Magazine SWITCH Interview “The future of the digital world pioneered by web3 services”
※This article is machine translated.
Cocone has produced a number of popular application services, including “Pokecolo” and “Livly Island”.
In 2022, they will focus on web3 as a new initiative, and have announced four services and a blockchain network called “MOOI Network” to support them. We interviewed them about their vision of a “digital world that is uniquely Cocone’s.
The future of the digital world pioneered by web3 services
Shintaro Takaya x Hunje Cho x Yosuke Tomita x Takafumi Arai
In 2012, Cocone launched four web3 services: “Meta Livly”, “PKCL Twins”, “JAKNEN”, and “ClawKiss”. Cocone has created a service that allows users to “Play” through the existence and “Coordinate” of “Characters”. As a provider of ” services that allow users to enjoy decorating digital items, Cocone has taken on a major challenge in opening the door to a new world while maintaining the appeal of ” existing services. The company’s representative, Mr. Takaya, is a member of the Cocone team. We asked Shintaro Takaya, CEO of Cocone, and the leaders of each service about the future of the digital world that Cocone is opening up.
Making the digital world more attractive
– First of all, could you introduce yourself and give us an overview of the projects you are working on?
Takaya: My name is Takaya and I am the representative of Cocone. Since last year, the entire Cocone Group has been focusing on the development of three web services with avatar application elements, which is our specialty. I would like to talk about our efforts this time.
Tomita: I am the producer of a web3 service called “ClawKiss”. We are currently working on four projects, but at the root of all of them are our own ideas and hypotheses about web3.
– What exactly is the “hypothesis”?
Tomita: We are not working on web3 because it is popular. We believe that web3 is a technology that makes the digital world more powerful and accessible, which we have been dealing with for more than 10 years.
We do not consider our work to be “just the operation of avatar services. We believe that we are creating a “digital world,” another world where everyone can be themselves and spend their time in a wonderful way. Customers not only take care of their avatars and virtual rooms, but they also appreciate the brand value and attachment to their digital items, just as they do in the real world. We have seen that just as sneakers in the real world have a premium, items in the digital world have a definite price tag. Our hypothesis is that web3 brings more power to the digital world. It will strengthen the asset nature of digital items, create a new economy, and make more people happier. This is the philosophy that flows through the premise of web3 at Cocone, even though the direction of each service is different.
– What is the “ClawKiss” application?
Tomita: This is a CCP service where you live as a vampire. It is a challenge to a digital world with a world view. You can dress up your partner who provides blood to vampires and enjoy communication with other customers. You can also sell the coordinates you have changed in the application as NFT.
– Why did you choose a vampire as the main character?
Tomita: I predict that the needs for the digital world and the importance of avatars will continue to increase. To meet this need, we would like to offer a variety of worlds and ways of life. This work is a proposal for another way of life, a place to live, called the vampire world. Vampires are a minority in the sense that ” have the appearance of ” but have different habits from other people. We hope to create a comfortable digital world for those who feel uncomfortable living in a society where “normal” is expected.
Challenging new genres
– What about Mr. Arai, who is in charge of “JANKEN”?
Arai: I moved to Cocone the year before last and am currently in charge of a web3 service called “JANKEN. I heard that Cocone was going to expand into the digital world in earnest, and I was strongly attracted to the company, so I changed jobs. When I first joined the company, I was the business manager for one of Cocone’s existing app services, and since last year I have been in charge of “JANKEN,” one of the three web services. Since this was the first time for Cocone to challenge web3 services, I started by researching what web3 services are, what is popular in the world, and what kind of trends are coming.
– What kind of service is “JANKEN”?
Arai: “JANKEN” is based on the “Play & Earn” game experience that has become a major trend on the web3. The application has a strong element of entertainment with an economic aspect, as you earn JGT tokens when you play “rock-paper-scissors” and win. The “Play & Earn” genre is an unavoidable field for a web3 challenge, and it was a challenging project for both myself and the company.
– What made you choose the simple game of “rock, paper, scissors” as your theme?
Arai: In order to convey the “Play & Earn” value of earning crypto assets by playing games to customers in the shortest possible time, we thought it was important to simplify the gameplay and make it easy to understand without explaining the rules. However, even in the seemingly simple “JANKEN,” there are many essences that Cocone has cherished. The essence of CCP, which Cocone values, is to express oneself in the digital world and communicate with others through that expression. The music in the background is also customizable. Each round, the opponent’s field comes up, the music changes, and the cards change. By creating a space where both players can feel the other’s preferences and atmosphere, the battles themselves are designed to be communication.
Developing a system “unique to Cocone”
– I understand that your project is supported by the MOOI Network, a blockchain technology developed by POST VOYAGER.
Cho: That’s right. “MOOI Network” will be a service developed by POST VOYAGER, a subsidiary of Cocone. The company was established in Singapore in 2009, and I remember that it was a time when the concept of web3 did not yet exist and crypto assets were called virtual currency. At a time when laws in various countries were not yet in place, some employees of the company started the company believing that the age of crypto assets and blockchain technology was coming. Cocone sells digital items as a service. The challenge was that the items existed only within the app, so there was little sense of ownership as objects. While we were researching ways to motivate customers to acquire items, around last year we began to think about the possibility of applying blockchain technology. There were ways to use existing blockchain technology provided by other companies, but we decided to create a system that is unique to Cocone and launched the “MOOI Network”.
– What exactly is the “Cocone-like system”?
Cho: Blockchain is evolving day by day and there are many difficult concepts and regulations, and many systems are not easy to use. The term “Cocone-like” expresses our desire to develop a service that is easy to understand and use for everyone, and we are focusing on developing such a service.
Takaya: The reason why we are expanding to the web3 is based on our desire to further develop CCP services such as ” Pokecolo,” which we have carefully operated since the establishment of Cocone. We believe that a future in which customers trade items as NFTs using blockchain technology is a very natural flow. With this in mind, we began development of a title called “PKCL Twins” based on the “Pokecolo Twin” the “Pokecolo series”. This is a new interpretation of the CCP service that Cocone has operated for many years, with a mechanism that allows items to be traded as NFTs. This is the most obvious “Cocone” challenge for web3.
– I guess one of your future tasks is to develop services based on the experience you have gained from ” Pokecolo” and other CCP services, with an interpretation of web3.
Takaya: That’s right. We would be very happy if our avatar application can be used as a gateway for people around the world to become familiar with web3 services.
Tomita: “Friendly web3” is one of the futures we should realize. There are many technologies and difficult terms, and people tend to avoid them, but we want to make web3 more accessible. There are not many teams in the world that work from this perspective, so I think we should take the lead in starting this project.
– That is why you are building a network like the MOOI Network from the ground up rather than outsourcing blockchain technology.
Tomita: It is not something that can be solved by a single service, but a challenge that needs to be taken on all fronts and at all layers. For example, “wallet” which is the entry point to web3, needs a lot of improvements in order to spread to the general public. Web3 will become the second most important infrastructure after the Internet, with a different concept and name in the future. To make this future a reality will require a major investment. The ]Cocone Group has more than a hundred people working on web3 projects. There are not many companies in the world that are taking on this challenge with such a large number of people. We believe that this challenge is appropriate because we at Cocone believe in the future and the possibilities of the digital world.
Surprising user base seen in overseas expansion
– I think this is still an unexplored field in Japan due to various issues such as legal barriers.
Tomita: This is a geopolitical opportunity for Japan. In the West, services using blockchain (e.g. linking NFTs with games) are on the back burner. In China, crypto assets are totally banned by government policy. In this respect, Japan is ahead of the rest of the world in the development of web3 related laws and guidelines. While other countries are unable to take on challenges due to political reasons and regulations, Japan is in a good place at a good time.
– In his talk at the Tokyo Game Show last year, Mr. Cho said that “MOOI Network” is aiming to become one of the top 30 wallets for crypto assets.
Cho: Yes. Although “Meta Mask” has a large share of the crypto asset wallet market, it is an app created with the idea of ensuring the reliability of the blockchain, so it does not focus on ease of use. What “MOOI Network” emphasizes is to link to various apps and to pursue a design that is both functional and appealing to the eye. Our ultimate goal is to create a service that can be used “without feeling like you are using an electronic wallet” if possible.
– To change the subject, the “JANKEN” application is a highly competitive application game that deviates slightly from the avatar application element. I also found it interesting in that it is highly economical: you get crypto assets for winning the game. There are still some barriers in Japan, but do you have an ideal image of the success of “JANKEN”?
Arai: First of all, we believe that the success of “MOOI Network” is essential for Cocone to succeed on the web3. JANKEN” is different from other applications in that it is an application that focuses mainly on MOOI Network and was created with the idea of how MOOI Network can be used by customers and how it can be spread throughout the world. The user base of “JANKEN” is slightly different from the customers of the CCP service, but I hope that both services will come and go through the cryptographic asset of MOOI Network in the future.
– How is the response?
Arai: To be honest, we have not reached the level we envisioned.
Takaya: There are still many issues with the service itself, and we have not yet been able to actively deliver it around the world, but we are beginning to have customers in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as well as Nigeria, Somalia, and Kenya in Africa, which we could not approach before. We are very excited about this situation, as we are gradually beginning to see the future vision that lies beyond the hurdle of challenging the world.
The idea of turning a pinch into an opportunity
– I see that you have had an unexpected response and have developed a new clientele. What exactly is the vision of the Cocone Group?
Takaya: NFT, Block Chain Game, etc. have been a market with many users for speculative purposes. Various events have occurred over the past year, and the market as a whole has cooled down, but we believe that now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity. While the number of users for speculative purposes has decreased, the number of customers who genuinely enjoy our services has increased as a percentage of the total, and we believe that this will help stabilize our services. We also believe that the groundwork has been laid for solid business development if we provide high-quality services in an easy-to-understand manner. As an experimental trial, ” Pokecolo is a so-called “web2 service” that has been in operation for more than 10 years, and we have started a system that allows users to buy and sell items in the application by converting them to NFT. We are proud that this is a very unique approach that only Cocone can take. We would like to carefully create a path for our customers to experience web3, which we call web2.5, rather than web2 or web3.
Cho: I think of this trend as a return to our roots. After launching several web3 services last year and exploring them, we came up with the idea of going back to the basics and overlapping the services we have carefully cultivated with web3.
The Essence of Service Seen in Returning to the Origin
– I felt that “the fact that the market is cooling down, on the contrary, feels like an opportunity ” is a key phrase that comes from a company that is full of momentum to create cutting-edge services.
Takaya: In a positive sense, the players have been eliminated, and customers are becoming more demanding, so I think this is a very good time to take on new challenges.
Cho: Around October of 2009, NFT started to become popular, and even recently I was surprised to see an NFT creator appear on a morning news program as an expert. In spite of the fact that the word ” NFT ” itself has become such a common language that even the general public can understand it, the market has cooled down. We believe that the cause was a transient NFT bubble, and we realized that unless we create services with solid permanence, we will not be able to lead the market into the future. When we thought about what was necessary for such permanence, we realized that it was to value the happiness of the customers who use our services. The CCP service that Cocone has cherished to date has many creators and management team members who understand the importance of this. By returning to Cocone’s roots, I believe we can ensure that our new web3 service will have a solid and lasting value.
– Am I right, you are going back to your roots, but at the same time you are turning your attention to the world as a new challenge?
Cho: That’s right. We have a track record for such services in Japan, but there are still many unknowns when it comes to overseas expansion. Currently, the transaction volume of bitcoin is dominated by the dollar, the yen, the Korean won, and the euro. In other words, we need to capture the economic sphere of these four currencies to gain expansion as a business. To do this, it is important to learn about the differences in cultural characteristics, personalities, and housing environments of overseas customers, and it is also necessary to devise various ways to help them understand the fun of the application games that Cocone offers. We feel that we need more time to get a sense of these areas.
A world where “friends” are rewarded
– How long do you envision web3 and the digital world that Cocone envisions being realized?
Tomita: Cocone’s flagship product, ” Pokecolo” continues to grow each year, reaching record sales on its tenth anniversary. The importance of our customers to the digital world is increasing every year. We, too, continue to create and put our hands on valuable products every day in order to respond to them. The digital world is a never-ending challenge that is constantly evolving and growing.
– Cocone places great importance on its own creators. We have many people who have been with the company for many years. I think those people are a big part of the company’s success.
Tomita: The digital world is invisible and only what we envision comes true. Creativity is more important than anything else. And the way we reward our precious creators will change. A better system may emerge, such as the issuance of tokens (cryptographic assets) for each project, than the system used in modern stock companies, such as stock options.
Takaya: From now on, we will not only be dealing with our own creators, but also with those who have created accounts for “Meta Livliy”, “PKCL Twins”, “JANKEN”, “ClawKiss”, and “MOOI Wallet”, and we consider them not as “customers” but as important “friends” of ours. Owning NFT and having MOOI tokens are more like being a “shareholder” in the conventional sense. Of course, the base is the customer. Of course, the base is the customer, but for web3 services, I have such a sense that I want to issue a ban on the word “customer”. I feel that we should be treating them as friends, not customers.
Tomita: web3 is a foundational concept that will evolve the digital world that Kokone is aiming for. I would like to take my time to work on the project and bring the world closer to the way it should be.
Takaya: I believe that we are currently in a transitional period, or rather, we are in the midst of a major experiment. Now that we have begun taking on global challenges, I would like to continue to propose global services that will please our customers around the world, while valuing what we are experiencing.
WHAT IS MOOI Network
A blockchain network created by POST VOYGER, a Cocone group company. It issues a token ” “MOOI,” which can be exchanged for tokens earned through the Cocone web3 service. It is ” linked to the blockchain networks “Klaytn” and “Polygon” so that it can be converted to other crypto assets. The unique marketplace “Jellyme” allows users to list and sell NFTs from Cocone’s web services
He has experience in content production at a major entertainment company. After serving as a representative of several companies, he joined Cocone in 2009, where he served as COO, etc. He became President and CEO of Cocone in July 2010.
After working as an engineer for several major IT companies, he joined Cocone Corporation in 2004. In 2008, he became Director and COO of CARROT Co. Currently serves as Representative Director and CEO of VOYAGER Japan
After working as a producer and in charge of launching domestic and international businesses at a major game company, he joined Cocone in 2004. He has served in a variety of positions, including President and Representative Director of the Corporate Planning Office. Currently, he is the project leader of “ClawKiss”.
He has been involved in application development and operation and game production, and was appointed as General Manager of Meta Business Division of Cocone Corporation in April, 2002. Currently Project Leader of “JANKEN” and General Manager of Global Business Promotion Office.