Luxembourg has its own metaverse, a 3D virtual reality space that was created by a local tech entrepreneur in a bid to ease the path for nationwide adoption.
Mathias Keune, founder and CEO of extended reality agency Vizz, on Monday launched “The Duchy”, a browser-based, micro-universe where Luxembourg-based companies, brands and people can meet.
“We have created a landscape where people can acquire land and build structures,” says Keune, adding: “The idea is to first generate interest and see how we can make a seed round to ask who is interested.”
A metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds where people can connect socially. First coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash”, the term made headlines in 2021 when Facebook rebranded “Meta” to pursue its founder’s vision to create a metaverse.
A number of different metaverses have been created in recent years, among the most well known being Decentraland and Sandbox (a metaverse game). Despite their 3D nature, users can access these worlds without a VR headset from a web browser.
“The idea is to sell, not just empty land, but credits which are connected to land and which can be transferred into 3D digital services […]”
“Land and property there have become a very hot topic,” says Keune, adding that space in these metaverses is limited. “You need to imagine it like a big island, based on millions of small squares like plots of land where you can buy something. I checked yesterday and the current price for one of these plots of land is about $14,000. That’s the cheapest you can get right now,” the entrepreneur explained.
While Mathias Keune is also launching metaverse real estate and training activities for companies and individuals looking to expand into the metaverse, and has opened an office for his firm Vizz in Decentraland, he says that his main goal is to educate. “It sounds nice to have a virtual presence but not if we don’t have anyone registered to join you,” Keune says.
The Luxembourg metaverse he says will begin as a green island shaped like the country, where people can “build” virtually and filled with customisable “example structures”.
“The idea is to sell, not just empty land, but credits which are connected to land and which can be transferred into 3D digital services with us,” says Keune. Credits could be used to pay for the creation of digital content such as avatars.
“We do it this way because we know that 99% of people have no idea how to create digital content. And that’s the biggest challenge for the metaverse. You could sell a copy of the whole planet, but if no-one builds content, it will be empty and boring,” says the entrepreneur.
Keune reckons that because of its diminutive size, Luxembourg is a good testbed for his company’s metaverse. In future, he hopes to develop corporate metaverses to create virtual spaces for meetings and events for employees of global firms.