Baobab Studios, the Hollywood-based animation studio that has won nine Emmy Awards for its short films and virtual reality (VR) experiences, is branching out into the world of Web3 with a family-friendly project called “Momoguro.” This project includes an accompanying Ethereum NFT collection, which is being minted for 0.22 ETH apiece (about $365) on Thursday.
Created by multimedia director and animator Martin Allais and writer-director Nico Cassavecchia, Momoguro is a colorful fantasy world where creatures called “Momos” can fuse together to form hybrid characters. Momoguro is releasing NFTs as well as an NFT roleplay game (RPG) where players can go on “quests” across a world called the Uno Plane to combine Momos.
The Momoguro RPG will be available on ImmutableX, a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution, and will include NFTs as a core game feature. The game is set to launch in Q2 of 2023.
Baobab Studios is not a Web3 company, but it is exploring the possibilities of how NFTs can engage users in storytelling experiences. “We believe stories transcend mediums,” said Maureen Fan, CEO, and Co-founder of Baobab Studios. “Baobab Studios’ mission is to inspire you to dream and bring out your sense of wonder. Make YOU matter. This begins by creating great characters and stories, like Momoguro, where you can be part of the story. We aspire to bring the Momoguro IP to as many channels, streaming platforms, and widespread media as possible.”
Momoguro’s creators believe that their property’s lore carries an important message. “Community plays a big part in this,” said Momoguro’s Cassavecchia. “Inclusivity is paramount for the franchise, from ethnicities, genders, and body-types, Momoguro’s ethos is that everyone is welcomed.”
Baobab currently boasts Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull and Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin on its board, and has raised over $31 million in total funding from the likes of Disney, Samsung, and Comcast, according to Crunchbase data.
Baobab isn’t the first Hollywood studio to release NFTs or Web3 content. Last fall, Warner Bros. released “Lord of the Rings” NFTs that gave buyers a digital copy of the first film. Lionsgate, Netflix, and Paramount have also experimented with NFTs for some of their biggest properties.
However, Baobab appears to be more interested in creating a sense of community than just raking in revenue. It’s already hosted Twitter Spaces for Momoguro fans, garnered a substantial Twitter following, and has nearly 50,000 members in its Discord server.
Disney, one of Baobab’s investors, has been making moves in the Web3 space as well. The entertainment giant is looking to hire a principal counsel specializing in NFTs, the metaverse, blockchain technologies, and decentralization. Disney has also released NFTs through its subsidiary Marvel, featuring its iconic characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain America.
Disney is not the only big player in Hollywood looking to leverage Web3 and NFTs. Pixar, which was co-founded by Ed Catmull, one of Baobab’s board members, has also released NFTs. In January, Pixar released NFTs featuring its beloved “Toy Story” characters, which sold out in under 15 minutes.
The success of Baobab, Disney, and Pixar’s forays into the world of Web3 and NFTs is a testament to the growing interest in these technologies. As more Hollywood studios and entertainment companies jump on the bandwagon, it’s likely As more Hollywood studios and entertainment companies jump on the bandwagon, it’s likely that we’ll see more experimentation with NFTs and Web3 content in the future. Disney, in particular, has been making strides in this area.
Disney recently posted a job opening for a principal counsel specializing in NFTs, the metaverse, blockchain technologies, and decentralized finance (DeFi). This move is a clear indication that Disney is interested in expanding its presence in the Web3 space.
Disney has already shown an interest in NFTs with its launch of “Disney Collectables,” a digital collectibles platform that features unique artwork and animations from popular Disney franchises such as Star Wars and Marvel.
In addition, Disney recently invested $4 million in a blockchain-based social network called “Sorare,” which focuses on NFT-based fantasy football. This investment is part of Disney’s broader strategy to invest in startups that have the potential to disrupt traditional business models.
It’s clear that NFTs and Web3 technology are becoming increasingly mainstream. As more companies invest in these areas, it’s likely that we’ll see new and innovative use cases emerge. The entertainment industry, in particular, is well-positioned to take advantage of this technology to create engaging and immersive experiences for audiences.
Baobab Studios’ foray into the Web3 space with its Momoguro franchise and NFT collection is a clear indication of this trend. By using NFTs as a core game feature, Baobab is creating a new way for players to engage with its IP.
Furthermore, the Momoguro franchise’s emphasis on inclusivity and community is a refreshing change from the typical Hollywood blockbuster. Baobab’s commitment to diversity and representation is evident in its character designs and lore, and it’s clear that the studio wants to create a welcoming and inclusive community around its IP.
Baobab Studios’ launch of the Momoguro Ethereum NFTs is an exciting development in the Web3 space. As more entertainment companies begin to explore this technology, we’re likely to see new and innovative use cases emerge. The future of entertainment is looking increasingly decentralized and community-driven, and it will be interesting to see how this trend continues to develop in the coming years.
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