One of the principles of the metaverse as we currently understand it is that it’s a social space. It’s intended to be a world where we can all socialize regardless of where we are in the physical world. But how are game makers actually going to create such a space? We hosted a panel on the topic at this year’s GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming event, Into the Metaverse 2.
Matthew Ball, managing partner at EpyllionCo, moderated the discussions. He spoke with Anna Sweet and Tanya Watson, CEO and President of Bad Robot Games, respectively. They spoke about the metaverse and VR and how those change the
Sweet noted one of the ways Bad Robot is uniquely placed to build a universe that is designed to be cross-medium from the beginning. “If you could go back in time to when a universe like Game of Thrones or Westworld — any of these epic, expansive universes was being created in its earliest stages. If you had all of these storytellers who are good at telling their stories in different mediums in that room, you could just imagine this rich universe that’s deeply connected and interesting that you can explore infinitely.”
Diverse creators, diverse worlds
Both panelists said that stories transcending a specific medium was a major goal of Bad Robot. Watson said, “When we talk about metaverse, this ultimate utopia of being able to exist anywhere, to feel anything, to have any experience that can be created by games, plus the great fields of the entertainment industry … that’s where we all hope we are in ten years.”
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Ball mentioned that staffing will present different challenges when game developers are creating cross-medium experiences. Sweet said it was important for those telling the story to represent those playing: “The whole industry is diversifying rapidly, and I think the most strategic bet we can make with our business and with any game studio business is to build a team that is representative of those gamers … . For us, diversity and inclusion in our studio is not just the kind of company we want to be. It’s also the most important aspect of our business.”
Ball pointed out that the social parts of games, such as the lobbies where users can spend time with each other, are becoming more important as games become bigger. Both panelists concurred.
“We are all social creatures, and we want to do these things together. We’re tired of being divided by platforms, by hardware, by whatever,” said Watson. “Building something and getting us to a space where we can do this together regardless of our device and where we are in the world … that transcends IP and the worlds we’re building.”
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