Gavin Baker
+ Your AuthorsArchive @GavinSBaker Husband, Becky Painter. CIO, Atreides Management. Former PM, Fidelity OTC fund. No investment advice, views all my own. Oct. 13, 2019 3 min read

1) Metaverse/Oasis update: Facebook Horizons feels like the equivalent of observing that people like to congregate in stadiums and inferring that they could just build a stadium and people would come to have fun. Missing the point that people came to the stadium to watch sports.

2) A little unfair perhaps, but every new Oculus employee is given a copy of “Ready Player One” - I wonder if Zuckerberg has read it. Regardless, there will be no “one game to rule them all.” Best case for Horizons is that it is one of many VR worlds - an updated Second Life.

3) Zuckerberg is brilliant and 100% on point that AR/VR are the next platforms. But his leaked 2015 email discussing the Unity acquisition showed a focus on identity layers, tooling, engines and OS’s that I thought was misplaced. Horizons is a *tiny* step in the right direction

4) Ironic that Zuckerberg is *not nerdy enough* to see that videogames will be the dominant platforms (aggregators to be precise) for VR. Or perhaps he is beginning to understand this. 

5) Either way, the Metaverse/Oasis/Matrix is already here in the same way that the internet existed in the early 1990s.

6) Fortnite is a “place not a game” to quote @ow. Fortnite, FIFA, CoD, WoW, Assassins Creed, GTA – these will be the platforms for VR when they solve the motion/nausea problems associated with moving (might have to wait for BCI to be real). Not some empty virtual world.

7) Players will be able to fulfill a variety of semi-universal fantasies – living in the past, explorer, sports star, soldier, criminal, cop, living in the moving from game to game in a virtual reality that slowly becomes indistinguishable from actual reality.

8) Sidenote - I have been asked to stop telling friends at dinners that 30ish years in the future, I will be able to close my eyes and choose between piloting a starship in a distant galaxy or being an Elven mage with all of it being exactly like real life (smell, touch).

9) Simulation theory! Who are the NPCs? 😃🤷‍♂️

10) The Metaverse will be made up of games. Content will be king again – unlikely that there will be a dominant platform. Why have a consistent identity? I might want to be a different person with different friends when I’m in ancient Egypt (AC Origins) vs. Cyberpunk2077.

11) Xbox, PlayStation, Steam and Discord are identity layers today but this is breaking down with the rise of cross play and growth in Origins, UPlay, Battlenet etc. which is driving down platform take rates even before cloud gaming puts further pressure on them

12) People have different friends lists on different social networks and they have different friends lists in different games (social networks) with only a close circle that are consistent across all of them. I don’t see a single identity layer emerging for the metaverse.

13) And all big games will go F2P over time and $60 will slowly go away – owning a piece of the metaverse and all the associated engagement will be way too valuable to charge for access. Also need a large player pool to efficiently administer status as a svc via matchmaking.

14) AR is very different. There will be platforms/aggregators in AR as the compute/network necessary to make this happen is already in our pockets and an informational overlay on the real world will be a big part of the value add. i.e. Android and IOS should be dominant in AR.

15) Conclusion is that dominant games will be the aggregators in VR (the Metaverse/Oasis/Matrix) while IOS and Android will be both the platforms and the aggregators in AR using @benthompson framework. For further reading, would highly recommend @ballmatthew work on this topic

You can follow @GavinSBaker.


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