Is augmented reality decentralizing entertainment? AR gadgets are becoming more accessible, and brands are starting to use the technology to elevate the conventional movie-watching experience with interactive games and add-ons.

An augmented-reality character resembling a human-like figure with blue hair and purple tinted glasses wearing a blue puffer jacket, purple pants and purple boots standing next to a pool.
The R3al Metaverse, courtesy of Twitter.

“Marvel World of Heroes,” a new AR mobile game, was announced in early September by the Disney franchise and is set to release next year. Players can download the game to their devices to create their own superheroes and fight Marvel villains alongside friends and in-game characters. Similar to “Pokémon Go,” physical settings and locations will be incorporated into the game for players to find and complete tasks, gather equipment and level-up abilities.

EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson expressed interest in expanding player-creation tools, leaning into the gaming-giant’s 20% gamer-created content, which 50% of its player-base uses, according to Wilson. Wilson stated that the company plans to “lean more into really engaging and investing in creation” at a Goldman Sachs conference in September. He went on to say that EA has a “very, very unique and special opportunity to deliver the future of entertainment.”

Disney released its first AR-enabled short film in September as well. Remembering, produced by and starring Brie Larson, is an eight-minute-long movie that viewers can scan on their iOS devices to watch an extended version of on their small screens. The movie’s message seemingly reflects the potential of AR in film and entertainment: themes of creativity, imagination, and originality resonate throughout the film. Disney told TechCrunch that while Disney has created numerous AR experiences in the past, this is the first AR app to connect directly to content on the Disney+ platform, testing AR’s ability to enhance films and storytelling, even from the comfort of home.

A poster for The R3al Metaverse that reads: "The R3al Metaverse, Hollywood, Episode 6, It's Claudine, Damnit!" Four characters pose below the text.
The R3al Metaverse, courtesy of Twitter.

Conversely, metaverse NFT projects Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, World of Women and Cool Cat created their own scripted reality show, starring characters from their respective NFT collections. “The R3al Metaverse” is an interactive series where the characters find themselves in the physical world, and fans will have the opportunity to shape the show’s content. An “NFT producer pass” will allow viewers to contribute to the show’s content, and avatar owners from the featured projects may have the chance to appear as their own characters in the show as well.

Film, gaming, and immersive platforms in the metaverse are growing and evolving as technology progresses and improves. Could this be the beginning of a truly interactive future of entertainment?

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