Upland, a popular property trading metaverse connected to real-world geography and addresses, recently announced that it distributed over $13.5 million to players in December 2023 via their PayPal accounts.
The play-to-earn gaming metaverse lets players earn Upland’s in-game currency $UPX, which can then be converted to USD via PayPal. Players can earn in the game through strategic investments, creations, opening virtual businesses, and through gameplay. The payments were processed by Tilia, a payment platform dedicated to the GameFI industry.
The co-founder and co-CEO of Upland, Dirk Lueth, said that the platform has “built a thriving, immersive digital economy” with more than 3 million users. He added that the recent news shows “the strength” of Upland’s community and the “power of GameFi and true ownership.”
Some of Upland’s success can be attributed to major partnership deals over the past couple of years. In December 2022, Upland partnered with the Argentine Football Association (AFA)) to bring NFTs and virtual experiences to fans.
In November of the same year, Upland inked a multi-year deal with FIFA, the governing body of soccer. The deal kicked off with the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, where Upland created a virtual replica of the Lusail Stadium and hosted gamified experiences for fans. Furthermore, Upland has deals with UNICEF Brazil, the NFL Players’ Association, and Susan G. Komen — an organization in the U.S. dedicated to breast cancer research.
The Upland metaverse uses real-world geography that allows users to trade NFT-based real estate linked to real-world cities and addresses. Players earn through property ownership and by collecting groups of properties, not so different from the popular board game monopoly. Upland also has virtual stadiums to host sporting events in the metaverse.
Sports and Web3
Millions of dollars awarded to players of a rising metaverse game in just one month is a big deal, and further reveals the monetary benefits Web3 gaming can have for participants. But it also shows that virtual worlds can have a huge impact when they partner with sports leagues and organizations, as Upland has done quite successfully over the past two years.
Since the launch of NBA Top Shot in 2020, all sorts of sports teams, leagues, and even individual players have been bullish on Web3. There are several reasons for this, including that Web3 tech can be applied to things like collectible trading cards, ticketing, gaming, and metaverse events. Ultimately, it can enhance the overall fan experience.
Here are some of the biggest headlines from sports in Web3 over the past six months:
- December. J1 Japanese Soccer Team Uruwa Reds Enters Its NFT Era
- November. NHL Opens NFT Collectible Platform to Public
- September. ICC Takes Cricket Fans to Web3
- August. ICC Takes Cricket Fans to Web3
- August. Kraken, F1’s Williams Racing to Bring NFTs to Grand Prix
- July. NHL Debuts NFT Collectibles Platform ‘NHL Breakaway’
Upland’s distribution of over $13.5 million to players in December, coupled with its strategic partnerships in sports, underscore’s the platform’s success in building a robust digital economy. We’ll have to wait to see if Upland can continue to be a leading metaverse, but for now, the platform — and especially its users — have reason to celebrate.
For more on NFTs and Web3 in sports, check out our most recent article ‘How Are NFTs Revolutionizing Sports?’