Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based company advancing digital property rights for gaming and the metaverse, said Friday it has invested in and partnered with Untamed Planet, the gaming company inspired by nature with a mission to protect the wild, to develop and publish Untamed Metaverse, a major upcoming game to benefit nature conservation efforts.

Animoca Brands said in a statement that Untamed Planet has also completed a $24.3 million Series A funding led by Animoca Brands. Previously, Untamed Planet received seed funding from Afterpay Co-Founder Nick Molnar.

The new funding will support the development of Untamed Metaverse, an immersive metaverse experience in partnership with Animoca Brands and its subsidiary nWay.

Untamed Metaverse is a 3D immersive experience in which players will be able to explore a digital twin of the world’s most amazing wild landscapes, participate in quests, collect non-fungible token (NFT) assets, and form communities passionate about protecting nature, all of which will directly benefit nature conservation efforts in the real world.

Untamed Planet is digitizing the world’s most amazing wildlife ecosystems and creating fun, nature-based experiences through which engagement in the digital world directly benefits conservation in the real world. The company uses Web3 technology to build sustainable sources of donations for nature while providing play-to-earn and play-to-protect opportunities for Untamed Planet community members.

Untamed Planet’s primary conservation partner is WildArk, a registered non-profit organization that works with dozens of other organizations worldwide to support community-led conservation efforts and secure space for wildlife and biodiversity.

Untamed Planet is committed to environmental sustainability and to following best-practice technology and protocols in environmental and social impact. All blockchain projects undertaken by Untamed Planet, including Untamed Metaverse, will prioritize energy efficiency and sustainability.

The first NFT collection from Untamed Planet will be minted on Solana, a Proof of Stake (PoS) protocol with high energy efficiency. On average, one transaction on Solana uses less energy than three Google searches; minting an NFT on Solana uses less than a third of the energy of keeping a LED light on for one hour, and less than a quarter of the energy required to charge an iPhone 13.

A core element of Untamed Planet’s mission is its commitment to “50 percent profit share for nature”, whereby the company donates, invests, or distributes a minimum of half of each project’s profits to on the ground conservation initiatives and the local communities supporting them. Some projects within the Untamed Planet ecosystem allot over 50 percent and up to 100 percent of all proceeds to conservation.

Coined “play-to-protect”, this model was successfully tested in Untamed Planet’s first game, built on the Roblox platform, which has generated 30 million plays since launch in early 2021. Using the proceeds from in-game transactions, the game has already funded the adoption of a Black Rhino calf in Kenya and supported rangers protecting the Eastern Lowland Gorillas of Virunga National Park in Congo.

The first collaboration by Animoca Brands and Untamed Planet is an NFT collection of animal avatars based on the work of world-renowned photographer David Yarrow, who has donated six of his original wildlife photos. The NFTs will go on sale in May and all proceeds will be donated to wildlife conservation efforts. CNN recently profiled the work of David Yarrow.

“We are extremely proud to work with Untamed Planet to support a project that is both a good cause and an extremely promising open metaverse development. We look forward to advancing the ways in which technology can drive nature conservation,” said Yat Siu, the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands.

Scott Bandy, studio head of Untamed Planet, commented: “What excites me about the Untamed Planet mission is the opportunity to merge mainstream gaming with the new prospects that Web3 enables for digital ownership by players in order to drive real-world conservation – this project is epic. We couldn’t have hoped for better partners than Animoca Brands and nWay.”

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