Once upon a time, Color Star was simply an ambitious ready-mix concrete company navigating a hasty and tricky pivot to providing celebrity-driven online education courses, sort of crammed awkwardly inside a deeply ugly and busted 3D open-world environment. I suppose even that description is being charitable. Let’s try it again: For a long while Color Star was just a series of confusing announcements and crazy-making hype videos pointing to a plummeting NASDAQ listing, by way of a non-functioning mobile app. The company, such as it is, flew too high with a glitzy marketing partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers; one too many insane overpromising press releases torpedoed the deal before Color Star could even launch a product, let alone a functioning one; and eventually the company’s mysterious CEO was reduced to sending threatening letters to dipshit websites that don’t even merit an invitation to the $10 Million Club.
Color Star eventually did release a Color World app, albeit a crummy one. Still, having finally produced something, Color Star was able to return once more to the hunt for sports marketing partnerships, and emerged back in February with a deal with Villarreal, of Spain’s La Liga. Do not come down too hard on Villarreal: Finances are always a little bit more dire for also-ran Spanish soccer clubs than they are for NBA teams. Sometimes you must simply cash the check of the flooring-turned-concrete-turned-half-assed-Masterclass-turned-metaverse company, pose for a few awkward photos, and slap a new badge onto your jerseys.
Are things finally coming together for these would-be lords of our digitized future? I suppose that depends on whether your interest in Color Star is based on a desire for a sharply realized virtual environment into which you will port the remainder of your precious life, or is based on the hope that a dirt-cheap tech stock will ride a wave of confusion and speculation to some sweet, sweet short-term profits. Well, the app still sucks a lot, but also CSCW shares, after spiking all the way up to 89 cents a share back in mid-February, are now available for less than 25 cents.
If Color Star’s fortunes are not quite swinging up, they are for sure still swinging weird. Back on March 1, Color Star issued a press release announcing a partnership with a French company called Galtiscopio Gatti. The partnership has all the hallmarks of a Color Star deal: The vast majority of information online about this company comes from Color Star’s press release; Galtiscopio Gatti’s website is a piece of malfunctioning crap; and, most importantly, it’s not at all clear exactly how Galtiscopio Gatti will interact with Color Star’s metaverse. Hilariously, Color Star’s press release announcing the partnership noted this exact problem, in a series of notes that someone clearly forgot to delete (emphasis added):
The three-dimensional design of the watch face oozes playfulness and designs will continue to take on the creative style of the endless sky, creating infinite possibilities and crafting a brand-new definition to the concept of time. Today, the watch brand has become the fashion darling of many celebrities. After the launch of “Color World”, the technical team of Color Star will create a [3D flagship store] for Galtiscopio [NTD: do you mean virtual / online store? If so, please revise accordingly otherwise it sounds like there will be a physical store]. Furthermore, the team will assist the brand with their online sales.
I am here today to tell you that this is not even close to the strangest announcement to come from Color Star just in the month of March. Here is perhaps the most alarming collection of sentences ever produced in any language, from a press release from earlier this month, announcing a partnership between Color Star and a company called Bobaiyue Biotech:
The biomedical area is a brand-new track of the Color World metaverse platform. Color Star and Bobaiyue Biotech will collaborate to build the “Color Cell Bank”.
In this virtual cell bank, our online users can freely apply for the deposit of their own “cord blood” and “stem cells”, and conduct regular “physical check-ups”, just like entering a real-world bank, whereas the deposits are no longer actual currencies, but a health guarantee, and the accounts opened belong to the users’ own tailor-made health circumstance, more suitable for their physical condition. Moreover, in this cell bank, each user can also associate the health information and gene reports of their whole family, which is beneficial to the prompt investigation and utilization when they themselves or their families require stem cell transplantation or anti-aging needs. In addition, both parties shall continue to improve their own technologies continuously, based on which, the “Color Cell Bank” will also offer services and information on human cloned organs and cloned hearts.
It should not surprise you to learn that Bobaiyue Biotech has virtually zero online footprint outside of this extremely worrisome press release. A Google search for “Bobaiyue Biotech” yields a collection of links to different sleazy bot-run click-farm websites all passing along Color Star’s press release, and two URLs (bobaiyue dot com and bbybio dot com) that redirect to a page that apologizes for being “temporarily unavailable.”
I have read the Color Star–Bobaiyue Biotech press release no fewer than 20 times and I cannot wrap my head around what is meant by “the deposits are no longer actual currencies, but a health guarantee, and the accounts opened belong to the users’ own tailor-made health circumstance, more suitable for their physical condition.” Lucas Capetian, elusive Color Star CEO and international man of mystery, is quoted in the press release assuring Color World users that they will hopefully soon “experience the unprecedented convenience in the health-related aspects over the platform,” which clears up my confusion not at all. Can this possibly be referring to real-world healthcare services? When Color Star says this partnership promises eventual access to “stem cell transplantation” and “human cloned organs and cloned hearts,” can they possibly be referring to things that will happen with the extremely real physical meat of your one human body? Will Color World users be shopping for replacement organs on a 1990s-ass-looking mobile app, underneath a poorly rendered digital image of Shaquille O’Neal? Just what the hell is going on in this damn metaverse?
Defector reached out to Capetian Wednesday afternoon for clarification on this matter. Given his stated preference for only communicating with “friendly media,” we were careful to include the words “hello” and “congratulations,” and the phrase “thanks so much,” and will update this story as soon as we hear back.