Bi-weekly update with the latest insights from the Metaverse: news, posts, creations, and communities.
Hello!! Spring is here! And that’s not the only exciting news this time around.
The big focus this week is on Metaverse companies that keep getting bigger and bigger. Some major milestones have been reached, especially with Rec Room’s latest fundraising round. I think few companies doubt that 3D is the way forward for software, and VR/AR is going to become the main entry point to that software.
Current big companies are already investing heavily, with Facebook at the top. But Metaverse companies like Roblox and Rec Room, and many VR games continue to grow. It’s a great sign of a healthy market. No idea when the growth explosion will be, but we’re getting there.
On the news
Epic Games continues buying companies: They recently announced the acquisition of CapturingReality. With Unreal Engine 5 supporting high-quality assets that work on all platforms, having an easy way to create those assets is a great addition. This is also a photogrammetry solution that can be useful to build the Metaverse later on. [Link]
Gather raises $26M, led by Sequoia: Gather is a top-down 2D world for people to hang out. It comes with positional audio and a camera feed that fades away if you move far away from others. It’s similar to what High Fidelity is doing now. This is a very big Series A led by the top VC firm. I’m not so sure 2D worlds are the best approach moving forward, but I do think something like Gather is more interesting than a Zoom call. [Link]
FB has over 10k people working on XR: A couple of months ago we said there were 6k people. Well, it’s 10k. This would account for 20% of the total workforce. That is insane and scary. I’d be curious to know the total amount of people working on XR outside of FB. Most companies and teams are still quite small. They are clearly betting their future on XR. [Link]
Rec Room valued at $1.25B: Yeah, you read that right. They just raised an extra $100M from Sequoia, Index, and others with a unicorn level valuation. I believe it’s the first software-based (to exclude Oculus and Magic Leap) VR native company valued at >$1B. They have 1M monthly active users. These are crazy numbers and a big milestone for the VR community. Congratulations and keep up the great work. [Link]
Food for Thought
Designing the architecture for the Museum of Other Realities: It’s one of my favorite VR applications. The artists behind its architecture have written a lengthy blog post explaining all the different decisions. I enjoyed their explanation of how they designed lighting. It’s well worth a read to see how deeply every detail is thought out. [Link]
VR vs Video Conferencing: This is an old post from about a year ago at the start of the pandemic. Early mentions of Zoom fatigue started to appear, but multiuser VR is a very different experience. The author of the post points at the fact that you actually turn around to look at someone, or that you have certain body gestures that make the experience more natural. We obviously (for now) lose on facial expressions, but depending on the objective, one platform’s pros and cons may be better than the other. [Link]
Create a platformer with Figma: I don’t want to hype too much, but this is very cool. It’s a set of templates to easily design a platformer from Figma. Create the levels and backgrounds, and when you’re all set, copy the link to your Figma file, paste it into the website, and you have a game. I think this is very creative. [Link]
See you in 2 weeks!