July 28, 2022 – VIVERSE, the HTC metaverse platform, has this week announced that it has partnered with pixiv Inc., which operates pixiv, a Japanese online community for artists. The alliance will bring Japanese anime-style avatars to VIVERSE by integrating pixiv’s 3D character modeling software ‘VRoid Studio’ with the VIVERSE platform to offer users more options to express themselves creatively in the metaverse.
According to the companies, the first task of the partnership between VIVERSE and pixiv will be to connect the data on their respective systems. VRoid users will be able to use their original Avatar models on the VIVERSE platform. With respect to long-term goals, both VIVERSE and pixiv will work together to provide users with more customized and flexible creation features and to optimize the avatar tools and accessories for VIVERSE. In addition to the existing Avatar functions, VIVERSE will also bring more services through partnerships to provide more customized services following the needs of corporations.
As a Japan-based social platform, pixiv offers creators across the globe a place to share their illustrations, manga, and novels and interact with each other. In response to the growing demands for virtual content, pixiv launched VRoid in 2018. With VRoid Studio, the company’s 3D virtual character modeling software, users can customize their virtual characters’ hairstyles, faces, bodies, clothes, etc. More than ten thousand avatars are created through VRoid every day worldwide, according to the company.
“Avatars are an essential part of the metaverse. They represent a user’s persona and swiftly convey the idea of ‘who I am’ to others,” said Joseph Lin, President of VIVERSE. “The partnership with pixiv will rapidly increase the number of virtual characters on VIVERSE and meet the needs of users who prefer anime and manga styles. VIVERSE will continue to introduce more unique characters and accessories in the future.”
Also commenting on the partnership was Shingo Kunieda, President and CEO of pixiv, who said: “We believe integrating VRoid Avatar with the VIVERSE system is excellent news for VRoid users.” Kunieda added, “90 percent of VRoid Studio users are from different countries outside Japan. We will continue working with VIVERSE to build a world where people from all over the world can enjoy communication through 3D Avatar.”
pixiv co-founded the VRM Consortium with 13 Japanese companies. The organization aims to spread the platform-independent 3D avatar file format VRM and formulate a unified standard. HTC has also announced support for the VRM standard since the launch of VIVERSE. Currently, both VRM Consortium and HTC are principal members of the Metaverse Standards Forum, dedicated to achieving open metaverse interoperability.
Image credit: VIVERSE / pixiv
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.