Jemima Kelly from the Financial Times shares her skepticism about the metaverse and questions whether it is just another buzzword. Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands, and Leo Khan, CEO of the Undeads Metaverse, debate the metaverse’s definition, potential, and social impact.
The Metaverse Is About Openness and Interoperability
Robby states that the Metaverse is a messy and chaotic landscape of interconnected digital content. It’s evolving into a 3D experience where users can bring their digital assets across different applications and platforms. Robby and Leo both agree that Web3 is the metaverse, as it can be understood as the aggregate of the software applications that interoperate.
Robby also points out that metaverse can be accessed through various devices and platforms, not just virtual reality (VR). However, despite the device, openness, inclusiveness, interconnectedness, and interoperability are the key value that the metaverse brings to society. Blockchains are the fundamental infrastructure that makes this possible.
While some existing games may resemble elements of the metaverse, Robby points out that they typically operate as closed systems without the ability to easily transfer assets or data between them. These, in his opinion, are still Web2 games, rather than a metaverse.
Leo thinks that metaverse will provide more immersive options for people to connect. It is an evolution of how technology changes the way we interact, similar to how social media changed communication. He believes that this is what future generations will be using to communicate.
Decentralized Ownership and Privacy Are Not Mutually Exclusive
After Jemima expresses her concerns about privacy on a public ledger, Leo points out that Web3 represents the next frontier in technology with better privacy and ownership. Robby agrees by saying that one of the primary reasons for adopting decentralized ownership, in fact, is to improve privacy concerns.
In the gaming industry, many gamers have experienced losing value or points when game developers make changes without player input. Blockchain technology enables players to have a say in the rules. This creates a fairer gaming ecosystem, Robby asserts.
Audience Size Is Not The Most Important Thing
When questioned about the market need and user number of metaverse gaming, Robby points out that audience size is not as important in Web3 as in Web2. Due to the difference in monetization, the metrics should be reevaluated in the context of Web3.
He further explains that in Web2 games, the revenue is typically generated from a small percentage of paying users, but in Web3 games, smaller players may monetize at a higher rate. The generated revenue may be enough to support the game developers.
Building Metaverse and Games Is a Long-term Effort
Robby points out that people often overlook the time and effort needed to build a game. The process takes a lot of time due to the need for innovation and problem-solving, especially when dealing with emerging technologies. Popular games in the space now, such as The SandBox, were being developed since 2017.
“The most popular games in Web3 now, most of them began development in 2017/2018. We started the development of our Sandbox product in 2017. It takes a long time to make great games, particularly when you’re using new technologies where you have to really innovate and problem-solve because nobody’s ever made games with these kinds of tools before.”
– Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands