Krafton is best known for games like PUBG and the coming Callisto protocol – but today it shows something very different. The company is teasing a “virtual human” named Ana, who it says will “help set up” its Web3 ecosystem. The character was built using Unreal Engine – which itself has a tool specifically for realistic digital people – along with what Krafton describes as “hyperrealism, rigging and deep learning.”
It’s not clear exactly how Ana will fit into the loosely defined vision of a metaverse or Web3, though Krafton has flirted with NFTs and the blockchain in the past. In the meantime, it sounds like his realistic virtual human will try to become some sort of celebrity instead. “We expect it to spark Gen Z’s interest and popularity around the world,” Josh Seokjin Shin, head of Krafton’s creative center, said in a statement. “Ana will be releasing an original music track and expanding her influencer activities into different areas of entertainment and esports.”
This type of virtual influencer isn’t a new concept, of course, and these digital characters have previously found their way into everything from music videos to video games to Ikea installations, not to mention social networks like Instagram and TikTok. However, Krafton seems to bet that a focus on technology will make his character stand out and prevent the demise of ill-fated virtual creatures like the star of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within†
Krafton says it will release more details about Ana later in the year, including “a unique storyline.” Who knows, she might work her way into a compelling fantasy epic.