Today I sat down with Ondřej Dobruský, the CEO and Co-Founder of Victoria VR.
Victoria VR is building the world’s first, fully-immersive metaverse. The Ethereum-based ecosystem leverages the powerful Unreal Engine to offer high-fidelity graphics and an AAA-grade user experience. So without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Q1. Hello and welcome. Please give our audience a brief introduction about yourself and your experience in the blockchain industry.
Hello, it is my pleasure to be here. I am Ondřej Dobruský, the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Victoria VR. After working in the IT industry in various capacities for over nine years, I’m now dedicated entirely to propelling the world of Web3.
My colleague and I started Victoria VR as a blockchain venture in 2018. We are super blockchain enthusiasts and share the vision of creating a virtual world that prioritizes transparency and encourages boundless creative imagination. And that’s what we are trying to achieve with Victoria VR.
Q2. What do you think will be some of the biggest trends in Web3 tech that we can look forward to in 2023?
I think the primary element to boost the Web3 revolution is NFTs. They will be the foundation building blocks for brands and creators to connect with their audience. Secondly, one of the tipping points toward mass adoption of Web3 would be Blockchain-as-a-Service or BaaS, as it’s commonly known. This simplifies and streamlines the development of dApps on Web3 and allows them to carry on with business processes.
I also see Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality featuring among the main factors accelerating Web3’s evolution. And that is the premise on which we are building the Victoria VR metaverse.
From use cases across virtual real estate, designing home appliances, and trying on fashion accessories and clothes, AR/VR will be omnipresent.
Q3. How do you think these trends will shape eCommerce? Do you see a convergence of the Metaverse and eCommerce? How do you see the metaverse reshaping human experiences and replacing physical interaction settings?
The metaverse is already disrupting eCommerce. Everything from home furnishings, cosmetics, footwear, and fashion will soon be present in the metaverse. eCommerce is currently at a ‘Try-And-Buy’ phase. It will slowly evolve to an ‘Experience-And-Buy’ economy where users can virtually experience the product and be fully confident in it before purchasing.
Retail brands like Gucci, Nike, Burberry, and Balenciaga have also moved into the metaverse with more brands following suit. These brands are betting big on these trends to curate unique and creative social experiences that ultimately broaden their customer base.
I see the metaverse as a place where one could have leisure time, interact with their friends, and even have their professional lives online. But I do not see it fully replacing physical interaction settings. Think of the metaverse as an upgraded version of Facebook or Instagram , one where Immersion is front and center.
Q4. What role do you envision NFTs would take up in what you describe as the “next wave of evolution of eCommerce”?
Our daily interactions on the metaverse will be unique and dynamic. And NFTs are key for brands to provide an authentic digital experience. By letting users buy and collect digital items, NFTs will be the lifeblood of the metaverse economy. They can potentially disrupt everything from a person’s identity in the form of digital alter ego or avatars to community participation (DAO) and socialization.
One of the innovative ways in which NFTs and the metaverse commerce would converge is in digital fashion, which is already gathering momentum from users and brands. But the trend is not just limited to fashion. Sotheby’s real estate firms are already dealing in the metaverse offering customized NFT homes, as we are doing with VR Lands.
Q5. There have been accounts of a price bubble in the value of virtual land. Do you agree with this?
NFTs and NFTs Lands in particular have seen exponential growth in such a short amount of time and therefore it is expected for them to reach a peak at some point. Did they already reach it? It’s anybody’s guess.
But for me, once the dust settles or the bubble bursts, the real differentiator and value indicator will be the utility these NFTs Lands will provide to their owners and users. If their existence is intertwined with the metaverse they belong to, from an economical standpoint for example, then their value will grow with the ecosystem. In our case, for example, VR Lands have different bonuses depending on their Tier (1 to 6) and location and they generate resources that are needed to build the user generated content that Victoria VR allows. So, it would make sense that as our Metaverse grows, the value of these lands increase.
Q6. What’s next for VR Lands and its trajectory for growth?
We are striking up partnerships with tech companies and other metaverse projects. We have finished our community presale and airdrops for VR Lands. After wrapping up our Alpha version, we are gearing up for the big launch. You can sign up and follow our social media handles to get updates on the latest developments from Victoria VR.
Q7. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to pursue a career in the AR-VR industry?
The AR/VR field has been around for some time but now it started to get the recognition it deserves. Similar to Gaming, AR/VR touches a lot of different disciplines like Programming, Design, Technical Art, Marketing, etc. so as a person wanting to make their career in this domain, I would try to understand if your skillset match any of these disciplines first.
And if you are more of the techy type, I would recommend getting familiar with softwares involved in VR development; Unreal Engine and Blender, especially as you can get training for free through their Academy.
At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding your motivations and asking yourself the question: Why AR/VR? What makes you really want to be in this industry rather than another?