Since we created Ready for Metaverse, I have realised that unfulfilled promises have been one of the rules set by the platform creators of Metaverse. We decided to create the platform to test the projects, present them to the users and give them as objective an assessment of each project as possible. I count by the hundreds the people I have advised publicly and privately on the long-term viability of these projects. Today, I have decided to open up my expertise a little more publicly. I will not name names, but by clarifying certain general vicissitudes, you will quickly realise whether you have made the right or wrong choice, often with a previous financial investment.
Read this question, but do not answer it until the end of the article:
Do you regret the projects in which you have placed your trust?
THE TECHNOLOGY IS IMMATURE
Devices to generate complete and functional metaverses are expensive. They are not affordable for the critical mass of users. But this is not all, this is the most mundane. The reality is that in addition to being inaccessible in many cases due to price, it is inaccessible due to technological limitations:
Resolution and image quality : Current VR and AR devices have limited resolution, which makes it difficult to create a hyper-realistic virtual world. In addition to the fact that using them for long periods of time can cause various physical problems such as dizziness , blurred vision or nausea .
❌ Tracking: The tracking of VR and AR devices is still imperfect, which can cause immersion and coordination problems. Sometimes on the Oculus Quest 2 the tracking was lost or buggy.
Volume : Yeah, don’t tell me they don’t. They are big, quite big. Sometimes annoying , heavy or even cumbersome. Maybe you’ve tried physical activities with the glasses, how do you handle sweat with them on ?
❌ Software : Although the advances are becoming more and more significant, the experience is superior in an ULTRA game than in any virtual world that your glasses can handle. It has limitations, that’s normal, but let’s face it, glasses in these projects are anything but realistic.
LACK OF INTEROPERABILITY
Everyone is doing their own thing, as usual. The famous interoperability that everyone talks about does not exist. Some don’t want to share, others can’t, and others are open to it but are not interesting to others.
🔸 Interoperability in the Metaverse ( World Economic Forum ) 🔸
The above is the interoperability report in collaboration with Accenture from the World Economic Forum, which will explain in a very efficient way the benefits of interoperability. But remember, it does not exist today. There are collaborations, which is not the same as interoperability, but hey, there have always been collaborations even in video games, it is nothing new.
What happens with this? That in the platform you operate you are sold in the sense of having digital assets “in property”. It doesn’t matter if there is blockchain integration, if you have a wallet and you think you own them. It is a mirage. If it is not compatible with another platform, where do you plan to take them ?
They will die in your wallet along with the platform the day it decides to close. This is well known by videogame players who spend and spend in each game version and when the game ends, the items, acquisitions or progress die with them.
Buuuuuuut, of this are learning a few. Players are starting to complain, a lot , a lot , a lot that their progress and purchases are not saved and they can continue to play with their weapon camouflages for example in Call of Duty . And in this… Activision has seen it coming
If you go to the link you will see that MWII content will be compatible with some exceptions in MWIII , but not the other way around. However, if you subsequently purchase MWII , you will have that content available in MWIII. Good move, isn’t it ? Gamers are happy. However, always be wary. Read the message at the bottom of the article:
What did you think? They do not belong to you at all. It is simply available for you to continue your journey (on our platform) and nothing beyond our platform. Forget about interoperability, generating economy with your assets or saving them to remember moments 10 years from now. Forget about it and let’s move on.
The new platforms especially integrated in blockchain , are far from invulnerable. This is the case of The Sandbox .
Cybercriminals used phishing to introduce malware to steal the data of the platform’s users.
First, they sent fake emails that appeared to come from The Sandbox. These emails contained links to fake websites that were infected with malware. When users clicked on the links, the malware was downloaded to their devices and stole their personal data.
The stolen data included names, email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses and, in some cases, even passwords. Cybercriminals could use this information to make fraudulent purchases, access bank accounts or even impersonate victims in the real world.
It is estimated that it affected more than 100,000 users.
Let’s keep in mind that these platforms, many are totally indie and can suffer attacks and data leaks everywhere without a good cybersecurity system. Did you know that cybersecurity is one of the most expensive things for a company and it is usually the last thing to be invested in?
Cyberbullying is also one of the main problems of our new life. And this of course has had its cases in “the metaverse”.
I will recommend you to read this article: Cyberbullying in the Metaverse and the case of Nina Jane.
And as far as security is concerned, I am not going to talk about investing with cryptocurrencies or fiat money in this type of platforms, because here everyone would lose out, absolutely everyone. The days, weeks, months and years show us today that the losses of holders, faithful believers of these metaverses are in catastrophic losses. And no, I am not talking about traders. We are talking about people who do not trade on exchanges. We are talking about normal people who just wanted to have an investment or a land in NFT format because the promises of the projects were ridiculously fantastic.
In my view, neither ethically nor morally these actions by development teams are justified. Many of them have shown opaque perspectives on the real development of the platforms. They have relied on small trailers and videos of what could have been and never was to date. Changes of course have been made on the fly after compromising on certain points vital to many users and investors that if this had not been the case from the beginning perhaps the user would have thought twice.
If we look at the profit figures since the tokens were launched, which in the end is the new form of financing for small studios, the results are not very encouraging and are not based solely and exclusively on market sentiment:
The Sandbox 🔻-66% last year / 🔻 -96.50% from ATH
Decentraland 🔻-58% last year / 🔻-95% from ATH
Bloktopia 🔻-59% last year / 🔻 -99.25% from ATH
Somnium Space 🔻 -54% last year / 🔻-97.5% from ATH
Outer Ring 🔻 -29.8% last year / 🔻 -98% from ATH
Gamium 🔻-48% last year / 🔻-96.66% from ATH
Over the Reality 🔻-69.3% last year / 🔻 -93.98% from ATH
Victoria VR 🔻 -47.3% last year / 🔻 -99% from ATH
Star Atlas 🔻 -67% last year / 🔻-99.34% from ATH
Everdome.io 🔻-71.6% last year / 🔻-99.28% from ATH
PROBLEMS WITH SCALABILITY
To get down to the user level, metaverses are virtual environments that require a large amount of resources to operate, such as processing power, storage and bandwidth. When there are many users in the same scene, the demand for these resources can be too high for the servers to support, which can cause problems such as delays (delay or high latency), connection drops or even the impossibility to enter a scene with attempts (infinite retries).
There are a number of factors that contribute to the lack of scalability in metaverses, including:
- The technology: It is not ready to support the load of a metaverse with millions of simultaneous users. Currently visible and public testing
Here I show you the public test of simultaneous users in a video game. And we are talking about a video game that is already dead. Now add to that high requirement technologies such as VR . Count that in a soccer stadium can fit 80,000 people or even 100,000 or 10,000 to 20,000 in some music festivals. It seems that we are a bit far away for now that technology will let us do certain experiences simultaneously.
- The architecture: Current metaverses are designed to be centralized, which means that all the load falls on a few servers. This is because it is cheaper, much easier to manage with a single point of control for data and resources, and easier to maintain and update. On the other hand, it is also much easier to control when it comes to ensuring that the brand and the products or services it offers are done in a certain way. At the same time, attacking a centralized metaverse is much easier because it has a single point of attack, while decentralized metaverses can distribute their information through each of them and it is more complex to attack all of them, although sometimes it is not strictly necessary to obtain certain information.
Currently, cloud computing is providing flexibility and scalability, being able to adapt to the constant changes of a project in an agile but costly way. Also kubernetes is playing a good role, allowing auto scalability, load balancing or resource optimization.
LACK OF CONTENT AND ADOPTION
In addition to the aforementioned problems, there is also the fact of the lack of content in virtual worlds, their appearance closer to video games of the first video game consoles as well as the lack of users in these worlds. Although it is true that there have been several events on platforms such as Decentraland , these have been a small wave of very short duration, gathering small groups of “metanerds” who wanted to get some reward or browse for just a few minutes the map in search of something new.
As of the date of this article, the Decentraland platform hosts between 200-300 connected users. You can visualize it here :
Live Metrics Decentraland
Now, if you are a user or a brand, do you consider it profitable to invest a single cent in this type of platform? Probably not, and if you do, maybe it would have a speculative component.
In its rival platform, The Sandbox presents a sad 100 interactions in the last 24h through wallets. You can also view this information here: The Sandbox Radar
Does this mean that the metaverse is dead? No, far from it. This article aims from the beginning to give an insight into one of the pieces of the puzzle that make up the metaverse ecosystem. To limit its concept to interactive virtual worlds or blockchain-integrated video games would be hypocritical on my part.
I will talk about blockchain and where the interest in the metaverse is turning in my next edition. In it I will introduce the current mechanisms being carried out by brands to reach children, teenagers and adults through certain video games that now seem to become metaverse according to some technologists. Blockchain has been a burden for developers and platform creators as well as for the consumer who , due to the friction that blockchain generates in an inexperienced common user, becomes reluctant to participate in projects that have to do with cryptocurrencies or NFT’s . But more on this in the next one.
I hope you found this article interesting and of course, you are invited to participate in the comments.
Thank you very much and see you in the next edition.