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Metaverse 2.0: AI, Interoperability, and the Path Ahead

Metaverse 2.0: AI, Interoperability, and the Path Ahead

The panel is moderated by David Palmer, Blockchain Lead at Vodafone. Leon Lanen, COO of Bit Hotel – Blockchain Game, Lukasz Plewa, Head of Blockchain and Economy at DRKVRS, and Nicolas Benhamou Lacalle, Founder & CCO of Algoritcom provide insights from their experiences working on metaverse in gaming and business retail.

What Is the Metaverse?

Both Nicolas and Leon mention that the metaverse is a virtual space where people can work, socialize, interact, and basically do anything that we normally do in our daily lives. It’s important to point out that people are able to participate in the metaverse from different mediums, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or even mobile phones. Lukasz concludes by saying that people often portray the metaverse as the movie “Ready Player One,” but he thinks the metaverse is simply another medium that allows people to interact with one another.

What Impact Will Metaverse Have?

David shares that McKinsey’s report, released in January 2023, stated that the Metaverse has the potential to become an over $5 trillion economy by 2030. Leon believes that the gaming industry will be the main driver that attracts users to socialize in the virtual worlds, while Lukasz envisions an interoperable digital world in which people can exchange assets and play different games seamlessly. 

From the retail perspective, Nicolas shares that the metaverse will give businesses new opportunities to build communities around their brands, and they can even integrate gaming into their business to create an innovative experience.

Participants tried out the VR device at the Algoritcom stand at EBC23.

What Needs To Be Improved?

Lukasz thinks that it’s important for users to be able to access the metaverse from different devices despite the slightly different user experiences. Leon agrees with that, saying that the VR or AR devices on the market now are expensive, and thus are not really helping with mass adoption. He believes that there will be new gadgets, such as Neuralink chips, coming out and making the immersive experience more accessible. 

Apart from improving access to the metaverse, Nicolas also acknowledges the importance of education. He thinks people nowadays are intimidated by the word “Metaverse,” and thus helping people understand the virtual world is essential.

What is the Future of Metaverse?

Leon and Lukasz both believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the metaverse, particularly in creating generative art, storylines for the games, or non-player characters (NPCs) that can engage with users, and provide compelling instructions or conversations. They predict that AI will be used to create more natural and dynamic responses than the current decision-tree-based answers used in existing games.

We will have different interoperable metaverses. Lukasz states that users should be able to participate in the metaverse that they are interested in, no matter whether it’s a virtual shopping center, a game, or a fantasy world, and they should be able to seamlessly jump from one to another. Leon believes that having interoperable decentralized digital identities will thus be critical.

Panelists Lukasz and Nicolas shared their insights on metaverse adoption and education.

Leon and Lukasz both believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the metaverse, particularly in creating generative art, storylines for the games, or non-player characters (NPCs) that can engage with users, and provide compelling instructions or conversations. They predict that AI will be used to create more natural and dynamic responses than the current decision-tree-based answers used in existing games.

In the coming months, Lukasz expects that companies working on metaverses will learn from their previous projects and create better products with different approaches. Leon thinks that there will be many new releases of metaverse worlds, games, and upgrades in technology. While he doesn’t expect a fully-fledged metaverse reality, he does believe that we will be inching closer to it, and the exact expression of it will become clearer over the next two years.

We are on an evolutionary journey, not a revolutionary journey, in my view. I’m just excited to see each aspect of that evolution!

David Palmer, Blockchain Lead at Vodafone

Watch the full panel to learn about the future of metaverse!

Metaverse Unveiled: Hidden Truths Beyond the Hype

The passionate debate between Jemima, Robby, and Leo about the metaverse and its impact at EBC23

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.

Watch the EBC interview to learn more about gaming, NFTs, and metaverse from Robby Yung!

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.

The panel “The Impact of The Metaverse on Society” at the EBC23.

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.

More EBC insights on Metaverse and Web3 gaming:

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
Watch the full debate at the 8th European Blockchain Convention to discover the Metaverse from different angles!