Amioca Brands is the star this week, leading the funding of two web3 game worlds, Seed (by Klang Games) and Libplanet. Otherwise, a relatively slow week in XR after Independence Day in the US. Meta, always on top of XR news, has detached its accounts from Facebook, which will be good news for many users.
Klang Games raises $41 million to build Seed virtual world with AI beings The company, which has raised a total of $80 million, has also named electronic arts veteran Isabelle Henriques as co-CEO. Multiplayer space colony game is a persistent simulation where players have to cooperate to colonize an alien plane. Players manage multiple characters that live after the player logs out. Animoca Brands and Kingsway Capital led the round, with participation from Anthos, Novator, Supercell, Roosh Ventures, AngelHub and New Life Ventures.
Planetarium Labs raises $32M Series A. The company is building a game ecosystem based on Libplanet’s blockchain technology, which allows players to participate in the game network and gives the community a chance to play a major role in the development of open source content. Libplanet played a pivotal role in Nine Chronicles, an open-source online RPG with 300,000 players that runs on its own blockchain. The round was led by Animoca Brands and joined by Krust Universe, Wemade and Samsung Next,
Meta to replace the Facebook login requirement for Quest with a new Meta account Meta will no longer need a Facebook login to use its popular headset. Instead, users will be required to create a new Meta username and password starting in August. The response was lukewarm. “We no longer need Facebook accounts to log into Quest, but we do need…Meta accounts. It’s basically the same thing, just under a different name,” said XR tech blogger Tony “Skarred Ghost” Vitillo. You can still connect to FB and Insta if you want. “Friends” will become “Followers” like Instagram.
Book Review: The Metaverse, and How It Will Change Everything, by Matthew Ball Ball has set himself a monumental task. In order to explain the metaverse, it must explain the history of the personal computer, the Internet, cell phones, networks, cable infrastructure, streaming, games, game consoles, and reality virtual and augmented. Because the Internet and what comes after represent the convergence of business, history and technology, intertwined like a golden braid, no technology, and few companies, are mentioned. Some general business readers might consider this too much information, but I loved it and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Secret Location’s Walking Wonderland at the Atlanta Illuminarium. Emmy-winning Toronto content studio Secret Location showcased its new immersive multimedia experience, wonderland awakening, at Illuminarium last month. The Alice-themed experience uses interactive props, motion tracking, and spatial soundscapes. The project received production funding from the Canada Media Fund and Ontario Creates, and is an Epic MegaGrant recipient.
The Toronto VRTO (VR Toronto) will take place July 20-21 The two-day conference includes a lecture track, accelerated workshops, and an exhibit hall. Attendees network and learn about virtual production, live VR theatrical performances, hyperreality television, natural language holodecks and next-gen haptics defining the future of production for entertainment, TV and film, arts, performance, design and communications.
IDC asserts that Meta warrants its hardware at its own risk. IDC analysts have questioned the company’s practice of selling the Quest at a loss to attract more users, which is how game console companies also started. Meta will soon face more competition from TikTok’s Pico VR and Apple’s upcoming headsets, due in 2023.
This week in XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, futurist at Paramount Global. Our guest this week is Steve Grubbs, founder of VictoryXR, who is behind the metaversities we’ve written about. You can find the podcast on podcasting platforms Spotify, itunesand Youtube.
What we read
Epic Graphics Guru Tim Sweeney Predicts How We Can Create The Open Metaverse (Dean Takahashi/VentureBeat)
My Doubts About the Apple Headset and Consumer VR (Tony Vitillo/SkarredGhost blog)