Playable Futures is a series of articles curated by Diva in tandem with our partners at UKIE and Sumo Digital.
This collection of insights, interviews and articles from global games leaders sharing their visions of where the industry will go next is pulled together by Will Freeman of GamesIndustry.biz - and they’re all fantastic.
In this latest article, CEO of MultiMetaverse. Alex Xu talks about his work shaping the metaverse as he sees it and what exactly it could - and should - be. With over 27 years experience working across games and technology, Xu has served as an entrepreneur, game developer, investor, VC advisor, 3D engine creator, manager, and indie studio founder. He has held senior roles at EA, SNK, Leyou Technologies and many more - the point is: the man has experience in working at the nexus of gaming and entertainment.
Xu’s latest venture, MultiMetaverse, is a holding company that brings together numerous active projects focused on games, animation and merchandising - all in with a determined focus on helping understand and realise what he describes as the true potential of the metaverse.
Similarly to how Diva sees the hype around the metaverse, Xu believes that continually asking what it is remains vital to the conversation.
"I think it remains the most important question about the metaverse," he says.“I think the most important thing for the metaverse comes in terms of how it is different from the virtual worlds that we are all familiar with. Because, you know, us gaming company people have been building immersive virtual worlds for three decades or more. If you think of the metaverse as just a virtual world, that's not something new."
Alex speaks with an almost philosophical zeal about the possibilities and experiences that ‘the metaverse’ could offer gamers as and when it develops - and though he acknowledges that there is work to be done to overcome technological barriers (not to mention legislative) on the road to its true potential, he is optimistic that the sector will solve those and believes that experiences will emerge that defy conventions around what counts as a game.
What is genuinely fascinating about the article is Xu’s view on the potential for innovation and the fact that there is so much scope for intersecting experiences between games and entertainment. An area where Xu is an expert:
“We'll start to see sharing game experiences and interacting with our real-world social interest groups and communities will start to merge too. That's how to think about this future. We're not just talking about hopping between experiences, but about those experiences starting to blend and merge. The potential there is really exciting.”
In other words, the way Alex sees it, is the metaverse is not defined by its constituent parts, or even the technologies it embraces. Rather, it is a concept that an endless list of things can plug into: gaming, work life, socialising, broadcast, sports, creative pursuits, performance, and a great deal more besides.
Every day we read or hear about a new definition of what the metaverse is or what it could be. We’re adding Alex’s POV to that list and will be keeping tabs on when this uneven vision of the future starts to flatten out and become reality for everyday players. In the meantime, go and read Alex’s piece. We’d love to know what you think.
The full PDF of the article can be downloaded here: Playable Futures Interview Alex Xu