Project Mellow uses machine learning, quizzes to interact with the audience
In November, the US$130 million Gundam Metaverse project launched the “Project Mellow” AI character. As an apprentice clerk of the Metaverse’s merchandise department, her goal is to promote the Metaverse by streaming Gundam-related quizzes on BANDAI SPIRITS‘ YouTube channel.
Mellow is currently using machine learning to interact with the audience. Viewers are encouraged to respond to input numbers in the livestream chats to answer her questions. The idea is that the more people participate in her streams, the more sophisticated Mellow will become. The quiz questions and Mellow’s lines are delivered in Japanese, with English translations.
On Friday, the Metaverse project announced a new slate of streams for December and unveiled a key visual (pictured top-right). Project Mellow’s Twitter account has also launched a Twitter campaign giving away RX-78-2 Gundam Gunpla trial kits to three lucky participants in Japan.
The Metaverse platform will be a “fusion” between physical and digital services. Users will be able to purchase Gunpla 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. An Esports colony will launch in 2022 focusing on the Gundam Evolution and Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 free-to-play action games. The colonies will be connected through a space hub called “SIDE-G.”
Test runs of a VR Gunpla store were held in 2021 at The Gundam Base. An official “The Gundam Base Gunpla Colony Store” virtual space will have its test opening in the fall before launching in 2023. The company aims to operate a large-scale Metaverse by 2025.
According to Gundam business supervisor Kо̄ji Fujiwara, the details are still being worked out, including whether the Metaverse will be accessed through a smartphone or PC. Feedback from fans will be taken into account during the testing phase. The company also hopes to incorporate fan creations and connectivity with other companies beyond the Bandai Namco group into the Metaverse.
Nikkei Asia reported that the Metaverse project will create a database to consolidate and share customer data between Bandai Namco companies.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. (Sunrise) is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.