In Monopoly-inspired EOS blockchain game Upland players own digital versions of real-world properties. Players can buy virtual property using in-game tokens, which in turn can also be earned inside the game itself. In addition this virtual real-estate platform will be gamified into something similar to the Monopoly board game. San Francisco-based startup Upland.me is making the game, which is build on the EOS blockchain.
The current closed beta testing phase is very limited in scope. Gamers are only capable of claiming building in San Francisco, and not in any other city. Upland is presented as a stylized overlay for Google Maps. Players can highlight buildings and other properties, while buying, selling and trading them on the EOS marketplace.
Gamers can buy virtual land and buildings using fiat money, while crypto payments will be added later. When you own a property you’ll earn UPX tokens. In the future gamers will be able to trade and sell these tokens for actual money.
“One of the problems with the current in-app purchase model is that players don’t really own or control their digital goods. They can’t sell or trade them, and those goods usually don’t live outside the games themselves. We offer a greater value proposition with true ownership that has benefits for both the players and the game publishers. Giving players control of their digital goods keeps them better engaged.”Co-founder Dirk Luethin – press release
Play-to-own at the core of Upland
The game embraces the ‘play-to-own’ concept, which is an evolution of the free-to-play system with its in-app purchases. With play-to-own gamers can become major players in the ecosystem by simply playing the game a lot. To increase their footprint onto the digital world, they can invest as well. In addition gamers can sell everything, once they are done with the game.
The play-to-own concept is something that comes with blockchain games in general. However, it depends on the projects whether gamers can actually own virtual goods just by playing it. Trading card game Gods Unchained uses a same system, which allows players to earn ‘basic cards’. When a player own two identical cards, they can be merged into a player-owned card on the blockchain.
Upland.me wants to gradually expand its program to include more cities. They also want to add challenges and reward players for purchasing themed sets of properties, for example all cinemas in a certain city. To further the development of the game, the blockchain startup received 2 million dollars in funding, led by FinLab EOS VC Fund. Now let’s see if Upland can make their real-world Monopoly game on the blockchain into a success story.
Upland release date
Upland will get an open beta test in December. The studio wants to release the game in 2020. Currently it only works via the web, even though native iOS and Android apps are in the works.
Also published on Medium.