Let’s get business out of the way before getting to the fun part: Meta, the parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, is heavily involved in virtual worlds through its metaverse unit, Reality Labs.
However, its investments have yet to pay off, with the metaverse company reporting collective losses of over $40 billion.
Despite the losses, investors are optimistic about Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term bet on the metaverse, sending the stock up 7% after hearing Zuckerberg’s reasoning on the Meta Q2 2023 Earnings call.
Wall Street seems convinced by his arguments, which are backed by Meta’s improved overall business performance as the platform saw its revenue increase in the second quarter. Zuckerberg aims to cover metaverse costs with the growth from Meta’s family of apps, which has increased by $2 billion, making it just over halfway to covering the $3.7 billion loss from Reality Labs.
I can’t guarantee you that I’m going to be right about this bet. I do think that this is the direction that the world is going in.”
The Meta CEO believes an immersive version of the internet will become the norm. He supported this statement with examples of trends such as smart glasses and immersive communication:
There are 1 billion or 2 billion people who have glasses today. I think in the future, they’re all going to be smart glasses. And all the time that we spend on TVs and computers, I think that’s going to get more immersive and look something more like VR in the future.”
After the launch of Threads — excitement over which faded after a short while but has been reignited — Meta will reportedly release AI chatbots with human-like personalities with a focus on user retention.
Role-playing game combines AI and NFT on Discord
A new blockchain game is cooking for all the text-based role-playing game lovers out there. Alchemy: Battle for Ankhos will be running on Discord, using the platform’s familiar environment to host battles in a fantasy world.
Although this isn’t an entirely new concept, with examples like Wordle, PokeMeow and Guess the Song, bringing along crypto and AI will surely spice things up.
The art style immediately conjures memories of Darkest Dungeon — another turn-based RPG with roguelike mechanics. Four developers are building the game with the support of generative AI tools, including OpenAI and Midjourney. The Alchemy: Battle for Ankhos team utilizes Midjourney to create art, while OpenAI gives NPCs custom behavior.
The project, which was one of the five winners in Solana’s NFT Showdown, will allow players to mint their assets from in-game menus without any blockchain knowledge. According to the game’s creative director, Alex Finden, nearly every asset earned or purchased in-game will be optionally mintable.
A new challenger: Web3 gets a new esports platform
Professional Dota 2 player Erik “Tofu” Engel, who has won over $400,000 from various esports tournaments, has recently expressed interest in the Web3 stage.
Short for “electronic sports,” esports is a growing industry with an audience of more than half a billion people on the global stage in 2022, with expected growth to $1.87 billion in revenue by 2025. With these numbers, it is no wonder Web3 players are competing to enter the space.
Crypto gaming startup Ultra also heard the call and announced the launch of an esports tournament platform built on its own blockchain network called Ultra Arena. The platform, which will launch on Aug. 8, will allow players and brands to organize tournaments and leagues with NFTs and platform tokens as prizes.