Forj Exec AMA: The 2023 Roadmap

January 4th, 2023 — In 2022, Forj accomplished several significant achievements, including the launch of Metaprints, a platform for creating brand experiences across multiple metaverses, and the rebranding of Bondly to FORJ in partnership with Animoca Brands.

Forj also served as the official publisher and agency for The Sandbox, conducting a launchpad for Altava Group and launching the $TAVA token to NFT holders, which was one of the company’s most successful projects of the year. Forj also developed experiences for 16 brands inside The Sandbox, including Polygon, and served as the first launchpad for a AAA game with Animoca Brands’ Phantom Galaxies project.

Additionally, Forj launched Cryptosaurs in partnership with film producer Donald Kushner and his Gumbotron production team, and they plan to continue developing Cryptosaurs in the coming year.

Forj also created the first ever experiences for BAYC in The Sandbox Season 3, which was a huge success with over 165k visits and 45k unique players. Forj also launched the official mascots for Polygon called Polygon Pets, and ended the year with the submission of an AIP to Apecoin DAO, which received recognition from many community members and leaders in the space.

However, Web3 projects also faced challenges in the market in the past 8 months, with land prices and volume dropping over 90% and a decrease in job postings and token performance. One example in the Play 2 Earn space, Axie Infinity, saw a sales drop of over 90%, and Opensea Volume has also declined over the years.

Despite these challenges, Forj saw opportunities for increased brand adoption and innovation, with Animoca and Sandbox bringing more brands and celebrities into the metaverse, such as DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, and the Dubai government aiming to establish an HQ in The Sandbox. Celebrities like Gordon Ramsey, Warner Music Group, Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Steve Aoki, and Tony Hawk have also joined the metaverse.

Animoca Brands also became the Title Sponsor of MotoGP and Gucci adopted ApeCoin, indicating potential for further brand adoption in the coming year. Infrastructure development has also improved, with companies like Improbable introducing capabilities for over 20,000 users to play on their expansive metaverse. Forj’s Metaprints initiative also allows for the creation of experiences at scale.

Moving forward, one of the big things coming is the Ape Accelerator, a white-labeled launchpad to support Web3 IPs growth within the Yuga Labs ecosystem. This means that there will be a flow of new projects coming into the Ape Accelerator, where not only we will host the Apes Launchpad but also increase wider distribution for all other projects.

The Ape Accelerator will also be able to use $BONDLY tokens, and holders of these tokens will have priority access. This means that if you hold $BONDLY tokens, you will be given preferential treatment in terms of your ability to participate in the Ape Accelerator and access the resources it provides.

For 2023, Forj plans to focus on using their brand to reach mass audiences and onboard new users to the Web3 space by educating and automating processes to make it easier for people to enter the metaverse.

Forj will also prioritize scaling and expanding their existing projects and partnerships and exploring new opportunities in the NFT and blockchain spaces. Forj will also prioritize community building and engagement through events and social media. Finally, Forj plans to continue the development of Cryptosaurs and potentially launch new projects in the metaverse space.

Full AMA Transcript

Introduction: What were the 2022 highlights for Forj?

Harry: This year, lots of recognition and achievements were accomplished. First, we have the launch of Metaprints which is a platform to create brand experiences at scale across multiple metaverses. We became the official publisher and agency of The Sandbox, after building 3 official experiences.

After that, we conducted a Launchpad for Altava Group, the $TAVA token was launched and dropped to NFT holders. This was one of the most successful projects of the year.

The development of experiences inside The Sandbox was expanded to 16 brands, including Polygon.

Then, we served as the first launchpad for a AAA game in Animoca Brands, the Phantom Galaxies project. We have also rebranded Bondly to FORJ, in partnership with Animoca Brands. A new website was completed with a brand new visual identity.

Another important milestone was the launch of Cryptosaurs, in partnership with film’ producer Donald Kushner and his Gumbotron production team. And we will continue with the development of Cryptosaurs in the coming year. We also launched the first ever experience for BAYC in The Sandbox Season 3 called Monkeying Around. It was a huge success, with over 165,000 visits and 45,000 unique players. We also launched the official pet mascot collection for Polygon, called Polygon Pets. The 3 characters are a new addition to the PolkaPets collection, which intends to drive new audiences to PolkaPet World.

Finally, we are ending the year with an AIP submitted to Apecoin DAO for our Ape Accelerator, which got us recognition by many community members and leaders in the space. Those are the highlights of 2022, and we are looking forward to sharing more about what we are planning to do in the coming year!

Macro Environment: How is Forj dealing with the state of the market and the Web3 space?

Harry: It’s been a challenging time. In the last 8 months, land prices & volume dropped more than 90%. Also, we have observed a sharp decline in job postings and Token Performance.

One example in the Play 2 Earn space is Axie Infinity, which experienced a sales drop of more than 90%. Opensea Volume has also tumbled, over the year it has been declining.That comes with opportunities: increased brand adoption and innovation. Animoca and Sandbox are bringing more and more brands & celebrities to the metaverse.

One of these is DBS, the largest bank in Singapore, which recently became a partner of The Sandbox. We also have the Dubai government aiming to establish an HQ in The Sandbox.

As well as celebrities like Gordon Ramsey, Warner Music Group, Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Steve Aoki and Tony Hawk, to mention a few. Animoca Brands also recently became the Title Sponsor of MotoGP. Gucci adopted ApeCoin. So we see more adoption that is likely to come in for different brands in the coming year as well.

Other than brand adoption and innovation, infrastructure development has improved. Improbable, for example, has introduced us with OtherSide, and bring the capability of more than 20,000 users to play on its expansive Metaverse. Another good example of this is the Metaprints initiative that we have, which gives us the opportunity of creating experiences at scale.

Marketing: How are we approaching brand & marketing for 2023?

Chas: There are a lot of exciting things to look at going forward in 2023, when it comes to using that brand to reach mass audiences. Ultimately, one of the things that gets ignored in Web3 is the importance of brand in regards to onboarding new users. Because Web3 is often seen by “ordinary people” as hard to understand, access, and very difficult to navigate, it can be a scary place. So the Forj brand is here to try and increase that level of acceptance of Web3 technologies. To simplify things for “ordinary people”, and our brand is what makes us different.

During 2023 we are going to be focusing on brand-building activities to reinforce our credentials to those audiences. To brands looking to enter the Web3 space and also creators, musicians, film studios and businesses that are looking to use Web3 technologies to better engage with fans. For Forj, it’s all about blurring the lines between fan and creator. We have a number of ways of doing that with our technologies, obviously through our Metaverse activations, through NFT activations, and our other Web3 technologies.

One of the first things we are very excited about, through Tom, who works in our team as the Head of Content, is a new Podcast series, called “You, Me & Web3” launching very early on in 2023. We’ve got some very incredible guests lined up. This is going to be an ongoing series, where we tackle some of the big questions in Web3, but we kind of break down the subjects in a way that’s a lot more relatable. So Tom, will be the first to tell you, he’s not an expert in all things Web3 and he wants to learn with these guests, so it is a great opportunity for you to learn with him. That’s coming very soon, and it will be a way of reaching audiences and making sure they understand more about Web3 technologies.

In terms of media, we obviously value the importance of getting our name out there in the mainstream press. We’ve been privileged to be featured in some really large publications, including TechCrunch, City A.M., where we wrote an article about the importance of building a brand in the Metaverse, and recently, Cryptosaurs, a web3 brand with the film producer Donald Kushner and the Gumbotron team, was featured in Variety magazine. An incredible opportunity there to gain exposure to mass audiences. Building is the most important thing, but we also want to position ourselves to audiences and make sure we are at the forefront of thought leadership in the space. Because we have some of the best experts in the world working for Forj, and it’s a great opportunity to get those people out there. And of course Harry is doing a great job being a regular guest on Binance Live, and getting a huge audience over to us, especially around Animoca Brands and YugaLabs, that’s been really important and something we’re going to really focus on going into 2023.

We also want to focus on research and part of that is thought leadership, making sure we are at the forefront of not only breaking news, but also Forj Flash updates and commentary on news and things going on that are industry-related. Web3 is an ever changing space, there are a lot of things going on, and it’s important being on top of that.

Forj Research is our research arm, which is where we do a number of different reports based on important subjects on the wider sector. A really popular report was Web3 adoption, for example. Educating audiences with cutting edge insights and making sure we are positioned at the forefront of this. Because after all, it is thought leadership that helps drive mass adoption. From a commercial perspective, positioning ourselves as thought leaders is how we onboard new clients and new audiences to our products.

BCCG: What’s to expect from the BCCG in the next year?

Chas: The BCCG (Bondly Collectible Card Game) was our first NFT collection. Which was, when it launched, one of the first instances of NFTs with utility, something we are extremely proud of. Having now become Forj, as the brand evolves so must our BCCG brand. As for the future of BCCG, we will be evolving the format by splitting the BCCG in two.

So that we can have a single utility launchpad pass and also a new revamped VIP membership pass which we will design with the look and feel of Forj. The reason for the split of these utilities is to make it simple to onboard new audiences into our launchpad and ecosystem.

It’s really important that we think about the audiences who won’t understand the BCCG ecosystem, who won’t understand the difference between an Official BCCG card versus a promotional one. For that reason, it makes sense to allow people to come and take part of our launchpad using a simple pass. We have designs for those and we have a plan for this.

More details will be announced early in the new year. All benefits related to the BCCG cards will be retained, but transferred to a different vehicle.

Whenever you trade in your BCCG, you won’t be losing any of the benefits, but instead be given an equivalent VIP pass, which will be revealed in the near future as well. There will be community engagement events, led by the Community Team, where people will have the opportunity to learn all about what this means and of course they’ll be given their VIP passes with all the utilities as well.

Governancet: How will the community be involved in governance?

Chas: As we go forward, we want to try and make it easier for our community to be involved in governance. Something that we are working hard on is a governance structure. There will be more details on this coming up, but just to be aware: your Bondly tokens, as well as the new iteration of your BCCG passes will contribute to your ability to vote on key initiatives for Forj.

More details on this will come early in the new year.

Product Roadmap: What is the current product roadmap?

Rob: There are three key areas to our product: Audience Aggregation, Distribution and Tools & Solutions. Audience Aggregation is much like what Chas has mentioned earlier, leadership activities such as Forj Research, our new Podcast “You, Me & Web3” and PETS, where we actually go to different communities and engage with those community members. Distribution is the launchpad itself. It’s basically when we align these communities with projects and products that we are representing. Either that we have created internally or we’re working with our partners.

Tools & Solutions are the building blocks that can be rearranged and combined to create ambient solutions for Web2 companies entering Web3 or if, for example, Animoca wants to launch new things. Extending the capability of Launchpad to create a decentralized white-label platform for leading IPs and communities. And we are doing this starting with BAYC, we currently have an AIP in front of them right now and hopefully we’ll be hearing news shortly, in the new year.

Once we proven this decentralized launchpad approach, we are going to extend it to other communities. Perhaps CoolCats and other ones that are listed below.

Rob: So that’s going to be a bit of the focus in Q1 of 2023, and tying to these communities are tech modules. So as we launch new projects we also want to be able to offer these projects on the platform the additional services we have in tech modules.

Terrence: Looking at Forj’s current technologies, we decided to do what comes from a modular approach. That modular approach emphasizes separating the functionality of our technology into independent interchangeable modules. Think of it like Lego building blocks, so depending on what the customer needs, we’ll have the building blocks to put together in whatever fashion the customer would need it. We are working on NFT solutions like NFT minting, token staking and launchpads. We are also working on a piece of modular technology that will allow us to have smart contract automated deployment and automated token distribution.

We’ll expand our offering to ERC-721, 721A, Soulbound tokens, Nested NFTs, EIP-3664 and so on. We are also looking at building out a micro-marketplace to offer to the clients. These marketplace solutions are for Web2, GameFi, supporting utility and gaming NFTs. We are also looking at Web3 identity and how to provide that in a better fashion. That’s to empower Web2 and Web3 brands with Web3 identity with interoperable mascot creation and activation, while solving the problem of fragmented identity by creating a means of decentralized identity aggregation and actually protect that linked identity, while preserving the sovereignty of those identities.

We are also focusing on fiat on-ramps. Today, in order to buy an NFT you have to take your fiat, turn it into crypto and then buy the NFT. We are looking for a means where we could do a straight Fiat to NFT purchase and create non-custodial wallets using email addresses for Web2 fans.

Terrence: Metaprints provides picks and shovels for game and metaverse builders and it’s creating brand guide standards. We’re looking to help studios develop content, to see content for brands in Sandbox, Bitcountry and Otherside. We are also working on universal metaverse identity, ensuring that each metaverse has its own engine standards and guidelines while also creating the default blueprints between top metaverses to speed brand adoption. We’re also working to build metaverse communities in order to gain cross audience exposure.

2023 Roadmap : What is the 2023 Roadmap and Token Roadmap?

Terrence: Right now we have the Animoca launchpad, and we are going to continue to support the launch of Animoca projects throughout the year. We are also doing educational reports to empower builders with wide distribution and share insights to foster ecosystem partnerships and ticket sales for gated metaverse experiences.

So what’s new in 2023? Ape Accelerator, a white-labeled launchpad to support Web3 IPs growth within the Yuga Labs ecosystem. We also have Mocaverse coming, and we want to empower mocaverse collections with utility from metaverse experiences to launchpads.

Another exciting thing we have coming in the new year is Cryptosaurs, which is actually a PFP and decentralized Hollywood franchise.

In 2023, we will be launching our white-labeled curated micro-marketplace which will serve for several Animoca portfolio projects. Governance will be coming as well. We’re going to set up a treasury and education and creative decisions using native tokens. We also have consultancy, we advise Animoca Brands portfolio companies on products, distribution and fundraising.

Harry: As for the roadmap for our two tokens, one being the Forj Token ($BONDLY) and the other one being PolkaPet Tokens ($PETS). For Forj ($BONDLY) Token, we will increase adoption through Ape launchpads.

This means that there will be a flow of new projects coming into the Ape Accelerator, where not only we will host the Apes Launchpad but also increase wider distribution for the other projects.

In this case, the $BONDLY tokens will be used, and the holders will get priority access. And as we advise companies that work with us, partial revenue of said activity will go into token buyback.

Finally, we will exercise a governance token model. Based, for example, on reports that have been in the making with Forj Research. We intend on getting the community to vote on important decisions in order to garner more confidence on-chain.

Moving on to PolkaPets, we are waiting for the Sandbox to be fully opened where we can create experiences and sell tickets. After Sandbox is officially launched, likely in 2023, then we’ll be able to have ticket sales and then conduct token buybacks from the sales of tickets.

Overall, 2023 is going to be an exciting year for us. Where we’re going to do more with both of our tokens and we look forward to sharing more about how these models will be introduced.

About Forj

A subsidiary of Animoca Brands, Forj delivers leading Web3 products and technologies that create unique fan experiences for creators. A truly end-to-end solution, Forj is the next frontier of fan engagement through its use of NFTs, metaverse protocols, and blockchain tech to bring fans closer to their favorite creator brands in Music, Entertainment, Gaming and beyond. With major partnerships including influencer Logan Paul, Grammy-nominated musician Lewis Capaldi, and leading creator platform Spring, Forj has an enviable track-record of success in the sector.

Forj-owned brands include metaverse infrastructure project Metaprints and leading GameFi project PolkaPets.

Website | Twitter | Telegram | Medium| Discord

About PolkaPet World

PolkaPet World is an NFT project created by Bondly in partnership with some of the biggest names in the Polkadot ecosystem. Each PolkaPet is embodied as an artistic creature that represents a specific Polkadot project.

All PolkaPets hold unique project-specific utility to reward community members for holding their PolkaPet NFTs in their wallets. The utility can be a discount on fees, an airdrop of tokens to PolkaPet cardholders, or various other utilities.

The $PETS token is the utility token used to engage with PolkaPet World products and services, as well as allowing governance rights and access to exclusive sales.

Polkapet.world | Twitter | Telegram | Discord

About Metaprints

Metaprints is the gateway for brands to accelerate their presence in numerous metaverse ecosystems in one simple step. Backed by Animoca Brands, Metaprints has a unique network of the biggest metaverse projects in the space that allows them to facilitate the creation and curation of branded assets across multiple platforms through one partnership.

Metaprint NFTs are branded asset ‘blueprints’ sold to buyers to facilitate the creation of the 3D assets required in the metaverse platforms by some of the best animation specialists. Creators and brands also receive a share of future revenue for assets created, ensuring everyone through the chain benefits from the model.

The Metaprints INO, featuring ‘Genesis’ metaprints for 10 well-known brands, will be taking place in December 2021. Follow the project community channels for more information.

Website | Twitter | Telegram | Discord

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