This Metaverse Monkey Tech demo is 5 times more expensive than GTA 5
A tech demo showing a running monkey in an open world that would have received £1,000,000,000 in funding has been released. The tech demo is being created by British metaverse company Improbable, which is developing “high-density, large-scale virtual worlds” that have also been described as Fortnite with a monkey in them.
According to Guardian technology editor Alex Hern the tech demo shows an upcoming game with £1 billion in funding. That’s about five times the amount spent developing Rockstar’s blockbuster Grand Theft Auto 5. The tech demo in question is called “First Trip” and footage of it was released via Improbable’s Twitter account.
The 36-second clip shows a monkey in a white cap running through various environments such as a swamp and wooded areas in an open world that could resemble the glowing landscapes of Epic’s hugely popular Fortnite. The First Trip clip features UI elements that show players can potentially squirm and chat while text appears on the left side, like many online open-world games do. However, it is only a tech demo as it is, although it was very well funded.
Improbable has received funding from top tech investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Japanese tech giant SoftBank, raising $150m in an investment round last month. The British company was founded in 2012 but has received more media coverage in recent years due to growing hype around the metaverse. Improbable is using its funds to develop what it calls M2: “a network of interoperable metaverses powered by its Morpheus technology.” It is hoped that this technology will power an online world that could contain huge numbers of people at the same time. Currently, popular multiplayer online games such as Fortnite can host around 100 players on the same server, but Improbable is aiming for over 10,000 online players in a shared space.
Many tech companies are devoting resources to developing the metaverse, including Microsoft, Tencent, and Epic Games, all of which are investing in the concept. But the most enthusiastic of all might just be Meta (hence the name), which rebranded from Facebook to indicate the change. Facebook/Meta co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is well known for being passionate about the metaverse, even though he is posting dramatic losses every quarter due to the huge funds needed for his R&D.
Time will tell if this monkey tech demo can ever recoup the money that went into it. Meanwhile, Rockstar and Epic are making millions every day from their shared online worlds in GTA Online and Fortnite respectively, though those video games weren’t widely considered “metaverse” until fairly recently.
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