Improbable this week unveiled a software project which may finally help justify its lofty metaverse ambitions — and the money that investors like SoftBank, Andreessen Horowitz and Horizons Ventures have ploughed into the much-hyped UK scaleup.
The technology, known internally as Project Morpheus, is designed to allow Improbable to host truly large multiplayer online games, with up to 10,000 players all interacting in the same space, something that the games industry has struggled to do so far.
“The dirty secret of the metaverse is that you can’t do big games at scale,” said Herman Narula, Improbable’s founder and CEO.
Although there is much talk about the “metaverse” — an immersive virtual reality experience where people can connect and play games — the truth is, these spaces can still only host relatively small numbers of people at a time.
The popular battle game Fortnite, for example, will have just 100 in any game. Games may give the illusion of there being thousands of combatants on the battlefield, but most of these will just be simulations, not other players. Millions of people might play Fortnite at once, but they will actually be on thousands of separate servers, each hosting 10 games, with 100 people in each game.