The cosplay industry has exploded open over the last ten years, and while most players take part in their own enjoyment, many spend great amounts of money participating.
According to China Research and Intelligence (CRI), the estimated amount spent on costumes and wigs in 2017 was 17.8 billion USD (including cosmetics and fabrics to create outfits). However, this amount is expected to be far greater when you consider the additional costs involved, such as event tickets, photography fees, travel, and accommodation, plus many other expenses. On top of this, according to Eventbrite, 59% of attendees will spend a further $100-$500 on merchandise at events, with 10% spending over $500 per show.
Japanese administrators of the global cosplay community Cure World Cosplay – which unites thousands of cosplayers, photographers, and creators of costumes – have launched a fully functional startup called Cosplay Token. It already has over 720 thousand users from over 180 countries, who have published over 6.5 million pieces of unique content (photos and videos) on their website cot.curecos.com. The project’s objective is to monetize cosplay by integrating cryptocurrency to offer a better range of services.
Junichiro Kawai, CEO and Founder of Cosplay Token said: «Through our Cosplay Token, we are looking to quantify the cosplay industry and boost the potential market value dramatically, up to five times the size. By providing the community with an easier way to reach financial settlements, while protecting their copyrights and ensuring trust and transparency, we can ensure that players are properly rewarded for their services and increase the sustainability of the cosplay industry», said mr. Kawai.
The idea is to create an ecosystem where a cryptocurrency (COT token) can be used to purchase paid content. The most active and popular members of Cure World Cosplay will get a chance to issue their own coins linked to the main Cure token and earn money selling their content. Cosplayer converts service tokens into personal coins through smart-contracts. The cost of content and services cosplayer defines himself. Other users will be able to buy this currency also with smart-contracts COT.
Only 145 people attended the first-ever Comic-Con in 1970. Ten years later, the number grew to 6000 – and then to hundreds of thousands. Comic-Con International was followed by other large-scale events: Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA, Gamescom in Cologne, and many more. Eventually, it became common to organize highly specialized, niche events dedicated to a certain product or publisher.
For cosplayers themselves, large events are something to prepare for seriously, choosing a character, making a costume and rehearsing how that character should act in various situations. These preparations can take months or even a whole year. Often, cosplayers not just use a ready image from a cartoon or computer game – they create their own. Cosplay is turning into a large industry, with its own events and a veritable army of gifted people who are good at handicrafts and crazy about geek culture.