Sony and many other technology giants invest $ 1 billion in Epic Games to make a “super universe” – the next evolution of the internet

Tram Ho

Every time a huge amount of capital is poured into a game company, we tend to expect a new blockbuster game, a disruptive technology, or expect the company to switch owners . But in this case, Epic Games says they are developing something called “metaverse”, roughly translated as “super universe”.

Sony và nhiều ông lớn công nghệ khác đầu tư 1 tỷ USD vào Epic Games để làm một “siêu vũ trụ” - bước tiến hóa tiếp theo của internet - Ảnh 1.

Tim Sweeney.

We appreciate the actions of existing investors and both new collaborators, Epic visionaries and the super universe, ” said CEO Tim Sweeney. “ These investments will speed up building a community experience in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys games, and power the Unreal Engine, Epic Online services and the Epic Games store. developers ”.

Both Epic Games and their CEO have repeatedly mentioned the creation of a super universe, but there is no clear information whether the project has just received a capital of up to 1 billion USD. So what is this super universe, and why did Epic Games want to create it?

The term “super universe” …

… first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Snow Crash, describing a virtual space that allows users to use virtual avatars to interact with each other. Over the past decade, many prominent names in the gaming industry have been looking to create different versions of the super universe. However, no company has fulfilled the big dream, no one has yet defined the shape, function and magnitude of the “super universe”.

There are still a few bullets that are consensus on by a majority of developers. According to Matthew Ball, market analyst at venture capital firm and financial advisor Epylion Industries, the universe is:

A continuous online virtual space allows players to interact with each other in real time.

Here, there exist instant events as well as pre-planned events that connect reality to the virtual world.

The Super Universe will have its own economy, allowing content developers to monetize the products they create in this world.

– Every service, company, individual, and platform that exists in the super universe is interconnected.

In theory, this virtual super universe would be a descendant of the internet we all know.

Sony và nhiều ông lớn công nghệ khác đầu tư 1 tỷ USD vào Epic Games để làm một “siêu vũ trụ” - bước tiến hóa tiếp theo của internet - Ảnh 2.

Photo: Glenn Harvey / Washington Post.

Many times, CEO Tim Sweeney has described moving from the internet to metaverse as similar to how email technology evolved over the years. In the early days, email was on the internal system, until the @ symbol appeared and added to the email address, we could connect to any email address on the internet. Basically, people compromise, agree to link their own system together, creating an open system that connects back and forth.

Mr. Sweeney said that the emergence of the super universe will clear the barrier between closed systems, instead of having multiple social media platforms and multiple game platforms, we will only use one connected super universe. everything and have a separate digital economy.

The big guys are trying to build the super universe

In the current gaming village, there are virtual spaces comparable to a super-universe, but the scale has not reached the “fantasy” level. The online role-playing games in the large open world (MMORPG) can contain hundreds of thousands of players interacting with each other in real time, owning a separate currency system, but this is still a closed system. can’t connect to it from anywhere. Besides, this virtual space can not load too many players at once, still have to divide gamers into separate servers.

There are also many other developers trying to create a virtual space similar to the super-universe, although no name has reached “reach”. We see Second Life, Minecraft and especially Roblox trying to create their own super universe. And outside of the gaming industry, many other tech giants have similar desires.

Sony và nhiều ông lớn công nghệ khác đầu tư 1 tỷ USD vào Epic Games để làm một “siêu vũ trụ” - bước tiến hóa tiếp theo của internet - Ảnh 3.

Play shooter in VR environment, using “flesh-and-blood” controller.

The most obvious signs are that Google unifies all of its online elements, including applications, tools and systems. Facebook has Project Horizon , which uses the Oculus VR virtual reality glasses to access virtual spaces. Cloud computing technology is becoming more and more popular, now that we can play games on the cloud platform, surely the creators of the universe will need a server to host their world, and for sure. , they thought of bringing the virtual world “to the cloud”.

No one has succeeded in creating a super universe, what the parties have done is to build a closed virtual world. A super Universe must satisfy the conditions that allow users to access from any point. With billions of dollars in investment, can Epic Games realize the new world that exists in fiction?

What is Epic going to do with a super universe?

Looking at the pending lawsuit between Epic and Apple, it can be seen that Mr. Sweeney is not just asking for money; Tim Sweeney is trying to entice big tech companies to embrace a new direction, with a large system connecting things in virtual environments. Fortnite is a piece of the big picture that Sweeney envisioned, when it can be played on multiple platforms and allows players to bring gameplay and pick / buy items to other platforms.

If Epic wins, Epic will take one step closer to the ability to connect things. If the lawsuit loses, Epic will have to find other ways, thanks to other units to realize the super universe dream.

One of the matches that sparked the Epic vs Lawsuit bomb. Apple.

Without the massive success of Fortnite (earning so much money that tech giants like Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Google can’t ignore it; 2019 revenue is $ 1.8 billion with nearly 250). million players worldwide), Tim Sweeney will not think about creating a super universe that connects virtual things. But Epic not only relies on Fortnite to make money, they also own the Unreal Engine, a tool that supports even blockbuster TV series that require heavy skills, like The Mandalorian or Westworld.

Currently, Epic also receives a huge investment from reputable partners. They just bought the developers of Rocket League and Fall Guys, two games with a large community of players, for the purpose of creating super universes. Also not long ago, SuperAwesome, a company founded with the aim of ensuring the safety of children on cyberspace, joined the Epic family. We can already see Tim Sweeney’s ambition clearly .

Sony và nhiều ông lớn công nghệ khác đầu tư 1 tỷ USD vào Epic Games để làm một “siêu vũ trụ” - bước tiến hóa tiếp theo của internet - Ảnh 5.

Fortnite characters with Marvel superhero tools. Previously, Thanos also appeared in Fortnite, players also “in hand” the infinity gloves.

Sony và nhiều ông lớn công nghệ khác đầu tư 1 tỷ USD vào Epic Games để làm một “siêu vũ trụ” - bước tiến hóa tiếp theo của internet - Ảnh 6.

The trailer for Star Wars in Fortnite.

So when will the super universe debut?

The short answer is a long way. Currently, for the majority of online communities, the spaces for users to interact are still closed systems. Although Tim Sweeney thinks that games can be the central square that pulls all online communities together and forms the super universe, it is clear that only participating in the gaming industry is not enough. If the lawsuit with Apple does not go smoothly for Epic, the super space project will face great obstacles. However, the time to develop this project is also long, litigation is just one of the many obstacles that will be encountered.

According to Sweeney in an interview with VentureBeat, the super universe will have a linear evolutionary axis, not “a sudden factor causing turbulence”. He said that barriers will gradually be removed, as more virtual spaces connect to each other.

The gaming industry will grow even more, asserting its position as a financial giant; According to Sweeney this will be the factor that will attract other industries. For example, the car industry will be able to give potential users a product experience in a super-cosmic environment, gamers will be playing Rocket League with an unreleased Tesla electric vehicle. The film industry will be able to interact directly with its audience with creative advertisements, allowing gamers to experience the feeling of “being the main character”. And in the latest real-world example, you can control Kratos with a weapon to fight John Wick.

Kratos joins the world of Fortnite

Speaking of the name God of War, last year Sony invested $ 250 million in Epic, and just invested another $ 200 million in this year’s fundraising round. It’s also a bit … confusing followers, because Sony, which likes to release content exclusively on the PlayStation platform, is in favor of a plan to set up the super universe to put everything in one place.

But then, in terms of technology, Sony will be the big man to directly benefit from this contract. Unlike its rival Microsoft, which has an infrastructure with cloud-linked online services, Sony only holds a business-class ticket on the Epic flight into the Epic universe. But once the ship takes off, Sony will have a platform that promotes not only making games, but also countless other Sony-branded products.

As Tim Sweeney reassures investors in his interview with VentureBeat:

We realized we didn’t need any crazy technology to do the project. We have everything we need in our hands. And the limiting factor [super universe] becomes reality does not lie beyond the boundaries that technology draws. Developers are slowly realizing what makes for a great community experience, which pushes away from the cross-cutting experience and the limits of science fiction .

See Washington Post, VentureBeat, IGN

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Source : Genk