Publishing giant Shogakukan held an online press conference on June 30, 2022, announcing that it will be making a full-scale entry into the metaverse as part of its 100th anniversary celebration.
The virtual reality space is named S-PACE, and it is scheduled to be opened for public in August 2022. The metaverse will feature facilities from popular content of Shogakukan. It will also allow users to create their own avatar and meet and interact with their favorite characters, including Detective Conan.
S-PACE will be available free of charge to users. However, special content in the metaverse, like attending live performances by artists etc., will be chargeable.
A special concept video for S-PACE and the official website of the metaverse were also revealed in the press conference.
At the press conference, Shogakukan president Nobuhiro Aiga said that the publishing giant is aiming to connect more with its readers. He added that Shogakukan is up for the challenge that comes with creating the metaverse.
“These days, we can imagine a world with new possibilities. We believe in the possibilities, have high expectations, and want to have fun. We would like to connect with our readers more extensively than ever before, and we are up for the challenge,” he said.
“This is a concept that we will take on with a zero mindset. In this shift from paper to the Web and digital media, we are focusing on the idea of making places into media,” he added.
Aiga also created an avatar of his own and gave an explanation about the space in the press conference.
Shogakukan Inc. is a Japanese publisher of dictionaries, literature, comics (manga), non-fiction, DVDs, and other media in Japan. Shogakukan founded Shueisha, which also founded Hakusensha. These are three separate companies, but are together called the Hitotsubashi Group, one of the largest publishing groups in Japan.