Ball characterizes the metaverse in seven necessary attributes, summarized below : Film, COVID Matthew Ball 3/29/20 Film, COVID Matthew Ball 3/29/20. Notably, rumors persist that Sweeney had fought for even lower fees but settled with his board at 12% – a sum he himself admits doesn’t always cover operating costs. However, the biggest developments are often anticipated decades in advance. But it’s Epic Games, with Fortnite, that has the most viable path forward in terms of creating the Metaverse, according to an essay by venture capitalist and former Amazon executive Matthew Ball. Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew). At the same time, many of the pieces are starting to come together. beacons, Apple Watch, Apple Earbuds). In 1945 Vannevar Bush described what he-called the “Memex”, a single device that would store all books, records and communications, and mechanically link them together by association. Ball was born in Liverpool. It’s taken 40 years for technology to advance towards hosting these millions of people but for the shared, synchronous experience that Ball talks of, we now need to look to the cloud. All of which is to say, Apple is more likely to be the dominant way the Western world engages with Metaverse rather than the operator/driver. Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not explicitly declared his intent to develop and own the Metaverse, his obsession with it seems fairly clear. Eve Online, for example, can technically have more than 100,000 players “in the same game”, but they are split across different galaxies (i.e. In the US-tech scene, Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist at VC firm Makers Fund, has become the leading voice and mind on metaverse subjects. However, it’s not yet clear what role Unity will have in driving the Metaverse. But it will be critical to the Metaverse. Sense of presence in a digital world doesn’t make a Metaverse. This is described in more detail later in the piece, but while today’s Internet is structured around individual servers “talking” to one another on an as-needed basis, some believe the Metaverse needs be “wired” and “operated” around persistent many-to-many connections. The most common conceptions of the Metaverse stem from science fiction. If Epic has a viable path to the Metaverse, Valve must too. Advancements in personal computing, technology, new media, and gaming lend themselves to the first signs of what is referred to as the “Metaverse”, an often imagined but rarely well-defined ideal of a technological future that will do for society what the internet did for the 21st century. Offer unprecedented interoperability of data, digital items/assets, content, and so on across each of these experiences – your “Counter-Strike” gun skin, for example, could also be used to decorate a gun in Fortnite, or be gifted to a friend on/through Facebook. You can literally wear a Marvel character’s costume inside Gotham City, while interacting with those wearing legally licensed NFL uniforms. & Into the Metaverse Digital Only: January 26 – 28, 2021 Join today’s leaders in games for two days of content and networking surrounding the hottest topics, from major IDFA changes to the imminent arrival of the metaverse. While science fiction may have us inclined to assume that one dominant company will usher us all into the Metaverse, that's not likely, as it is not the way we operate today. ‎Show Invest Like the Best, Ep Matt Ball - The Future of Media: Movies, the Metaverse, and More - 4 Aug 2020 Microsoft is a good example. In fact, I can’t think of another author whose work I read as quickly once a new essay drops. Matthew Ball (OOO) @ballmatthew. This isn’t a “meta” (Greek for “beyond”) universe, just a synthetic and fictional one designed for a single purpose (a game). However, they tend not to have high levels of concurrency: most video chat programs max out beyond a few people, and once you hit 50, you tend to need to “live stream” a broadcast to your viewers, rather than share a two-way connection. If other companies follow suit, they will collectively help create the possibility for interconnectivity amongst all things. Metaverse will be too.). Though unsuccessful, Google was first to really run after the wearable computing opportunity via Google Glass, and is making an aggressive move into digitizing the home via Google Assistant, its Nest suite of products and FitBit. Today, for example, there are a few dominant account systems – but none have exhaustive coverage of the web and they often stack atop one another with only limited data sharing/access (e.g. This itself isn’t that unique — Microsoft spent $400MM acquiring PlayFab and millions more to support Xbox Live, while Amazon has bought both GameSparks and GameLift in order to sell services to game developers that need lots of servers and tools for their online games to work. But if the goal of a Unity acquisition is to ensure a foundational role in the new Internet, an acquirer instead has an incentive to keep the engine open/available across platforms, and the price can easily become irrelevant. Tencent owns that on-ramp, and the titles that will keep people engaged and immersed in early versions of the Metaverse. Thus, any market opportunity central to the strategies of the world’s tech giants — like health and wellness — is de facto on the Metaverse roadmap. Just as it was hard to envision in 1982 what the Internet of 2020 would be — and harder still to communicate it to those who had never even “logged” onto it at that time — we don’t really know how to describe the Metaverse. This doesn’t mean there isn’t an overall business here – and operating a storefront will doubtlessly help build the Metaverse – but Sweeney’s efforts seem much broader. Most famously, this includes last year’s live Marshmello concert. The Metaverse is a bet that not only will our lives be increasingly online, but our existence and jobs will be too. “Virtual reality” – VR is a way to experience a virtual world or space. Fortnite is too valuable a platform. In The Metaverse, Matthew Ball says the Metaverse will be an always-on, real-time world in which an unlimited number of people can participate at the same time. The best example of Fortnite’s potential is demonstrated by its ability to persuade many supposed competitors into cooperation (or early “interoperability”) with one another. In this sense, the rough outlines of future solutions are often understood and, in a sense, agreed upon well in advance of the technical capacity to produce them. In the US-tech scene, Matthew Ball, a venture capitalist at VC firm Makers Fund, has become the leading voice and mind on metaverse subjects. While many technologists imagined some sort of “personal computer”, its attributes and timing were so unpredictable that Microsoft dominated the PC era that began in the 1990s rather than the mainframe domineer IBM. Just imagine, for example, if credit card fees weren’t 0.5-2.5% but up to 60-20x as much; whole sectors of the physical economy wouldn’t be able to operate (such as a coffee shop or grocery store). Its players aren’t logging in to “play”, per se, but to be with their virtual and real-world friends. Here, the Metaverse is typically portrayed as a sort of digital “jacked-in” internet – a manifestation of actual reality, but one based in a virtual (often theme park-like) world, such those portrayed in Ready Player One and The Matrix. ... sometimes referred to as a metaverse… As such, lines are being blurred between our virtual experiences and what we do in those experiences. We are already transacting at scale for purely digital items for purely digital activities via purely digital marketplaces. Any thoughts, comments, disagreements, additions, ideas - please email me at mb at matthewball dot vc and I will make updates. In The Metaverse, Matthew Ball says the Metaverse will be an always-on, real-time world in which an unlimited number of people can participate at the same time. In addition to operating Fortnite — which was in theory a side project — Epic Games also owns the second largest independent gaming engine, Unreal. ... Genvid is helping put the “meta” in the Metaverse by creating the most advanced interactive streaming technology in the world. Just as the standards for the Metaverse can’t simply be “declared”, consumers and businesses won’t embrace a would-be proto-Metaverse simply because it’s available. The popularity of video game broadcasting and YouTubers still elude many in the media industry, as does the idea that the best way to monetize content might be to give it away for free and charge for optional $0.99 items of no consequential value. Magic Leap seems to believe that by owning the hardware layer, it can be the core driver of the Metaverse (Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson is the company’s Chief Futurist). To operate, the Metaverse requires something more akin to video conferencing and video games. Similarly, a car designed for Rocket League (or even for Porsche’s website) could be brought over to work in Roblox. Many of these companies are scaling to great heights, meaning that nothing is precluding their advancement. But in the game, as with real life, you can’t just “build” a 10MM person city. For years, this was heavily resisted by the major gaming platforms as they believed that enabling such an experience would undermine their network effects and reduce the need to buy their proprietary hardware. player) would first design their mega-metropolis, then build from day one to this final vision. Matthew Ball He is also a Venture Partner at Makers Fund. In addition, platforms such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, as well as technologies such as Bitcoin, are based around the hiring of individuals/businesses/computational power to perform virtual and digital tasks. Ultimately, too much of the Metaverse remains unclear for us to have strong convictions on who will lead it or how they’ll get us there. Matthew Ball (MB): I’m Matthew Ball, I’m a venture investor. Because this is where we’re headed, we’re understanding the value of it and what those kinds of experiences can do for our lives. Key Takeaway from Matthew Ball’s Metaverse: The Metaverse will transform the modern economy and represents a next-generation opportunity akin to when the internet was first embraced by investors and consumers around the world. Individuals currently have multiple identity profiles online, between Google, Apple, Facebook, and more. At the same time, the Metaverse also allows Facebook to extend its reach up and down the stack. Take posture, for example. ‎My guest today, Matthew Ball, is a long time coming. Our ability to interconnect more in the digital world will create a whole new market that we may be on the cusp of understanding but cannot yet predict. Not only will the Metaverse grow the pie by too much, big transitions tend to disrupt when they’re hard to see and incumbents are slow to respond or capital constrained. This does happen from time to time (e.g. PS: This is obviously a very hard topic to nail down. (16:20) Matthew Ball updates our understanding of the metaverse. The Metaverse wants to take that interoperability to an entirely new and enhanced level. Be persistent – which is to say, it never “resets” or “pauses” or “ends”, it just continues indefinitely, Be synchronous and live – even though pre-scheduled and self-contained events will happen, just as they do in “real life”, the Metaverse will be a living experience that exists consistently for everyone and in real time, Have no real cap to concurrent participations with an individual sense of “presence” – everyone can be a part of the Metaverse and participate in a specific event/place/activity together, at the same time and with individual agency, Be a fully functioning economy – individuals and businesses will be able to create, own, invest, sell, and be rewarded for an incredibly wide range of “work” that produces “value” that is recognized by others, Be an experience that spans both the digital and physical worlds, private and public networks/experiences, and open and closed platforms. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Epic Games are already competing to edge each other out in a race to be first to the Metaverse mountaintop. My guest today, Matthew Ball, is a long time coming. And if/when Eve Online did get to battles involving hundreds of users, the system slowed to a crawl. Concerts have gone digital with virtual reproduction. Fear and trepidation over making the leap as a business into precursors of the Metaverse will eventually give way to practices that will dictate the new normal. non-engine or advertising) services have not been widely adopted. Fortnite creative director at game awards says the goal is “to create a metaverse, a place where all IP can live together, where all kinds of experiences can happen” - @DonaldMustard cc @ballmatthew pic.twitter.com/eSwVnnzfZk. Valve has also spent years developing and releasing VR hardware, generates billions in profits each year, and is privately owned by a team of technologists focused on open-source technologies with a disdain for closed ecosystems. Democratization of … The Internet is a wide set of protocols, technology, tubes and languages, plus access devices and content and communication experiences atop them. More broadly, the Metaverse stands to alter how we allocate and monetize modern resources. But it’s particularly rare to see it crossed over in an experience they don’t control editorially, let alone one based around unpredictability (not even the creative team behind Fortnite knows what it will do in 2021) and with such a wide range of IP. COVID-19 has forced an audience with no previous connection to these practices to engage with them, which is destigmatizing a “virtual existence”. Ball is in the process of establishing a metaverse conference. And while the web today is built on open standards, much of it is closed and proprietary. There is also disagreement on how much interoperability is required for the Metaverse to really be “the Metaverse”, rather than just an evolution of today’s Internet. Amazon is interesting in a few regards. English dancer Matthew Ball is a Principal dancer of The Royal Ballet. However, its inevitable influence over standards, playtime, and content creation are so large that it’s difficult to imagine it won’t be acquired by and integrated into a major technology player with a wider range of assets and advantages. And while these sorts of experience are likely to be an aspect of the Metaverse, this conception is limited in the same way movies like Tron portrayed the Internet as a literal digital “information superhighway” of bits. According to Epic Games Founder/CEO Tim Sweeney, this means that there are now three ways to create in Unreal: the standard “coding” engine itself, the more simplified and “visual” Twinmotion, and Fortnite Creative Mode for those with no experience in programming and design. He’s the former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, an investor, and probably my favorite business essayist writing today. Venture Capitalist and elite media analyst Matthew Ball posits that the future is already here. The Internet came from public research universities and US government programs. Facebook’s Metaverse advantages are immense. Matthew Ball talks about games as the “on-ramp” experience for the Metaverse, the thing that will get early adopters to try it out. And while something that sounds straight out of science fiction may leave you thinking that it has no bearing on today’s world, think again. (25:10) Kodak’s $765M loan to produce pharmaceuticals (41:50) Listen on Apple , Spotify , or Google Podcasts. We have seen our lives go heavily “online” in the many months since the global pandemic rocked our world and the way it traditionally works. Not only is private industry fully aware of the potential of the Metaverse, it probably has the most aggressive conviction in this future, not to mention the most cash (at least when it comes from a willingness to fund Metaverse R&D), the best engineering talent, and greatest desire for conquest. In addition, the Metaverse will need altogether new rules for censorship, control of communications, regulatory enforcement, tax reporting, the prevention of online radicalization, and many more challenges that we’re still struggling with today. Experiences we’ve been collectively launched into as a circumstance of the global pandemic – zoom meetings, virtual concerts, shopping through Instagram, and more – are, disparate as they seem, moving on a path towards one another. Here’s a look at Ball’s musings on what the Metaverse really is, why it matters, what it’s going to take to build, who’s trying to build it, and what that means for your business. One of these concerns is whether participants will have a single consistent digital identity (or “avatar”) that they will use across all experiences. Note, too, that this all reduces Epic’s reliance on Fortnite in its long-term efforts to build the Metaverse. Be populated by “content” and “experiences” created and operated by an incredibly wide range of contributors, some of whom are independent individuals, while others might be informally organized groups or commercially-focused enterprises. your iPhone is based around an iOS account, then you might log into an app using your Facebook ID, which itself is your Gmail account). And no one monetizes this data better at global scale than Google. Key Takeaway from Matthew Ball’s Metaverse: The Metaverse will transform the modern economy and represents a next-generation opportunity akin … This concept was then used to formulate the idea of “hypertext” (a term coined two decades later), which in turn guided the development of the World Wide Web (developed another two decades later). Consider, for example, “Gold Farming”. As more consumer spending shifts to virtual goods, services, and experiences, we’ll also see further shifts in where we live, the infrastructure that’s built, and who performs which tasks. Not long after in-game trade economies emerged, many “players” – often employed by a larger company and typically in lower-income countries — would spend a workday collecting digital resources for sale inside or outside the game. Reframing your view of today’s landscape now and recognizing these disparate forays into new tech-driven experiences not as disparate, but as ingredients on a collision course to the birth of the Metaverse, may be the very thing that will position you and your business to be prepared for it when it comes. None of this is true today (which doesn’t mean market share won’t shift, or that some companies, such as Epic, won’t surge to the forefront). Venture Capitalist and elite media analyst Matthew Ball posits that the future is already here. It’s taken 40 years for technology to advance towards hosting these millions of people but for the shared, synchronous experience that Ball talks of, we now need to look to the cloud. The company was/is focused not on VFX engineers or game designers, but on offering intuitive, icon-based software that enables “architecture, construction, urban planning and landscaping professionals” to produce realistic, immersive digital environments based in Unreal “in seconds”. Some believe the definition (and success) of a Metaverse requires it to be a heavily decentralized platform built mostly upon community-based standards and protocols (like the open web) and an “open source” Metaverse OS or platform (this doesn’t mean there won’t be dominant closed platforms in the Metaverse). After all, Fortnite doesn’t have a story or IP – the plot is what happens on it and who is there. Macquarie Upgrades Roku The only trouble is that nobody shares the exact same idea of what the Metaverse is. I love that his default mode seems to be thinking about big picture and strategy. But unlike SimCity, there will be many mayors, not one — and their desires and incentives will often conflict. What’s more, these “games” are even more reliant on user-generated content and user-led experiences — there is no underlying game-like goal such as “winning” or “surviving” in Minecraft, the “game” is creation (which isn’t to say that users haven’t created many “games” with game-like goals). This engine is used by more than half of mobile games and is even more widely deployed in real-world rendering/simulation use cases (e.g. And you’ll recognize each one. This was in part because few in private business understood the commercial potential of a World Wide Web, but it was also true that these groups were essentially the only entities with the computational talent, resources, and ambitions to build it. 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