Have you already got your Škodaverse avatar?
The innovation is part of the virtual world called the Metaverse, and the name Škodaverse covers this part as well as other Web3 activities. It offers the brand’s customers and fans new ways to explore eMobility easily, informally and playfully. You can drive an Enyaq Coupé RS iV, acquire a digital object in NFT galleries, play a game, complete challenges and earn rewards, or interact with other users through your own avatar with a Škoda skin.
The digital world called the Škodaverse
“A journey into the Škodaverse provides new opportunities for fans and visitors to learn more about our brand and form a stronger bond with it. Our presence in the Metaverse, confirms our positive attitude towards new technologies and innovations, and at the same time boosts our appeal among younger customers, exactly in line with the company’s Next Level – Škoda Strategy 2030,” says Martin Jahn, Škoda Auto board member responsible for sales and marketing.
Škoda Auto board member responsible for sales and marketing
Web3 is a concept developed on the basis of blockchain, technology which among other things, enables certified digital ownership. Naturally, the Škoda brand is interested in all new technologies and Web3 and the Metaverse are no exception. Above all, this is about big changes in how we use the internet now and in the future and how we communicate with each other. The next decade will largely be defined by computer games and virtual worlds. By 2026, up to thirty per cent of all companies in the world are expected to offer products and services adapted for the Metaverse.
The Škodaverse gives you the chance to drive a Škoda Enyaq Coupé RS iV.
TIP: The main communication channel for everything linked to this topic in the company is the @skodaverse Twitter account twitter.com/skodaverse.
Unlimited possibilities for the future
“Looking at the past is the best way to predict the future. If we look back at the print revolution, we can see how a new technology merged with a new culture: a new medium for storytelling emerged. The same applies to radio, television, the internet and, later, social media. And now history is repeating itself through blockchain, NFT and the Metaverse,” says Diego Borgo, Metaverse and NFT Strategist for Škoda and Fortune 500 brands.
Metaverse and NFT Strategist
The company’s virtual world is built on the Nemesis platform, a hybrid platform based on Ethereum blockchain technology which you can access via skodaverse.io. The most interesting part was the design phase, which went from scratch to the final form, implementing the new Modern Solid design concept as well as elements of the new corporate identity. “The most challenging part was to catch up with this fast moving medium called Metaverse which allows us to explore unlimited possibilities. In my opinion, the most important features are the easy access for customers via mobile phone app or web browser, the ability to customise the virtual world and create basically any kind of experience, NFT integration and access via the Metamask wallet,” says Luca Zicconi Web3 Studio Lead at Škoda Auto.
Škoda’s virtual world is built on the Nemesis platform.
Two people from Škoda and two from Nemesis – a game developer and a graphic designer – are working on the project. The overall goal was to offer users a much more “game-like” way of exploring eMobility.
Ice hockey in the Škodaverse
In May this year, Finland and Latvia will host the 87th 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The event will also have its own version in the virtual world of the Škodaverse. From April 26 to May 12, fans will have the chance to win a full trip and tickets to the final in Tampere, with NFTs up for grabs from May 12. “We want to create a kind of virtual bridge to the real events Škoda will be involved in during the tournament. These will feature, for example, a digital twin of the fan zone in the Metaverse, where users will be able to hang out, take part in various challenges and tasks, or win various NFT items. For the first time ever, our marketing department will leverage the Metaverse as a tool to engage a wide audience from around the world. That’s what’s great about this technology: the ability to reach fans on a truly global scale. The 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be a great new opportunity in this area and we are really looking forward to it,” adds Luca Zicconi.
Diego Borgo explains: “Thanks to blockchain technology, we can now prove ownership of digital assets, which was previously impossible. Imagine being able to own and create digital objects just as you would in the physical world, and trade them as well. But the possibilities don’t end there. The web interface is now entering the Metaverse era. It’s a place where people can immerse themselves in virtual 3D worlds through their digital doppelgängers, or avatars. The possibilities are endless, and we’re just getting started.”
In the Škodaverse, everyone can create their own virtual persona - this is the avatar of Diego Borgo, a Metaverse and NFT strategist.
Space for creativity and fun
The principle of the Škodaverse is simple – you create your avatar and move freely around a large island. There are already a number of “interactive corners” to explore different activities. The Škodaverse was launched by the Czech carmaker after Tour de France, and so one of the main areas is the NFT gallery with artworks related to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. The NFT gallery will be continuously updated with other curated exhibitions.
The Czech carmaker has already opened a gallery of Tour de France themed NFT artworks in the Škodaverse.
The theme of eMobility is the focus: you can find Škoda’s electric cars on display, find out lots about them, such as their fuel consumption or range, or be directed to more detailed information on the model’s dedicated page.
The creators of Škodaverse regularly add a variety of time-limited challenges for users to complete. The first one was a speed run around the entire island, with the route following the main points of interest. “At Christmas we transformed the island, had it covered in snow and added Christmas markets. And we organised a treasure hunt – users were tasked with finding Christmas candy canes hidden all over the island and as a reward they collect a Škoda avatar in Christmas clothes. In January we launched an online competition for artists and designers. We reached out to creators in the Web3 community to help us to co-create the designs for the front and back of our Škodaverse black hoodie. We received more than thirty designs and from these we selected the winning trio. We then created a treasure hunt in the Metaverse where users explored the island and collected these three designs with the possibility of winning the physical hoodie,” Zicconi explains.
Web3 Studio Lead at Škoda Auto
Drive around the island
A test drive in the Enyaq Coupé RS iV is one of the tempting options. Built on Metaverse’s Unity platform, this part offers you the chance to get into an electric model and use the keys on your computer keyboard or a joystick on your mobile screen to control the car, accelerating, braking, reversing and so on – you can take it for a drive around the island.
Your drive through the Škodaverse on board an Enyaq Coupê RS iV can begin.
The virtual world also offers interaction between individual users. “You can chat and use gestures like clapping, waving, thumbs up and so on. On the other hand, the scope of interaction is limited to minimise the risk of communication getting out of control. There have to be boundaries governing appropriate behaviour in the virtual world, just as there are in the real world. Although communication on the island is not moderated in any way, it is monitored by automated AI-based systems that, for example, block certain words – a common feature familiar from social networks,” Zicconi points out.
The Škodaverse is thus the Czech carmaker’s new world. It is accessible at all times, from anywhere in the world. It brings regularly updated content and occasional events, challenges and games that tie in with real-world events, such as the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Everything is accessible from your computer, mobile or tablet, there’s no need to download or install anything except the Nemesis app. The entire space is graphically optimised for a variety of different devices and is therefore visually less detailed than today’s technically demanding games. In the future, the developers also envisage implementing virtual reality features to provide users with a different and better experience on the platform, such as using technologies like Oculus Quest goggles and so on.
The Czech carmaker in its Škodaverse virtual world.
Key terms and concepts
After the World Wide Web (otherwise known as Web1) and the user-generated web (Web2 or social media), this is the third major stage of the internet’s evolution. It is a decentralised internet that is built on distributed technologies like blockchain rather than centralised servers which provides a distinctive proof of ownership and for the first time enables digital assets to truly become someone’s personal property. The point is the democratisation of the internet. It will not be possible for any of the stakeholders to restrict the flow of information and, say, shut down the network simply because they own the hardware it runs on. It is therefore fair to say that the systems, networks and servers on which applications run and data is stored will be owned by the users.
Non-fungible tokens. These are a means for proving ownership of a digital or physical object. The ownership information is written into the NFT’s metadata and stored in the blockchain so it can’t be falsified.
The visual digital identity of an internet user which could be an image or a 3D model, typically used in computer games to represent a certain character.
Blockchain is a special type of distributed and decentralised ledger, or database, with growing lists of records. These are protected both externally and in the network users’ nodes against unauthorised tampering.
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and an open-source platform built on a decentralised database, i.e. blockchain. This protects it from unauthorised interference from outside and inside. It allows digital money to be transferred, but it can also run its own code and interact with applications deployed by other users. This flexibility makes it possible to run a wide variety of programs on Ethereum. The key feature is that developers can write and run code on a distributed network rather than on a centralised server. This means that, in theory, it can’t be shut down or censored.