Late last year, the Philadelphia 76ers announced a “partnership” with Color Star Technology. At the time, the 76ers’ press release called Color Star an “entertainment technology company with a global network that focuses on the application of tech and artificial intelligence (AI) in the entertainment industry.” Its CEO, Lucas Capetian—known in Color Star press releases and Color Star SEC filings as “Sir Lucas Capetian”—was represented with an avatar clearly made in iClone, a 3-D modeling animation software. (“Their CEO does exist,” a Sixers spokesperson told Defector.) Color Star’s app, which supposedly would feature “exclusive interviews with 76ers representatives, including executives and former players,” simply played a confusing video.
You may be familiar with this because our own Maitreyi Anantharaman and Chris Thompson wrote a long article about the company in an attempt to figure out what it does. Thompson wrote a followup, which included communications director Douglas Menelly blocking him on LinkedIn and promising/threatening to pray for him. (As of press time, Thompson has yet to be struck blind on the way to Damascus.)
Because Color Star keeps updating its own hazy but ambitious vision, it is now time for another Color Star roundup. The company that once was involved in concrete is now seemingly focused on NFTs and the metaverse. And we finally have our first glimpse at Sir Lucas Capetian, who has updated his LinkedIn profile photo twice this year.
From this, was can gather a few things about Capetian: He’s a bit of a hypebeast, as he has a 2018 pink Kaws doll on the shelf behind him in the first photo (retail: $280; resale: ~$800). He also once wore a tuxedo, suggesting that perhaps he is married and/or graduated from a school of some kind.
Defector is not the only one investigating Color Star. A recent episode of Rights to Ricky Sanchez, a Sixers podcast hosted by Spike Eskin and Mike Levin, had on J.R. Mailey to talk about Color Star. Mailey works for The Sentry, a nonprofit that investigates dirty money tied to war criminals in Africa. (Longtime readers may know that there has been animosity between Defector writers and Sixers Processors. Maybe I’m getting a little overexcited here, but I am declaring the beef quashed as both groups ally in pursuit of the answer to the question, “What does Color Star Technology do?”) Mailey delivered some good news: Color Star is not involved in any African war crimes that he could find.
That was not quite the end of it, though. Mailey summarized plenty of shady dealings around Color Star—which, I will remind you, is a former ready-mix concrete company that is now promising an expansive metaverse launching later this month. My favorite was this: Last year on February 1, Color Star paid $3.1 million ($1.5 million in cash, 1.8 million shares of CSCW) to acquire multiple copyrights. Mailey translated the titles of the copyrights—four scripts of some kind—Color Star acquired: Love Back to Hometown, Second Sleep, Arrows: Battlefield, and Happy Game. Color Star additionally bought one other copyright, to a film named Guilt. The next month, Color Star announced that users could … acquire this film as an NFT?
Since its release, the movie ‘Guilt’ has received a great deal of attention. The film, which is adapted from real events, has sparked lively discussion. The Company has decided to sell parts of the unreleased content of the movie as a NFT. The introduction of Color Star’s NFT products is a new application of blockchain technology. The Company has always believed that the blockchain technology of non-fungible token suits the entertainment industry best. This technology not only promotes the development of entertainment copyrights, but also benefits materially the copyrights owners. With this NFT application in place, Color Star will continue to launch more NFT-related products in areas such as music copyrights and TV copyrights.
The CEO of Color Star, Mr. Luke Lu, commented: “Currently, NFT transactions in the market are very active, and we are optimistic about the application of NFT technology in the entertainment industry. The launch of NFT products for a portion of our movie ‘Guilt’ belongs to the first phase of our NFT development and application. Based on the data from this phase, we will accumulate more experience in launching similar products in the future.”
Since that press release, a man who allegedly exists named Basil Wilson became Color Star CEO, but he stepped down just before the Sixers deal to make way for Sir Lucas. I cannot figure out where to purchase any Guilt NFTs, but I am on the lookout. After all, I made thousands in profit on NBA Top Shot. Just think what I could make on NFTs for a film adapted from real events that has sparked lively discussion!
One thing I have particularly enjoyed researching this company is how many acquisitions Color Star made last September. On Sept. 2, Color Star said it acquired Hainan Netgod Cyber Cafe Network Co. On Sept. 16, it acquired Guangzhou Elephant Interactive Network Technology Co. On Sept. 23, it bought Wuhan Chujing Esports Culture Communication Co. That’s quite a month! These are Chinese companies, but it seems more notable that all of them only seem to exist in Color Star press releases. (The quality of only existing in Color Star press releases is something these companies have in common with all of Capetian’s previous companies, and also with all of Color Star’s previous CEO’s.)
This is all perfectly Color Star in that way, but also somehow not the big story. The real story of Color Star today is the metaverse. This month Color Star has put out a flurry of press releases. Four days into the year, Color Star announced that “all avatars within their entertainment metaverse platform Color World will be available online as NFT, with permanent rights available for purchase by its global users.” Finally! Attached to this press release is, yes, another image made in iClone.
On Jan. 7, Color Star announced an “auto NFT” system. I have no idea what it means. Here’s what Sir Lucas said in the release: “With easy steps, we hope this auto NFT generation system can help more users and creators to turn their works into NFT products without all the complex procedures.”
But it was an announcement this week that made shockwaves. Earlier this month, the video of David Villa in the Color Star app was changed to a short looping graphic promoting the launch of the “metaverse” on Jan. 25. This week Color Star announced its metaverse with a launch date of Jan. 28. (The date in the app changed to that, too.) And, most importantly, Color Star launched a video with a preview of that metaverse.
Finally, here is the product that is getting the world excited. This is the metaverse, or anyway a universe that looks sort of like something that appeared on the PlayStation in 1998 and sort of like the video for “Money For Nothing,” only somehow much jankier than either. Just think how great the NFTs from this product will be! You can run around with a little man! I cannot wait to see a Sixers executive interviewed here.
The Sixers did not return further requests for comment on their involvement in this metaverse product. (Obviously, Color Star is just a 76ers advertiser. But given that the 76ers called them a “partner,” I figured it was reasonable to be a stickler about it.) Color Star hasn’t, either. But yesterday Color Star ran an advertorial in a publication called The Daily Front Row, and they appear to have indirectly responded to Defector’s questions about why their website is so borked:
Given Color Star’s international team, the Western cultural importance of aspects of website design and social media presence was put on the backburner in favor of fully committing to the expansion and construction of Color World’s innovative application. Considering major business forces like many Chinese millionaires’ conscious choice to not to use social media, Color Star’s platform-first approach is standard for a global company of its stature—though, keenly aware of this perception by the Western media, Color Star has major plans in store to elevate its internet presence as it continues to establish its presence throughout the global marketplace.
Their website has since improved, incidentally. It is still unusable, to be clear, but it looks a little nicer. Also the code was apparently copied from a Live Nation website.
That Live Nation text has since been removed, a nod to the Western cultural importance of aspects of website design. (It now just says “CONTACT WITH US 24/7?” twice. The links do not work.) I can only imagine how great this metaverse is going to be when it launches. For one, Color Star appears to have an answer for the Sixers’ situation with Ben Simmons.
As for the Philadelphia 76ers, well … I cannot wait to see who they partner with next. But for a company that does not yet seem to have an operational website, or business product, it already seems to be working. Before markets opened today, Color Star ($CSCW) was up +0.04 (9.22%) in the last month.