November 18, 2021

City Tiers Update

As Upland continues to grow and mature, it’s important that we continually re-evaluate our strategy to ensure our grand vision for the metaverse. As such, we are excited to announce that the City Tier system is receiving an overhaul to account for the dynamic nature of cities across the globe. Moving forward, each city we release will be classified under this new system which will have implications on FSA allocations, Send Fees, Landmarks, and more. 

The Original City Tier System

In the early days of the metaverse, we elected to release cities under a simple tier system. Cities were categorized as either “High,” “Mid,” or “Low” tier cities, and this status influenced the amount of FSA properties to be released, as well as the send fees for each city. Initially, this model was sufficient as properties were available in only a select number of cities, and the economy had yet to really mature. As we released more cities, it became apparent that attempting to fit some of these cities into this mold was becoming more and more difficult. In other words, we were trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Cities are a unique expression of lifestyle, status, and culture, and our new model will allow us to better represent what each city is known for.

The New City Tier System

Simply speaking, cities will be classified using a matrix that qualifies each city under 3 core factors, including:

  • Size: Number of Overall Properties + Area
  • Price: Average Real-World Prices of Properties
  • Icon Factor: Measure of the City’s Status

Each city is scored 1-3 for each of these factors to determine the overall tier. For example, Manhattan is a world-renowned city known for high property prices but is actually on the smaller end in terms of size. As such, Manhattan would be classified as a 1-3-1 City. While its icon factor and property prices are certainly among the top cities in the world, it falters in terms of overall size.

This new system will have implications on all city factors including airports and travel, number of collections, FSA allocation, treasure hunt rewards, send fees, and landmark pricing. While this system accounts for a much wider degree of variability, there may still be instances where a city doesn’t perfectly fit the definition for any given tier of city. To account for this, each factor has a variable range that should resolve a majority of these cases. Even still, this new system is intended to serve as a framework for how future cities will be released, meaning there may be instances where we have to go off-script.

*FSA Allocation is subject to change depending on size, Hub inventory, and Hub adjacency.

City Hubs

Recently, we have begun to identify cities that should be classified as Hubs; cities that carry significant cultural meaning and have a widespread economic impact. Each Hub will maintain its own variety of cities that exist as a part of that Hub’s sphere of influence. Current examples are Oakland in the San Francisco Bay Area, or Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York. These cities are significant enough to stand on their own, each with their own culture and history. However, these cities also exist as extensions of Hub cities like San Francisco and Manhattan. 

In the real world, many people live in cities that are adjacent to major cities to capitalize on the economic incentives; cheaper property and better working wages. As Upland is an extension of the real world, it only makes sense that economic activity is more dynamic around its Hub cities. This means the decision to release new cities will be based on both overall market supply as well as local market supply. In other words, city Hubs with very few available properties for minting are prime candidates for future expansion cities.


At one time, Landmark sales were a major event for the Upland metaverse, but these days, it’s just another day in the park. We have a large inventory of Landmarks, and they belong in the hands of the players. This means a move away from the Landmark Auction “event,” and a move towards a regular schedule of Landmark sales, auctions, and competitions. However, keep in mind that some major Landmarks with global cultural impact will still be celebrated. Players who are seeking to acquire Landmarks should keep an eye on our official schedule of Landmark Events which will be published in the very near future.

Treasure Hunts

As mentioned above, the new city tier system will also affect UPX rewards from treasure hunts in each city. To accommodate the dynamic nature of each city, we will be revisiting treasure reward tiers for all cities in Upland. You may have noticed that there are a few new tiers for send fees that correlate with the tier of the city. Treasure Hunt rewards are also closely tied to the send fees, which means new tiers of Hunt rewards will align directly with these fees moving forward.

Closing Thoughts

Upland’s growth has been astounding, and while we are proud of the foundation we’ve built. It’s important that we continue to revisit old mechanics to ensure their alignment with our vision for the metaverse. We thank you all for being an integral part of the vibrant Upland Community.

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