so encouraged by the success of the San Francisco launch and we are now ready to launch NYC, one of the most famous cities in the world,” Dirk Lueth, co-founder of Upland, said.
“So many people have visited and are fascinated by New York City’s beautiful skylines and rich culture; and we are excited to bring ‘the city that never sleeps’ to life in Upland.”
In contrast to games that feature fantasy environments and pseudo-economies, Upland follows the principles of an open market economy, using blockchain technology to ensure true ownership of digital assets.
It aims to provide a digital layer on top of the real world, offering entertainment, a vibrant community, and the opportunity to earn money. Building on the success of San Francisco, Upland NYC offers users a real-world connection that ‘resonates with people and adds an emotional layer to owning virtual property based on a real-world address, especially in such an iconic city’.
The launch of the NYC metaverse will start with the opening of Manhattan and will expand to other areas including Midtown, Upper West Side, Lower East Side, Upper East Side and Village/Chelsea.
Uplanders will be able to enjoy game mechanics to flip virtual properties as well as participate in treasure and scavenger hunts, special events and entertaining challenges that encourage continuous gameplay.
The app’s community and its members have been increasingly active, helping each other create original content.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced many into isolation, video game usage in the United States surged by 75%, while overall web traffic spiked by 20%.
According to Upland, this reflects a much broader, long-term shift toward games becoming social networks in their own right, ‘as people use virtual worlds to engage with friends and like-minded individuals with increasingly sophisticated technology’.
The app is also gearing up to build one of the largest communities for a metaverse that is based on the real world. Current members have already launched a broad variety of community content, spanning video, blogs and podcasts sharing their experiences. They have even started to create their own fan art to be shared across various channels.
Built on the EOS blockchain and powered by its own cryptocurrency, UPX, digital landlords can earn UPX for properties they own, and increase their earnings by completing missions such as collecting similar properties, winning treasure hunts, and participating in live events.
Upland recently announced a partnership with Tilia Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Linden Research, the creator of Second Life, which will offer more features in Q4.
The app is available now on iOS, Android, and desktop devices, ‘providing cross-platform availability that lowers barriers to entry commonly seen with other blockchain applications’.
You can download on the App Store or Google Play, and find out more about the game, by clicking here.
Last month, we looked at a similar app game – Landlord Go, from tech firm Reality Games – which also aims to help investors get a taste of how real life investment works.