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This week in the metaverse: Apple allowing external apps could boost NFTs, new Led Zeppelin memorabilia, and the most metaverse-ready country in the world might surprise you

December 16, 2022, 11:30 AM UTC
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (not in the picture) at Moncloa Palace on October 25, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez—Getty Images

Welcome to This Week in the Metaverse, where Fortune rounds up the most interesting news in the world of NFTs, culture, and virtual worlds. Email marco.quiroz-gutierrez@fortune.com with tips. Programming note: This roundup returns in January.

Apple may be caving to pressure from regulators in Europe, and that could be a good thing for NFTs. Bloomberg reported this week that the tech giant may open up its restrictive operating system, which allows it to take a 30% cut on all App Store sales, to external apps. 

This planned functionality is reportedly being considered because of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act, which was passed this year. The move could be a boon for applications that include NFTs, as right now they’re only able to be downloaded through Apple’s proprietary store and subject to 30% fees. 

While the Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter, said the functionality will be introduced in Europe only at first, it could eventually migrate to other regions.

Speaking of Europe, a new report by online and telephone comparison service Uswitch found that the most metaverse-ready country is the Netherlands, partly because it has one of the highest median fixed broadband speeds, which could greatly aid interoperability.

The U.S. ranked 12th.

In other news:

OneFootball, a soccer-focused app that fans have been using to follow the World Cup, released Footballer’s Journey, a collection of the stories of elite players like Vinícius Júnior of Brazil and Raphaël Varane of France from childhood to stardom in comic-style books. Each chapter of the books, which were released in partnership with NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs and Animoca Brands, will contain special NFTs.

In other news: 

OneFootball, a soccer-focused app that fans have been using to follow the World Cup, released Footballer’s Journey a collection of the stories of elite players like Vinícius Júnior of Brazil and Raphaël Varane of France from childhood to stardom in comic-style books. Each chapter of the books, which were released in partnership with NBA Top Shot Dapper Labs and Animoca Brands will contain special NFTs.

Courtesy of OneFootball

Web3 company OneOf released the Legends of Rock: Led Zeppelin digital collectibles series this week in partnership with eBay and Globe Entertainment & Media. The collection pairs rare, real-world physical memorabilia with digital certificates of authenticity.

The items include a unique collection of three photos taken by photographer Jay Thompson, capturing Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones during their famous 1969 photo shoot at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont. Each purchase will include a vintage ticket from Led Zeppelin’s Chicago Stadium concert in 1980, which was canceled after the death of Bonham, the band’s drummer.

Web3 company OneOf launched a series of digital collectibles linked to Led Zeppelin memorabilia, including three photographs at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.
Courtesy of OneOf

NFT marketplace Voice launched The Land of Milk & Honey NFT collection to celebrate nine Arab artists who work under a cloud of sociopolitical trauma. The artists, who hail from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, are experts in subjects like architecture, technology, science, music, filmmaking, and BioArt, and are turning to NFTs to reach a broader audience. Each member of the collection will donate 10% of their proceeds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides mental health services to Palestine refugee children.

Courtesy of SURREAL Events

Miami-headquartered Celebrity Cruises and virtual event company SURREAL Events launched the “Wonderverse,” the digital twin of Celebrity’s new Celebrity Beyond ship. In the metaverse version of the real-life cruise ship, potential customers can explore and “see before they sail.” Guests can also play games, and book Celebrity trips and experiences through the platform.

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