A glitch in the system?
Bandai Namco Entertainment announced on Wednesday that it has temporarily suspended client file downloads for its Gundam Metaverse project. The company did not provide more details beyond stating that it will reveal on its website when downloads will resume.
This suspension follows online reports that the client file download includes unsecured and unencrypted 3D data of Gundam plastic models.
Update: Bandai Namco confirmed on Friday that it is conducting an investigation following “reports that the 3D data within the client files has been publicly disclosed.” The company stated that it will take “necessary measures to address the situation.”
The previously announced “Gunpla Colony” beta test for the project launched in early access for limited participants in the United States and Japan on October 6, and general access began on October 11. General access is currently scheduled until October 23. A full launch is slated for spring 2024, and the company aims to operate a large-scale Metaverse by 2025. The Metaverse features the new A.I. character Mellow, who guides users within the virtual space.
Bandai Namco Holdings invested about 15 billion yen (approximately US$130 million) into the Gundam-themed Metaverse. The Metaverse platform is a “fusion” between physical and digital services. Users can purchase Gunpla (Gundam plastic models) through the platform, as well as upload images of their Gunpla and data. Players can use this data to interact and “battle” other players.
The platform integrates categories of the Gundam IP, such as toys, anime, music, and games, as virtual “Colonies,” each offering its own services. For instance, Esports colony focuses on the Gundam Evolution and Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 free-to-play action games. The colonies are connected through a space hub called “SIDE-G.”
Gundam Build Metaverse, Bandai Namco Entertainment‘s three-episode 10th anniversary anime for the Gundam Build franchise, streamed on the Gundam franchise‘s official YouTube channel and on Gundam.info‘s YouTube channel on October 6. The new story of the Gundam Build Metaverse anime is set in an online metaverse space where users can use avatars to move around and interact with other users, including conducting Gunpla battles with them.
Update: Updated information from Bandai Namco. Source: Gundam Metaverse project’s website
Source: Gundam Metaverse project’s website
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. (Sunrise) is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.