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Scuti, which operates a rewards-based gamers’ marketplace as well as its first network game, has partnered with Atom Universe to provide a “metaverse as a service” to all brands.
New York-based Scuti refers to its business with gamers as Commerce, and it enables them to earn rewards directly in the games that host its store. In Scuti’s marketplace, players can purchase products directly from within their games using the Scuti marketplace, and they can earn rewards for every purchase. They can then use those rewards to get game items, said Nicholas Longano, CEO of Scuti, in an interview with GamesBeat.
The partnerships brings Scuti’s store together with Atom Universe’s metaverse technology, which enables brands to create online presences — dubbed metaverse as a service — within a month or so. Scuti gets the store up and running and the brands can start luring gamers and other people to the metaverse.
How it works
Scuti allows game players to purchase products directly from inside video games, and shoppers are rewarded for every purchase. Players can now earn rewards across multiple games via Scuti$, a rewards system designed to operate across all games and devices. Players exchange their brand-fueled Scuti$ rewards for native game currency, in-game purchases, nonfungible tokens (NFT)-based items (powered by Epik), donations to charity, or physical products and services available through the Scuti Marketplace.
Longano said this means that brands can play a leading role in metaverse adoption and audience engagement. And they can get immediate returns by selling directly to consumers through the Scuti Marketplace. And players get to engage directly with their favorite brands in a virtual space.
Atom Universe launched as the leading metaverse experience on PlayStation and is currently expanding to mobile devices — offering brands greater reach and lead-in engagement with the mobile gaming audience. Atom Universe offers experiences, like letting comics fans visit the Valiant concept store and purchase limited edition comics.
It also lets painting aficionados can visit the Banksy museum and “bring home” paintings for the walls of their virtual homes. Unlike traditional digital banner ads, video games and the metaverse allow players to interact with brands organically, through a memorable and compelling experience that are guaranteed to bring greater loyalty, satisfaction, and conversion, Longano said.
Using the Unreal game engine, Atom Universe now offers brands this new turnkey service, providing brands with their own dedicated, white labelled metaverse, combined with Scuti driving gCommerce and loyalty programs through its rewards marketplace.
Jérôme Dewavrin, CEO of Atom Universe said in a statement, “Brands can finally offer their customers the best of both worlds.”
When players launch the Scuti Marketplace within their metaverse experience, Scuti delivers curated products and NFTs based on their shopping profiles and preferences, bringing players relevant and compelling product suggestions. Players earn and redeem Scuti$ across all games and metaverse experiences, which is the first truly interoperable digital wallet. Brands can now take credit and build greater affinity as they improve players’ video game and metaverse experiences with each Scuti sale.
Scuti and Atom Universe will begin engaging leading brands at the Brand Innovators event during SXSW.
Scuti’s founders believe that monetization is broken in games, as they say it annoys gamers. The popular forms of monetization in games today will slow players down by forcing them to grind. It puts paywalls in front of them, makes them watch video ads they don’t care about, or fools them into buying goods that don’t really have much value.
“Players can buy other real world goods, but they can also find that merchandise as well from particular fans,” he said. “It’s not just about the in-app purchases [of digital items] they can make in the game. But now they can actually sell real world goods, whether it’s the merchandise for that particular artist, or a or anybody else’s goods as well.”
Rewards in games have around for a while, but sometimes they’re just a gimmick, Longano said.
“Sometimes you can make a few cents after playing game for a long time,” he said. “We’re talking about more meaningful rewards.”
Longano said the company has signed up a number of game developer partners who are embedding Scuti in their games. Companies like Below Games have tried it out in hopes of getting rid of annoying ads in their games.
Scuti said companies have to embed a button and then it does the rest. It runs the store, purchasing, supply chain management, fulfillment, data, analytics, upselling, merchandising, promotions, and more. Players can hit the Scuti button and spend what they earn in-game on real-world merchandise, like a pair of shoes. Scuti shows them the stuff that the people say they like. And the rewards can be substantial, Longano said.
Scuti creates a button in a corner of the game lobby or main menu, and it is passive, so that it doesn’t consume resources during gameplay. Players must opt-in to access the store and rewards, which it’s dubbed “Scutis.” The gamer can shop and stay inside the game’s lobby or main menu while doing so. The ads within the store are compliant with the Internet Advertising Bureau.