Dipping Toes in the Metaverse Waters
Metaverse has become a popular topic of discussion over the past year, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
More relevant information is trickling in, many technological advances have been made, and investment in the digital world is growing.
We finally begin to put the pieces together for a more comprehensive and exciting Metaverse roadmap vision.
Blockchain technology and the Web3 concept have finally achieved a passing grade and are becoming more widely recognized, creating the opportunity for more people to dip their toes into the Metaverse waters.
By harnessing blockchain technology, the Metaverse is blurring the line between physical and virtual reality, and it offers the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work and profoundly change the way we imagine the future.
Metaverse Business Possibilities
Virtual Reality creates many business possibilities, and a number of giant corporations, such as Meta, Microsoft, and Tesla, have picked up on it and are now competing to make their mark and gain Digital Primacy in the Metaverse.
Sony Races for Metaverse
With Sony joining the list of well-known companies that have had an extensive impact on the digital industry over the past few decades, the race for the Metaverse is taking off.
Sony $1 billion investment in Epic Games
During a recent fundraising round, Sony invested an additional $1 billion into Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite and Unreal Engine 5. In addition to Sony, The LEGO Group’s investment company, KIRKBI, has invested $1 billion in Epic Games.
Why is Sony investing in Epic Games?
According to a press release by Epic Games, Sony’s $1 billion investment is meant “to build the metaverse and supports its continued growth” as
Sony hopes “to create new social entertainment exploring the connection between digital and physical worlds.”
Given the company’s stake in virtual reality with its upcoming PlayStation VR 2 headset, which has received rave reviews from developers behind-the-scenes at GDC 2022, this serious investment comes as no surprise.
Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida
According to Kenichiro Yoshida, the President and CEO of Sony Corporation, Epic Games is at the forefront of video game technology and is more than worthy of investment:
“As a creative entertainment company, we are thrilled to invest in Epic to deepen our relationship in the metaverse field, a space where creators and users share their time.
We are also confident that Epic’s expertise, including their powerful game engine, combined with Sony’s technologies, will accelerate our various efforts such as the development of new digital fan experiences in sports and our virtual production initiatives.”
Sony has decided to fund Epic Games for the third time in their history with this incredible $1 billion investment.
In July 2020, it invested $250 million into Epic Games for a minority stake in the company. In April 2021, it invested another $200 million.
With the third $1 billion investment, Sony has more than doubled the value of the first two, demonstrating how comfortable and confident it is with the Epic Games partnership.
It’s unclear what an investment of this incredible size is for, though it suggests that there may be a PlayStation-exclusive title in the pipeline at Epic Games or that Sony may be thoroughly impressed with Unreal Engine 5.
The $1 billion investment by The LEGO Group is more obvious given that they will both be creating a Metaverse Experience that is “safe and fun for children and families.”
Metaverse with LEGO and Epic Games
A long-term partnership has been announced between LEGO Group and Epic Games to shape the Future of the Metaverse to be safe and fun for children and their families.
Through their partnership, the two companies will create a virtual experience that is immersive, creatively inspired, and engaging for kids of all ages.
This digital environment will give kids access to tools that will empower them to become confident innovators and enable them to have a joyful, secure, and exciting Metaverse experience.
CEO of The LEGO Niels B Christiansen
“Kids enjoy playing in digital and physical worlds and move seamlessly between the two.
We believe there is huge potential for them to develop life-long skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication through digital experiences.
But we have a responsibility to make them safe, inspiring, and beneficial for all. Just as we’ve protected children’s rights to safe physical play for generations, we are committed to doing the same for digital play.
We look forward to working with Epic Games to shape this exciting and playful future.”
CEO & Founder, Epic Games Tim Sweeney
“The LEGO Group has captivated the imagination of children and adults through creative play for nearly a century, and we are excited to come together to build a space in the metaverse that’s fun, entertaining, and made for kids and families.”
With LEGO Group and Epic Games teaming up, Metaverse, the next version of the internet, will be designed from the ground up with kids in mind.
In a virtual, 3D world, the Metaverse changes how people meet, work, play, learn, and interact.
Popular Culture Frontrunner
The Epic Games team specializes in creating creative tools and immersive worlds open to players and developers everywhere.
With its innovative gaming, music, and creative collaboration experiences, Epic Games is at the forefront of popular culture.
As part of Epic’s commitment to enabling developers to deliver age-appropriate online experiences, in 2020, the company acquired SuperAwesome, a company that pioneered technology designed to deliver safe digital engagement with children under 16 years old.
LEGO Group and Epic Games have agreed on three principles to ensure engaging play opportunities in the Metaverse digital spaces they develop:
- Protect children’s right to play by making safety and wellbeing a priority.
- Safeguard children’s privacy by putting their best interests first.
- Empower children and adults with tools that give them control over their digital experience.
Bloktopia Playstation Plans
There are a lot of startup companies trying to take front-runner positions and take a leap into the unknown digital Metaverse reality.
Bloktopia, a virtual 21-story high skyscraper, is one of the most intriguing Metaverse projects.
Bloktopia Metaverse sets the bar high when it comes to developing immersive 3D virtual worlds.
As an early mover that is constantly pushing the envelope and making new significant partnerships almost on a daily basis, it puts itself at the top of the Metaverse game.
Bloktopia Roadmap 2022
In the recently published Bloktopia Roadmap 2022, the Bloktopia team outlined a complete set of development plans this year.
A notable mention is that Bloktopia Metaverse CTA Simon Benson was previously Director of Immersive Technology at Sony, where he founded the PlayStation VR project.
During an AMA session on Bloktopia’s Discord channel, Simon Benson answered many community questions, including those pertaining to the Playstation:
Q: Will Bloktopia ever be able or have the capabilities to be accessed via PlayStation or Xbox stores? Or will it be just PC-based?
Bloktopia CTA Simon Benson
“Great question to end on, here goes… Our overall goal is to reach as many people as possible, so nothing is off the table at this time.
Cloud-based technology such as cloud rendering will be the key to this reach and this technology is already in use on platforms such as PlayStation Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Fundamentally, this could mean that we would need nothing more than a web browser to access Bloktopia on any device and the quality could be awesome as cloud-based services are already able to deliver a high frame rate of 4K streams.
Bandwidth will be the main requirement as everything else will be solved in the data centers (i.e. high-end PCs with top tier graphics capabilities), and with 5G rolling out, this could even allow access on the move too.
Overall, the future is looking great for helping us to deliver a high-quality experience to as many people as possible on a wide range of devices.”
Bloktopia Digital Wearables & Marketplace
Bloktopia members also asked Simon a question regarding digital wearables and Bloktopia Marketplace. Simon provided an answer:
Q: Are you planning the development of a marketplace? Can you buy special clothes to dress the avatars? Will these purchases affect the ability to interact with the different events? And can we sell digital wearables from our own stores?
Bloktopia CTA Simon Benson
“This is set in our roadmap as a Q3 deliverable. The idea will be that it will allow users to buy and sell and trade NFTs for use in Bloktopia.
Yes, we are going to launch our own Marketplace.
These can be digital wearables for an avatar, or they can be things to use to furnish virtual stores and apartments. All these NFTs can be merchandised and sold.
There is no reason that these purchases will affect the ability to interact in events, but we certainly see events as a good way for brands to showcase digital wearables.
We are currently investigating customizable Avatar solutions and really like “Ready Player me” as a possible solution.” – this isn’t as committal and allows us to change our mind if necessary.
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