Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy 15 and former Square Enix employee, is working on a metaverse project named Ryugukoku.
Tabata, now the Web 3.0 advisor for the Japanese Government’s Digital Agency, has created the concept of “updating Japan through the power of games” and is creating an “open metaverse infrastructure from a role-playing game perspective”.
The project has been launched in response to the “rapidly growing demand for DX [digital transformation] utilising the virtual domain among enterprises and government agencies”.
So what does all this actually mean?
Essentially, Ryugukoku is a metaverse structure for smaller metaverse platforms controlled by businesses to collaborate on information sharing, marketing, and more.
Except it also incorporates elements of an online RPG “based on a unique fantasy worldview of its own”.
Each metaverse service takes the form of a moving castle roaming around a virtual world – in the artwork it takes the form of a Xenoblade-esque headless angel. Users will “engage in an RPG-like experience as they travel through different realms and encounter a variety of contents and services”.
The metaverse infrastructure also promises safety and stability of identity, payments, information and more. Tabata is also aiming to expand globally by providing this infrastructure to companies outside of Japan.
Users will have an “auto learning avatar” with which to explore the metaverse, with Ryugukoku learning avatar behaviour for personalised recommendations. The Pegasus World Kit tool will be used to construct an “experience-orientated system”, and a “multi magic passport” will work as an authentication certificate for users, for instance when purchasing NFTs.
The end result is to expand the “Japan Metaverse Economic Zone”, so Tabata is essentially attempting to gamify business economics.
It’s a far cry from his work at Square Enix, where he produced and directed a number of Final Fantasy spin-offs before directing Final Fantasy 15.
In 2018 he created Luminous Productions with key members of the FF15 team, but resigned later that year. The studio went on to produce Forspoken, but since that game’s release it’s been folded into Square Enix following lacklustre sales of the game.
Back at Square Enix, meanwhile, the company is doubling down on blockchain technology, with further details on its Symbiogenesis project recently revealed and a new teaser trailer launched (see above).