Transmedia startup Voltaku announced the acquisition of Vodcasto, an app that will enable anime super fans (otaku) to puppeteer and livestream avatars from their animated cyberpunk series, Killtopia. This brings Voltaku one step closer to their goal of marrying long-form content, interactive avatars, IP-driven NFTs, and digital goods into a mix that lets fans take an active role in the studio’s living stories.
Voltaku CEO and co-founder Charles Borland said, “The otaku market is not only underserved, but it’s also highly interactive. As the metaverse and Web3 develop, we can create and monetize experiences that otaku wants to engage in, completely outside the Hollywood system. Connecting Vodcasto to our Killtopia community is an important step towards realizing this mission, but it won’t be the last. Other tools are on the way!”
Leading this effort is Vodcasto’s inventor (and new Voltaku CTO), Sally Slade. A proven XR content creator and battle-hardened VFX TD, Slade has been working on immersive spaces for years at Magnopus, where she served as the User Experience Lead behind the award-winning virtual production system used to create Disney’s The Lion King, as well as titles for iOS, Oculus, HoloLens, and Magic Leap.
Via her new interactive division, Slade will head up Voltaku’s Web3 efforts and Metaverse applications, including the design/implementation of avatar-heavy NFT strategies that will delight otaku and work seamlessly with real-time chat applications, VR platforms, and virtual production workflows.
While Voltaku has already optioned/conceptualized multiple IPs, their first major project is Killtopia. Currently in production, Killtopia is based on the award-winning, indie graphic novel series created by Dave Cook and Craig Paton. Described as “Blade Runner meets Battle Royale for the Fortnite generation,” Killtopia follows a bounty hunter and his robot sidekick through a futuristic megacity as they fight brutal thugs, augmented mercenaries and android assassins in a race to save the bounty hunter’s sister — and the world — from a deadly nano plague.
To promote interactivity, Slade’s division is developing a generative NFT tie-in that gives otaku access to the citizens of Killtopia. Not just random assets, these character-based NFTs actually appear in the show. Once purchased, fans can use their character any way they wish — as a Metaverse-ready avatar, a VTube host, or mechanism for personal creativity — giving them a more immersive way to engage with the series. This approach will then expand into Voltaku’s other productions so that a community of avatars can appear throughout various story worlds and universes.
Slade said, “This is the future of media. Soon, you won’t just passively watch your favourite films and TV shows. You’ll interact with them across a variety of mediums and devices, as stories unfurl and adapt with the aid of user engagement. The possibilities are endless, and we mean to explore them in the most interesting way possible.”