ANA HOLDINGS and JP Games Partner to Launch
ANA NEO, Introduces "SKY WHALE" Virtual Platform
- • Through the "SKY WHALE" travel platform, users can explore digital worlds - Sky Park, Sky Mall, and Sky Village - on their own or in connected groups with friends and family
- • Prominent global partners will join the project to offer audiences worldwide with travel and shopping experiences while also featuring realistic digital renderings of real world locations
TOKYO, May 20, 2021 - ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereinafter "ANA HD") has partnered with leading game studio JP GAMES, Inc.1 to launch ANA NEO, Inc. (hereinafter "ANA NEO") an interactive virtual platform that will bring the joy of travel and unique online shopping opportunities to audiences worldwide. Key to the ANA NEO platform is the "SKY WHALE" where users will be able to travel and access interactive activities and other environments within ANA NEO. The service is scheduled to launch in 2022, and it will be a welcome sight in an age when COVID-19 has accelerated digitization while curtailing travel opportunities. ANA NEO harnesses the latest breakthroughs to forge new bonds between people and cultures.
"ANA NEO will open up the joy of travel to a much broader audience and provide users with an unrivaled experience," said Mitsuo Tomita, president and CEO of ANA NEO. "Complete with realistic recreations of famous tourist sites and unprecedented shopping options, ANA NEO will help people explore the world from the comfort and convenience of a connected smart device. As the first global airline to launch this type of platform, we are excited to open up new possibilities and new experiences for people."
"Much like travel, virtual platforms are an excellent way to connect with people and experience new things," said Hajime Tabata, chief producer of ANA NEO and Chief Executive Officer of JP GAMES. "ANA NEO is a bold new reimagining of a virtual platform, leveraging the latest breakthroughs to create an immersive digital world that captures the wonder of travel and lets families and friends tour them together."
SKY WHALE Travel Platform
The SKY WHALE is a digital vessel that transcends time and space and provides transportation within the world ANA NEO offers. Featuring three distinct areas with recreations of real world locations, ANA NEO also offers a wide range of customization options for users. In addition, items in the digital world can be acquired and partnerships with leading retailers will allow users to make real world purchases while logged in to SKY WHALE with their smartphones. Users will be able to utilize their ANA miles within the world of SKY WHALE as well as experience services with the avatar robot developed by avatarin Inc.
This interactive virtual environment has been created by chief producer Hajime Tabata, the man behind the massively successful Final Fantasy XV. World-renowned violinist and composer Taro Hakase will oversee the music for SKY WHALE, with music specifically selected to enhance the travel experience.
Sky Park: Designed from a blank digital canvas with global users in mind, the "Sky Park" area will employ advanced 3D graphics to create an immersive environment. Users can explore Sky Park on their own or with a group of friends and family. As an added value that only the ANA Group can provide, it is also possible for users to book a real travel plan that matches the virtual experience. By allowing customers to enjoy virtual travel, we hope to stimulate demand for real travel, thereby attracting more customers.
Sky Mall: The "Sky Mall" is a virtual shopping space inspired by airport shopping and entertainment areas. In addition to virtual shopping, "Sky Mall" will promote regional culture and local products by making real-world artisanal crafts and items available worldwide.
Sky Village: In the "Sky Village" area, SKY WHALE will provide access to medical care, education, and government services in a virtual environment, making it the model for a virtual smart city.
SKY WHALE will introduce JP GAMES' Pegasus World Kit2 cyberspace service engine which features blockchain technology. Capable of safely processing digital transactions, Pegasus World Kit will make it possible for SKY WHALE to make strides towards Society 5.0 by integrating reality and cyberspace.
ANA NEO's SKY WHALE is an innovative platform provided by the ANA Group. Supported by government tourism bureaus and related organizations in Japan and abroad, ANA NEO will provide users around the world with a new experience that connects them to the real world - regardless of time or place - through the virtual space developed by ANA NEO in collaboration with a wide range of partners.
- 1. JP GAMES: JP GAMES is a game development studio that was officially launched in February 2019 by Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata, formerly a member of the Square Enix Group. Founded on the concept of "Taking RPGs to the next level and creating an abundant future with games," JP GAMES seeks to pursue new possibilities for games without being held back by conventional frameworks. Official website: https://www.jpgamesinc.com/
- 2. Pegasus World Kit: A cyberspace service engine that allows users to freely control their avatars from various platforms such as smartphones, PCs, and VR devices, and create a space where they can gather to participate in events, shop and enjoy digital content with their friends.
|Partnering Organizations and Companies|
|Austrian National Tourist Office, Destination CANADA, Institute for Economic Studies, Hawaii Tourism, Hokkaido Tourism Promotion Organization, Okinawa Convention Bureau, Philippine Department of Tourism, Setouchi Brand Corporation, Singapore Tourism Board, Tourism Australia, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Western Australia, Vienna Tourist Board, Visit Houston, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto city, Kyoto Tourism Association,
|Corporations||AnyMind Group Inc., JCB Co., Ltd., JP GAMES, Inc., Keio University Center for Research on Inbound Tourism, Kyoto Shimbun Co.,Ltd., QFPay International Ltd., Shopify Inc., Soramitsu Co., Ltd., Tomato Bank Ltd., Tripadvisor Inc.
|Company name||ANA NEO, Inc.|
|Mitsuo Tomita: ANA NEO Representative Director, President and CEO
Tomita has led ANA's network and alliance strategies as well as managed operations in North America and the Asia Oceania region. Tomita will apply his real world experience in customer satisfaction to the virtual world to create a new airline business for the 5G era.
|Hajime Tabata: Chief Producer
CEO and creator of JP Games. As the director of "Final Fantasy XV" during his tenure at Square Enix, he created a new world and service by utilizing his globally acclaimed production skills and game development expertise.
|Taro Hakase: Chief Music Supervisor
Taro Hakase, a world famous violinist and composer, has performed with Celine Dion and collaborated with Ariana Grande, Ennio Moriconne and Basia. He regularly tours Japan and around the world, and enjoys composing as well. His unique and mutifaceted performance is influenced by various musical genres such as Brazillian, Latin, Gypsy and Pop music. As chief music supervisor, Taro aims to bring people of all backgrounds to enjoy music and bring Sky Whale to life.
|Founded||August 7, 2020|
|Headquarters||1-5-2 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN|
|Areas of Business||
ANA Corporate Communications, TEL +81-3-6735-1111, email@example.com
About ANA HOLDINGS
Founded in 1952 with just two helicopters, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has grown to become the largest airline in Japan. ANA HOLDINGS Inc. (ANA HD) was established in 2013 as the largest airline group holding company in Japan, comprising 71 companies including ANA and Peach Aviation, the leading LCC in Japan.
ANA is a launch customer and the largest operator of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making ANA HD the biggest Dreamliner owner in the world. A member of Star Alliance since 1999, ANA has joint venture agreements with United Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines - giving it a truly global presence.
The airline's legacy of superior service has helped it earn SKYTRAX's respected 5-Star rating every year since 2013, with ANA being the only Japanese airline to win this prestigious designation for eight consecutive years. ANA also has been recognized by Air Transport World as "Airline of the Year" three times (2007, 2013 and 2018); it is one of only a select few airlines to win this prominent award multiple times.
ANA is the only company in the aviation industry to receive the Gold Class distinction from the 2021 S&P Global Sustainability Awards and ANA HD has been selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index list for the fourth consecutive year and the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index list for the fifth consecutive year.
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