ICO Analysis: Terra Virtua
I’ve spoken a little about Terra Virtua in the past, having recently covered their pre-ICO launch event which took place in London, UK back in March. The reason I have decided to take a deeper delve into the project, the platform and their token-based ecosystem, is because I am objectively excited to see them succeed; having a personal vested interest in both cryptocurrency and video-games.
Terra Virtua is attempting to combine these distinctive emerging technologies to achieve mutual disruption across each respective industry.
The team plans on achieving this with their eponymous virtual reality platform. It incorporates features such as digital marketplaces, as well as virtual lobbies and play-spaces where users can meet each other and participate in VR experiences together.
The Netflix of VR? Terra Virtua’s Influences
The marketing posits it as the ‘Netflix of VR’: where a vast and growing catalogue of internal and third-party produced content will be accessible instantaneously in return for a set monthly subscription-based fee. This library is set to not only include VR video games, but also virtual music concerts which take place in digital venues and cinemas.
The virtual interface and ‘world’ of Terra Virtua is a natural evolution of a combination of concepts which have been around in some form or another in the past. Being able to create and curate your own digital spaces in addition to internal economies and avatars has been previously seen in Second Life, for example (Linden Lab are attempting their own VR start-up successor named ‘Sansar’ at present).
A later evolution of this was the less successful ‘PlayStation Home’, a social gaming platform from Sony which (also like Terra Virtua) allowed players to meet and interact; as well as participate in activities and enter third party developed video-games and applications.
What Makes it Special?
Terra Virtua hopes to lower the barriers to entry when it comes to VR content creation. Through use of their proprietary ‘Terra Forma’ toolset, any token holding individual can design and produce their own games, digital assets, and experiences on the Terra Virtua platform. These can then be bought or sold on the platform marketplace for TVT (Terra Virtua Tokens) or shared for free.
Both the Terra Virtua 3D world and the ‘Terra Forma’ toolset are based on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, which is a universally lauded code language and creation suite upon which many of most successful video game titles the past decade and beyond were created.
This is thanks to the two companies having agreed on a mutually beneficial partnership. One which solidifies Terra Virtua’s understanding and potential within the video games industry. It should also be noted that the company has acquired additional partnerships with various video game development and production studios.
Terra Virtua’s entire infrastructure is reliant on their proprietary utility token ‘TERRA’ (TVT).
It’s an ERC20 compliant coin which will begin its life on the Ethereum blockchain before seeking greener pastures. TVT will be used for everything: from paying subscription fees for content access, to the purchase of in-world ‘special items’ from other users or players.
The white paper lists proposals for potential uses for the currency such as reward incentives for consumers, developers and token-holders. Consumers could hypothetically earn cryptocurrency in return for completing tracked objectives on the platform, like taking part in events or sharing VR experiences with others.
Token allocation / funds breakdown will reportedly (according to white paper) be:
- 20%: Marketing
- 2%: Admin, Legal & Accounting
- 20%: Management & Advisors
- 5%: 12 months running costs
- 23%: Software Development
- 5%: Development of Blockchain Infrastructure
- 25%: Acquisition of 3rd Party Content
The executive management team is led by CEO and co-founder Gary Bracey, a man whose been involved with the interactive entertainment industry since 1985, when he began a nine-year stint at Ocean Software (a British video-game development and production studio). Since then, Bracey has earned a reputation for having “helped to turn around the fortunes” of the company.
Other notable members of the leadership team include…
- Jawad Ashraf (Founder of Terra Virtua): Commercial technology executive and entrepreneur, possesses UK and MENA experience.
- Peter Bergstrom (Co-founder and CSO): Vast and diverse background in cryptocurrency consultancy, a member of the US Bitcoin Foundation, and self-proclaimed “Bitcoin Evangelist”.
- Kish Hirani (CTO): VR subject matter expert. Former Head of Developer Services at Sony PlayStation, market leaders in the home video-game console market. Also, currently a member of the BAFTA VR advisory group.
- Doug Dyer (COO): Video games industry veteran of two and a half decades, with a multidisciplinary proficiency: includes business development & general management.
- Sabrina Gasson (Head of Marketing): The second bridge between the cryptocurrency and video-game halves of the business, next to Bergstrom. Previously worked as Marketing Director at Dragonchain and has a past in similar roles at prominent video game companies (including Konami Digital Entertainment).
The team’s collective experience across mainstream entertainment, VR and videogames; combined with their impressive marketing presence and calendar of events / exhibitions, speaks volumes about their potential for penetrating the mainstream.
Additionally, Terra Virtua have already shown off working prototypes of various aspects of their platform (including at the ICO pre-sale launch event).
Despite all their efforts however, their biggest challenge will be to introduce consumers within an already fledgling market (virtual reality) to their even newer cryptocurrency-based platform.
Arguably, the executive team would benefit greatly from adding another cryptocurrency specialist to their ranks as their expertise arguably leans too far towards video games / VR at present.
If they succeed, then the token’s potential could be astronomical due to the milestones being rapidly surpassed by both industries.
- There is already at least one other platform which seeks to combine VR & AR (augmented reality) with decentralized blockchain ecosystems. Although competitor ‘CEEK’ focuses almost exclusively on virtual reality music concert experiences, the similarities with Terra Virtua could pose a risk of mutual destruction if either project ends up failing or becomes involved with a scandal. Sansar is a closer competitor which we mentioned earlier but its presence is small -2
- It can be difficult to convert consumers to a new ecosystem. Terra Virtua (like Abyss) is attempting to disrupt the digital distribution market for video-games. It’s a huge industry whose market leaders are not only long-established, but also held in high esteem by their consumers (e.g. Steam, GOG) -2
- VR has made great strides in the past six years or so but has yet to fully break through into the mainstream (think: Ready Player One). It’s also not the first time such tech has been attempted, and like early VR and 3D movies – there is still a big risk that it won’t catch on -4
- No announced plans for exactly what chain they plan on moving to after Ethereum or what might influence their decision in that respect -1
- Terra Virtua are putting various other ICOs to shame with their extensive marketing and touring efforts. This can make or break a new cryptocurrency and is also representative of the value and investment the team are willing to contribute towards their project’s success. They have a history and on-going schedule of attendances at trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and other industry events. Additional marketing initiatives of note include the publication and broadcasting of localised and translated PR copy, digital media campaigns, and active official social media channels +4
- You can often verify whether an unknown ICO can be trusted by looking at their leadership team and key partnerships. These two factors are among Terra Virtua’s strongest assets – with graphics card giants Nvidia, and video-game production house Epic Games already on board and more likely to follow +3
- A content platform is only as good as the content it platforms. Beyond the larger partnerships that Terra Virtua has announced, it is important to consider that their platform offers significant benefits to the smaller video-game developer as well. TVT reduced commission fees from the platform, as well as less middle-men (payment processors, banks, etc) compared to fiat-based analogues. The ‘Terra Forma’ toolset adds a second dimension to this with the introduction of new creative thinkers to the portfolio of developers +3
- Terra Virtua will be 100% platform agnostic and works on both the Vive and Oculus VR ‘headsets’ as of writing. In theory, it could also work with Sony PlayStation VR – although nothing official has been said on that front. Cross-compatibility issues have previously created a division between competing PC video-game marketplaces (such as Origin & Steam) and each respective proprietary offering from console manufacturers (Sony PlayStation, Nintendo) [+2]
- Notable blue-chip corporations are heavily invested in the success of virtual reality, and the leading consumer hardware is being produced by the likes of HTC, Facebook and Sony. The potential for Virtual Reality is huge, and as the primary and most successful use-case for VR appears to be video-games: Terra Virtua could be a defining force for a decentralized future of digital entertainment +1
- Terra Virtua will provide users with options for accessing many of their platform’s services outside the enclosure of a VR headset, with mobile and desktop apps. This vastly expands the potential for long-term engagement of users with the ecosystem +1
I’ve tried the hardware, read the whitepaper, and been following the marketing so far and it’s safe to say I am happy to recommend that you investigate the coin yourself!
In full objectivity, I consider this ICO to be valued at a 5/10
- Token Type: Utility
- Platform: Ethereum ERC20
- Symbol: TVT
- Pre-ICO: On-going (30% bonus at time of writing)
- Public Crowd sale: Date Unannounced
- Total Supply: 1,200,000,000 TERRA
- Tokens Available for Sale: 66.7% of Total Supply
- Public sale hard cap: $29,000,000
- Public sale soft cap: $5,000,000
- Token Price: USD 0.08
- Payment Methods: ETH and BTC
- Website + pre-ICO details: https://terravirtua.io/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/terra_virtua
- Telegram: https://t.me/TerraVirtua
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.