The title picture comes from “Blade Runner 2049”, author: Wang Ran (Yi Kai Capital)
About six years ago, in October 2015, the golden autumn season, I wrote an article “A “Okulas” Future-Why I Believe VR Will Change the Entertainment Industry and the World” .
Forget it when you finish writing. If it weren’t for writing this article, I can’t remember to turn it out again. But when I turned it out and read it back, I suddenly discovered that many of the core ideas discussed at that time have a strong connection with the meta-universe we are going to talk about.
At the end of that article, I asked some questions about VR that waited for time to answer, including:
When can head-mounted glasses be as light as a cicada’s wings? Do you need headsets to watch VR content in the future? Will we bring a pair of contact lenses or stick a chip to drive our senses completely?
Will people in the future live in the real and virtual worlds, have multiple identities, and switch back and forth between them?
In the virtual world, will the brain—not the body—dominate everything? As long as you are willing (of course you may need to pay for this) , whether all physical limits can be broken, everyone can jump from the ground to the top of the Eiffel Tower or free themselves in the seabed hundreds of meters deep without an oxygen cylinder Wandering?
In addition to entertainment in the future, what other disruptive applications of VR will be born in the fields of sports, medical care, elderly care, education, construction, and military?
Will watching movies be more social or lonely in the future? Will VR make human beings more nerdy?
There is no doubt that VR can make people feel the same. Will this increase the understanding and goodwill of the world?
These questions can help open the core content we are going to talk about today: the meta universe.
Looking back, the most important point in the article six years ago should be the following sentence:
“If there is something that can disrupt the global entertainment industry in the next five to ten years like Uber disrupts the global taxi industry, I think it is VR (virtual reality) .”
If this sentence can be rewritten today, based on today’s knowledge, I will modify it to:
“If there is something in the next five to ten years that can disrupt the global entertainment industry like Tesla disrupts the global automotive industry, I think it is the combination of’meta universe + VR + NFT’.”
After talking about VR six years ago, I will talk about Metaverse and NFT in the form of Q&A.
After writing this dialogue, I sent a circle of friends:
“I used the long vacation to write an article on how Metaverse and NFT affect the content industry. More than 15,000 words, it’s a problem. It feels like an IPO is about to be made, only a seed round.”
A friend joked: This title is good and it is not forgotten.
I thought about it, and it’s good without a title. The core idea of Metaverse and NFT lies in “human artifacts.” It is better to give this article the right to “make a title” to all readers and the media who need to forward this article.
1. Meta universe: Three words on the bad street
Question: In just a few months, the three characters of Yuan Universe are almost “bad streets”. Some investors even say, “As long as there are three words “meta universe” in the entrepreneurial BP, don’t read it. Do you agree?
Wang Ran: If an investor said in 2000 that he would not read the word “Internet” as long as he saw the word “Internet” in the entrepreneur BP, or in 2010 he said that he would not read the word “mobile Internet” as long as he saw the word “mobile Internet” in 2010. After reading it, do you agree?
Question: So in your opinion, is Metaverse an opportunity that can be compared with the Internet and the mobile Internet?
Wang Ran: Yes, and the Metaverse may be bigger than the Internet and the mobile Internet, because the Internet and the mobile Internet essentially connect the world. What the Metaverse essentially does is to recreate a world or recreate a world. Things in the universe. Which thing do you think is bigger?
Question: Don’t you think you are bragging about the concept of flowers and vanity in a water moon mirror? After all, VR, which you highly praised six years ago, doesn’t look very good today.
Wang Ran: Actually, the progress made by VR in the past six years has exceeded most people’s imagination, but it hasn’t reached the point where quantitative changes produce qualitative changes. We can wait another six years. If VR and Metaverse are still like today in six years…
Question: Do you lose?
Wang Ran: No, no, then wait another six years.
2. About Metaverse
Question: You just mentioned that the meta universe is to recreate a world or universe. But why should we recreate a world or universe? Isn’t one enough?
Wang Ran: Human society has always replaced the old world with a new world. Sometimes it is a peaceful transition, and sometimes it is a war settlement. Why? It is because there will always be some people, or even quite a few people, who are dissatisfied with the status quo. Dissatisfaction gives rise to the idea and impulse to change. There are many ways to change. Incremental improvement is one kind, violent revolution is also one, and innovative reconstruction is another.
Question: What is the relationship between this recreated meta-universe and the universe we originally existed in? Are they two parallel universes?
Wang Ran: The original universe and the original universe are two “parallel and intersecting” universes. This sounds contradictory, but it’s not. The two can exist in parallel, or they can intersect at a certain time and space and at a node. After they meet, they can be parallel again, and after they are parallel, they can also meet again. For most people, the meta-universe and the real universe may be parallel and sometimes intersecting. Parallel does not necessarily mean virtual; intersection must mean real. At the beginning, people will also care about the boundary between the real world and the meta-universe. With the development of the meta-universe, the boundary between the two will eventually become more and more blurred and disappear completely. The meta-universe and the real universe will merge into one and become a coin. Two sides.
Question: After talking for so long, what is the concept of Metaverse? Can you explain it in Chinese that ordinary people can understand?
Wang Ran: Meta-universe is a universe based on digital life, where people can play roles that they may not be able to play in the real world, and interact with other people in the meta-universe as this identity to collaborate and create value. In the meta-universe, people can do many things that cannot be done in the real world, gain many experiences that are not easy or even impossible to obtain in the real world, and can also create commercial value that is difficult to create in the real world.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg compares the meta-universe to an Internet in which you are “inside” rather than just “watching and using”, and it makes sense. In this sense, it can also be said that Metaverse is the next-generation Internet, an immersive Internet, or even the ultimate Internet.
We have often heard people say in the past few years that all industries can be done again. It can be reworked because of new technologies, new models, new social infrastructures and new consumer intergenerational changes. Borrowing the same sentence pattern, the meta universe is to redo the world.
One such thing happened in May of this year. Gucci has launched a digital version of Gucci Dionysus (Gucci Dionysus) with a bee pattern that can only be purchased and experienced on Roblox . As a result, the resale price of this intangible Bacchus bag reached US$4,115, which is even US$700 higher than the offline retail price of the same bag.
Although there are looting factors caused by scarcity, it still shows that the same commodity can have value in both the real world and the meta-universe world, and even the value in the meta-universe may be higher than that in the real world. This is what I said before “remake the world again.”
The meta universe is a world that parallels and intersects with the real world, and is also true and illusory. All real world outlooks and values, emotions and relationships, phenomena and models, brands and products, digital existence and physical existence can all be in the meta universe. China continues and develops; but it is not just a simple mapping of the real world. The really exciting aspect of it is precisely that it can break and cross the physical boundaries and limits of the real world.
For example, in the meta universe, you can “fly” from Beijing to New York in one minute and perceive everything there, and you can appear at the “live” concert supporting idols with tens of millions of people at the same time, and you can set up a concert in one hour. A restaurant in the real world is the same as a restaurant that can meet people from different dynasties in the same “time and space”, and so on. These things that are impossible in the real world become possible in the meta-universe, which can not only support a larger imagination, but also achieve higher efficiency and thus carry more commercial value.
Question: Many people use keywords to define the meta universe, but different people have different keywords. What are your keywords?
Wang Ran: The core of the meta universe is four things.
First, identity. You have one (or multiple) unique and long-term unchanging identities, and you can use this identity to accumulate experience, experience, relationships, and wealth in the meta-universe. If you do not have such an identity, you are just an observer of the meta-universe, not a participant, just as an alien came to the earth to look at the earth from a spacecraft.
But this identity may not be the kind of identity related to gender, education, occupation, nationality, experience, wealth, etc. in our real world, and it is not given by a certain authority, but you are based on your values and outlook on the universe. Factors such as, taste, personality, etc., are independently selected and defined through your NFT assets and activities in the meta-universe. Of course, it can also be just an ID or an avatar.
Second, the sense of immersion. You can immerse yourself in it, blend into it. The so-called sense of immersion includes sight, hearing, smell and touch, as well as feelings, feelings and emotions. These things that exist in the real world should all be present in the meta-universe, and they will be there sooner or later. From a technical perspective, the premise of immersion is that there is no delay.
Third, self-evolution. It is that this universe is self-evolving. It does not operate according to certain pre-set procedures or artificially set rules. Everyone participant will promote its evolution and growth to varying degrees.
Fourth, the underlying monetary system and value system. This is a prerequisite for attracting people who are willing to establish identity, immersion and evolution here. The meta-universe must have a set of underlying currency system and value system, which can fully ensure that the ownership and value of assets can be widely confirmed without boundaries in the meta-universe.
Q: Will Metaverse be a super big app store?
Ran Wang: is not. In my understanding, Metaverse is not a super app store, but more like a super big game with games and game sets. The so-called “drama” is like life, and life is like “drama.”
Question: Will there be only one meta-universe in the future or will there be many?
Wang Ran: Just like the real universe as we know it, the universe is unique, but there will be countless large and small galaxies in the universe, and some galaxies will nest or cross each other. The meta-universe is also unique, but there will also be countless galaxies, kingdoms and tribes in the meta-universe. These galaxies, kingdoms and tribes can be relatively independent or crisscross. There is me in you, and you in me.
For the meta universe, the most important thing is to allow different galaxies, kingdoms and tribes to get through and connect. If they cannot be connected to each other, then it is not a true meta-universe. If Apple is still Apple, Android or Android, Amazon or Amazon, and Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart, Meta Universe will lose its meaning. In Metaverse, Apple and Android must be compatible with each other, and there must be a door that can be opened at any time between Amazon and Wal-Mart. This means the unification of standards, specifications, agreements and even the underlying monetary system. The biggest challenge of the meta universe is here, not technology.
Question: This may be something that will never happen. Every big company wants to monopolize the world at a certain stage. The country and the government will also have a strong sense of self-protection, right?
Wang Ran: It is very important to distinguish between what is short-term and what is long-term. We often assume that something that seems particularly powerful in the short term will terminate or break things that are more in line with the long-term trend. But if you look at a long enough history, you will find that those seemingly powerful forces in the short term can’t actually stop the long-term trend. In my opinion, the meta universe is a long-term trend. It will require everyone-including companies, governments, and countries-to have a new “metacosmic view”, although this will not happen overnight and will require a long process. In this new universe, connection is better than isolation, and interconnection is better than independent kingdoms.
Of course, the meta-universe does not exclude government or national characteristics, and part of the meta-universe can also be a red meta-universe.
Question: How can we enter the meta universe? Did you enter with a VR goggles?
Wang Ran: VR can make the meta universe more three-dimensional and exciting. In this sense, “meta universe + VR” will be a very powerful combination. If VR develops well, it will definitely help promote the accelerated development of Metaverse. But there is no direct correspondence between VR and Metaverse. Roblox, the most representative company in the meta-universe field so far, is not based on VR, but two-dimensional. Conversely, a large number of VR games have nothing to do with Metaverse, but they just give you a sense of immersiveness.
Tickets to the meta universe may vary, but the will and impulse to go to the meta universe must first come from the content, not the medium. In fact, meta-universe can cross media, no matter what terminal you log in from, whether you are AR/VR/MR or just a simple two-dimensional, you can enter the meta-universe. But the premise is that there must be something in the meta-universe that attracts you to stay, maybe a story, maybe a scene, maybe a game, maybe a group of people with the same hobbies, maybe a business opportunity. This kind of thing must not only be attractive to you, but also make you interested in participating and immersing in the pit.
Q: Looking back today, is it a bit too early for you to vigorously promote VR six years ago. Is VR still important to Metaverse?
Wang Ran: Today, most people still regard 2016 or 2017 as the first year of VR. In this sense, the concept of VR was not too early. However, in the past six years, VR has been subject to hardware development, and there has not been enough content to detonate the entire industry. Therefore, it cannot be said that it has ushered in an inflection point of explosive growth.
For Metaverse, VR is still important. VR is good for immersion, and immersion is good for enhancing our experience in the meta-universe. But VR capabilities—including the ability to shoot in VR and the ability to play in VR—will become standard features like beauty features and headsets in the future. What is really difficult is to learn how to use VR to complete a good narrative and world construction.
I have always felt that there is no immersion and no universe. The meta-universe that cannot immerse us is a part of the real universe, not the meta-universe. But immersion does not have to rely on VR. You don’t need to wear a VR headset to enter Roblox today, right, but you can still get a sense of immersion there.
Q: Role-playing games have been around for many years, and they are nothing new. There was also a community game called Second Life abroad before . You wrote about them in the blog era. They also attracted many big-name organizations to settle in. According to your definition, aren’t these the meta-universes you are talking about? How does Metaverse sound like old wine in a new bottle, even without a new bottle, but a new label is affixed to the bottle.
Wang Ran: Perhaps the most different place is that whether it is a role-playing game or Second Life, they are actually participating in role-playing and promoting role development in accordance with the logic and rules set by the operator in advance. It has not achieved the self-evolution mentioned above. The true meta-universe requires participants to independently decide everything and the results cannot be manipulated or predicted. Maybe someone will provide the scenes and tools, but no one will set the plot and rules for you in advance. Everything must be pushed forward by yourself, crossing the river by feeling the stones.
The development of AI and blockchain in the past ten years has provided the soil and atmosphere for the development of such values of extreme autonomy and automation, decentralization and human intervention. This is an external condition that RPG, MMORPG, and “Second Life” did not possess.
Question: When can we confirm that the meta universe has formed?
Wang Ran: No one person, company, institution, or government can independently establish a meta-universe. The formation of a meta-universe is a natural process of quantitative change and qualitative change. There may be many catalyst events, but no single event can independently spawn the true meta-universe.
This is because every person, every company, every institution, and every government can build a tribe, a kingdom, or even a galaxy in the meta-universe, but such a universe is fragmented. Only when all the galaxies, kingdoms, and tribes are connected together to realize the interconnection of boundaries, mutual confirmation of identities, mutual sharing of information, and mutual recognition of values, a truly complete meta-universe will be formed. Of course, between 0 and 1, there will be countless transition zones and intermediate states. They can also be called meta-universes, but they are not complete and thorough.
Question: As you said earlier, it is the dissatisfaction of human beings with the status quo that is driving the formation of the meta-universe. But in the meta universe, there will still be “meta universe people” who are dissatisfied with the status quo. According to your logic, would they think about setting aside the meta-universe at that time to establish meta-universe 2 and meta-universe 3?
Wang Ran: We haven’t even figured out the beginning of the universe, and I don’t even know the end of the universe and meta-universe. But logic is very interesting. If we think that there can be a metaverse outside the universe, you shouldn’t think that there can be no other metaverse outside the metaverse.
Question: Does the meta universe only exist online? Or can it penetrate offline?
Wang Ran: The meta universe and the real universe are not separated in parallel, but merged and merged. Therefore, Meta Universe will definitely be online + offline in the future. Offline scenes—whether immersive or not—will become an important part of Metaverse; Metaverse will bring more possibilities for offline entertainment, especially offline immersive entertainment.
There are various online and offline pull-through possibilities, just to name a few examples:
For example, in order to clear a certain link in the meta-universe, you may need to go online to find clues or complete a task. The reverse is also true, in order to be able to play an advanced version of the offline scene, you may need to obtain high enough points or levels online first.
For another example, people with specific identities in the meta-universe may have a dinner together in the real world or play a related-themed offline room together.
For another example, if you use the currency of Metaverse to order a meal delivery from a restaurant you like in Metaverse, the person who runs a restaurant in Metaverse can also provide physical products through offline food delivery services.
3. Meta universe and content industry
Question: It sounds like the meta universe is as all-inclusive as the real universe?
Wang Ran: Yes, since it is another universe, then theoretically speaking, what is in our world today can also be in the meta-universe. The difference is that the meta-universe allows us to break through many physical limits in the physical world today, such as speed, altitude, and density, which are difficult for us to break through. The development of Meta Universe will certainly not only have an impact on a few industries; it will have a profound impact on education, medical care, consumption, retail, finance and other industries.
But today I still want to focus on the impact of Meta Universe on the content industry such as film and television games and the entertainment industry, because for the content industry, this is the biggest opportunity I can see in the next 5 to 10 years, and it is in the order of magnitude. Other things are completely incomparable.
Question: Are you encouraging the film and television industry to use Metaverse as an “aphrodisiac”?
Wang Ran: There is nothing wrong with you saying that, anyway, there is no other medicine. Because many other things that are important to the industry cannot be affected by the industry itself, or the impact is very limited. But in the case of Metaverse, the industry really has a lot to do. The destiny of each company in the Metaverse era has not yet begun to be written. For content companies, Metaverse may not only be an antidote and aphrodisiac, it may even be an elixir.
Q: Why do you say that?
Wang Ran: To understand this conclusion, you have to understand three interrelated things:
First, in the mobile Internet world today, users around the world no longer spend money on apps . Except for e-commerce, most users’ spending on the mobile Internet has been transferred to games or quasi games (such as social networking). Live broadcast) to get a better experience.
Second, copyright trading is inherently a backward trading model. Compared with other content industries, the global game industry has taken the lead in getting out of the quagmire of copyright transactions, keeping itself away from the one-off fee model through equipment purchases, experience upgrades, subscriptions, etc., and increasing revenue The proportion becomes repeatable, sustainable, and predictable, which is getting closer and closer to the SAAS model. This also means a longer charging life cycle and higher capital market valuation multiples.
Third, Metaverse will promote the global content industry to move closer to the game industry. The future content company—whether film, music or offline entertainment—must be a game company at the same time. This will drive the content industry’s transformation from the traditional backward copyright transaction and viewing rights purchase model to a more three-dimensional and richer game model that is getting closer and closer to SAAS, and will be reborn in this transformation.
As I said earlier, the entire meta-universe is like a super game with games and game sets. Content companies understand this and may become more and more important. It is almost inevitable that Netflix will launch the game of “Squid Game” and related NFT assets after the “Squid Game” has become popular all over the world. In the future, every film and television content company, even every entertainment company, consumer company, and retail company, should have a ” Chief Gamification Officer” or ” Chief Metaverse Officer” .
The CEOs of the film and television industry should ask themselves: If Google, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix can make popular games, and even Salesforce and Tesla may enter the game industry in the future, why can’t Disney, Universal, and Sony make one? Is the world’s most popular game coming? If the whole world is doing what you should have done but failed to do well, then it must not be the problem of the whole world, but your problem, and it is a big problem.
Question: What kind of content is most likely to promote the formation of the meta-universe?
Wang Ran: I think there are three types of opportunities to promote the formation of the meta universe.
The first type is content with strong social attributes, but it is difficult for this type of content to exist independently of social platforms, and has no direct relationship with content companies in the traditional sense.
The second category is super flat content suitable for mass participation, especially real-time content with a sense of presence and immersion, such as themed events, concerts, fan meetings, and live broadcasts of sports events. The advantage of this type of content is that the threshold is low, and the number of participants is easy to explode quickly, but the disadvantage is that it is easy to come and go quickly, and after a gust of wind, everything may grow or nothing may grow.
The third category is super IP content with grand narrative scenes and cosmological views, numerous characters and relatively clear character relationships, layered story logic, strong game color and natural immersion, which can be movies, dramas, or Large-scale MMORPG game. The advantage of this type of content is that it is easy to form a strong fan effect and has a huge appeal and influence in the core audience group, but the disadvantage is that it is not easy to break the circle. You may be a Harry Potter fan but I am not, so I may never enter your galaxy. But it does not rule out that you are a Harry Potter fan, I am a Transformers fan, we can meet somewhere in the meta universe.
Of these three types, the third type is obviously the most related to content companies in the traditional sense.
Question: What are the biggest differences between Meta universe content and traditional content?
Wang Ran: Good content always has several basic attributes: 1. It is attractive; 2. It has sequel (or self-continuing) ability; 3. It has room for monetization.
No matter what the universe, 1 is the foundation, without 1 there is nothing; one life two, two beget three, three beget all things. But in the meta universe, 2 and 3 will become more important, because the content business model will become richer and more three-dimensional in the meta universe.
The traditional way to monetize content is nothing more than selling, either to users, to platforms, or to advertisers. But the way the content is realized in the meta universe may be completely different. for example:
Can Harry Potter fans hold a birthday party or wedding in Hogwarts Castle and have an offline wedding service provider provide the same service in the virtual scene of the meta universe?
Can “Squid Game” be made into an exciting VR game and the core elements of the game in the play (such as wooden people, rain-shaped puns, marbles, etc.) in the meta-universe are made into Loot (to be mentioned later) That kind of NFT asset?
Can the apartments where the main characters live in “Top Floor” and the furniture inside be auctioned in Metaverse?
Can you turn the obsolete sports cars and airplanes in “Fast and Furious” into equipment for the meta-universe game?
Could you turn that chattering Megatron’s classic dialogue at Universal Studios Beijing into NFT and open it to Transformers fans. Those who photographed the NFT dialogue can be invited to Universal Studios to give priority to chatting with the live-action version of Megatron. Generate more NFT assets?
The core of entertainment is two things, content and experience. Before the existence of Metaverse, although content and experience also have overlapping parts, it is basically easier to distinguish clearly. For example, movies, dramas, and music are more content; concerts, sports events, secret rooms, script killings, and live broadcasts are more important. Experience.
In the meta-universe, the boundary between content and experience will become increasingly blurred. What makes them more and more indistinguishable, even completely merged into one? The answer is three words: immersion. An immersive story, an immersive experience.
Immersion will allow you to be in the content, experience within the content-not outside the content. Your identity is no longer a bystander, but a participant. This is the biggest difference between meta universe content and traditional content.
Question: What new forms of content will appear in the meta-universe in the future?
Wang Ran: There will be many new forms of content in the future, and most of them may not be imagined today. I can try to give a few examples.
The first example: virtual entertainment space. For example, create real-time and normalized entertainment spaces in game or movie scenes, including virtual theaters, virtual stages, virtual cinemas, virtual stadiums, virtual amusement parks, and virtual parks. The Party Royale in Fortnite is already doing this. In April this year, Travis Scott’s concert in the Fortnite game scene attracted more than 12 million fans to watch “live” at the same time, which is unimaginable in the real universe.
The second example: the business world built around the IP of film and television games. Recently, Netflix and the Brooklyn Museum in New York jointly launched a virtual exhibition that only exists online. The content on display is the costumes of Netflix’s online dramas “The Crown” and “Abandoned Soldiers on the Rear Wing”. Thinking along this line of thinking, almost all the costumes, props, and even shooting locations in the film and television works can be easily displayed, used, rented and sold in the meta universe.
The third example: the “mixed living” of IP characters. For example, in the just-opened Universal Studios Beijing, Harry Potter, Transformers and Minions have their own zones, but is it possible for them to appear in a virtual scene at the same time and generate a new story?
The fourth example: the secondary creation based on the original IP with the participation of fans. Traditionally, film and television IP is strictly protected, and non-copyright owners cannot use IP at will. However, with the development of short video and UGC, the democratic adaptation of film and television IP has gradually become a trend. In this case, the mentality and posture of the IP side may need to be adjusted in time, and perhaps following the trend is a better commercialization path.
The fifth example: film and television works starred by “digital artists”. Earlier this year, Epic’s Unreal Engine released a dreamlike “digital human” production tool-MetaHuman Creator, which can create digital humans that are indistinguishable from real humans within an hour. The details and fidelity of the expressions are shocking. In the near future, we will definitely see movies and dramas featuring digital artists playing major roles, as well as concerts and live broadcast rooms centered on digital singers and digital anchors.
Q: Will the emergence of digital artists in the future make artists unemployed?
Wang Ran: Compared with live artists, digital artists obviously have many advantages in terms of security, controllability, and time flexibility. The replacement of real artists by digital artists will not happen on a large scale in the short term, but in the long run, it will definitely become a trend that digital artists play an increasingly important role in film and television works.
In the short term, digital artists cannot fully replace live artists because although it is not difficult to make digital artists, it takes a long time to explore digital characters and digital idols with real commercial value through good stories. In the short term, what we may be more likely to see is the emergence of one or two digital artists as digital artists’ exploration and marketing gimmicks in live-action film and television works. For a long time, live-action artists and digital artists should still complement each other. Of coexistence.
Of course, with the development of technology and the accumulation of experience, the star-making mechanism of digital artists will become more and more mature, and their influence in the entertainment industry will also increase. Perhaps one day in the future, we can see digital artists play the main role in promoting the development of the story in film and television works, and even one day we are very likely to see a film and television work all performed by digital artists; at that time, maybe live artists On the contrary, the emergence of film and television works has become a marketing gimmick.
Question: In the Internet era and mobile Internet era, there are some content companies that have grown into platforms abroad, such as Disney+, but China does not seem to have it, but platform companies like Ui Teng are doing things that have become “platform + content” companies. . In the meta-universe era, will content companies have a better chance to grow into platforms?
Wang Ran: I have always said that in the real world, there are only two possibilities for content companies to become a platform, either to build themselves on the scale of Disney, or to unite to build a platform. Both of these possibilities are currently unlikely to happen in China.
Looking at it now, there is a third opportunity besides these two possibilities, and that is the meta universe.
The meta universe starts with content, not platform. This is the best news for content companies. Before Metaverse, it was almost impossible for content to grow into a platform unless you had the scale of Disney or Universal or Sony. But in the meta-universe era, a single sufficiently powerful content can expand into a sufficiently large and shocking meta-universe galaxy, kingdom, or tribe.
When we say that the meta-universe begins with content, it actually has two meanings.
First of all, for content companies, it is valuable to hold big moves in content. Metaverse will help to deepen and extend the value chain of some content. The value of one heavy content may be more than 100 ordinary content. Many times larger. It is a natural and natural thing for content to grow into a platform.
Secondly, for a platform company, unless you are based on providing tools and social relationships like Roblox, it doesn’t make sense to open the platform or posture on the platform. The core is whether you can master the content that is most suitable for brutal expansion in the meta-universe. The size of the content determines the size of the platform.
Question: In the meta-universe era, will the probability of content success be higher than before?
Wang Ran: Not really. Meta universe will not reward mediocre content, nor can it change the fate of mediocre content becoming less and more worthless. Regardless of the age, there are few things that have the opportunity to grow into towering trees or even into galaxies. But the difference is that in the meta-universe era, once you produce such content, you may naturally become a platform. This is unlikely in the age of UAT. In other words, the meta-universe not only did not reduce, but rapidly increased the difficulty of creating content, but precisely because it is difficult, once it is made, the rewards will be huge. Meta Universe turned the blackjack in the casino into a lottery.
Question: What kind of companies have the opportunity to grow into a Metaverse platform, and they are more likely to be companies that already exist today or companies that none of us have heard of?
Wang Ran: If history has any reference significance, I think the safer answer is that in the meta-universe era, new platforms that do not exist today will definitely be born, but this does not mean that companies that are thriving today will definitely be dumped. To the wilderness outside the car. Some of them will continue to hold tickets to the meta universe.
It is not very meaningful to predict who can become the platform of Metaverse, because some very important platforms may not have been born yet. I think there are four types of companies that have greater opportunities, regardless of whether they already exist today.
The first category is companies that provide tools and environments. Roblox is one of them, but it should not be the only one. Although it seems that Roblox is developing well, in fact we don’t know that it will become Apple, Google, and Facebook in the Internet era in the meta-universe era or more like Netscape and Yahoo that started the Internet era but are no longer visible today! .
The second category is to do a new generation of AR/VR/MR social companies . I understand that Zuckerberg’s labeling of Facebook as a meta-universe company is also based on the perspective of AR/VR/MR social networking. In the Internet era and mobile Internet era, both Facebook and Tencent have built an extremely rich business ecosystem through social interaction; in the meta-universe era, such opportunities also exist.
The third category is companies that do super large content, such as Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. This type of company may be a head content company, or it may be a video website. Those super content with a strong fan base are most likely to be the first to construct a virtual world closely related to the original work, giving the entrant an opportunity to live, empathize and grow together with the characters in the play. Of course, content companies with multiple big IPs like Disney, Universal, and Netflix can also try to aggregate their IPs to form an online immersive Disneyland or Universal Studios.
The fourth category is companies that do next-generation smart terminals and brain-computer interfaces. They have the opportunity to control the highway leading to the meta-universe just like Apple stuck the throat of the mobile Internet through hardware.
Of the above four types of companies, the second and fourth types should be the world of large companies. Even if innovative companies make a difference in a short period of time, it is very likely that they will eventually be acquired by large companies. There are opportunities for the first and third types of emerging companies. Of course, they may need a certain degree of participation and blessing from Internet giants in the process of growth.
Q: If I want to be the third type of super content company you mentioned, what is the most important thing?
Wang Ran: It is the size and quality of IP. Only the super-large IP has the opportunity to support the important galaxies of the meta-universe and build the meta-universe on this basis. The history of the development of the global entertainment industry in the past two to three decades tells us that super IP, like the galaxy, can continue to expand.
With Netflix series “witches” (Witcher) , for example, the show is based on the 1992 publication of a Polish novel. It first appeared on the New York Times book rankings in 2015 because of the great success of the “Witcher 3” game. It once again appeared on the New York Times rankings when Netflix launched the show “The Witcher” in 2019. This drama directly caused the number of simultaneous online users of the Wizarding game to triple, and the number of live broadcasts of the game on Twich doubled. The Polish company CD Projekt Red, which published the game, rose 50% in an instant.
Another example is “Game of Thrones.” This book was published in 1996, and only 15 million copies were sold in the 15 years before the series came out in 2011, but 65 million copies were sold in the 8 years after the series came out.
Q: In addition to quality, is quantity important?
Wang Ran: Of course the quantity is also important. If you have 4-5 super IP dramas a year, each with 12 episodes and one episode a week, you will almost become a company that can contact your audience every week and provide services for them almost continuously throughout the year. . Of course, from the actual broadcast effect, it may be better to put all 12 episodes on the shelves at once, so in fact, the production volume that a leading content company needs to meet should far exceed the scale of 4-5 a year.
Meta Universe is an inclusive universe. The more content you have in Super IP, the more things you can pack in, the more hooks you can hook to users, and the more places where different content and users can communicate with each other.
Question: Which dramas or movies are most likely to knock on the door to the meta-universe?
Wang Ran: I think it is still those things that have a view of history and the universe, such as war, police, spies, suspense, science fiction, desperation, and live-action themes. Relatively speaking, things that are too realistic, such as comedy, love, family ethics, court trials, etc., will be slightly farther away from the meta universe.
Question: In terms of building a meta-universe, will movies have more potential than dramas?
Wang Ran: The content IP leading to Metaverse in the future should be three-dimensional, omni-media, ubiquitous, and coexistent, and should not exist in isolation. If only one medium form is used to build an IP, it is like building a house with only one material, or eating a Western meal with only one hand.
Dramas can support movies, movies can support games, games can support books, books can support episodes, and so on. Therefore, in IP planning, in addition to the story itself, how to achieve cross-media division of labor and linkage will also become an important topic. Each medium needs to have a complete plan as to what to lay the groundwork for, and the order and timetable for the appearance of various mediums.
Q: Having said so much, what can I do if I am a content company? The meta universe sounded a little far away.
Wang Ran: Just because it is still a bit far away, it makes sense for content companies to make some preparations in advance. It is also a chance to build a moat and barriers to competition on a relatively long ski trail.
Content companies can make some preparations from the following aspects.
First, project selection needs to be inclined. The return curve of today’s film and television projects has become more and more unpredictable. No project is absolutely safe. In that case, it is better to focus on those places where you can at least bet on something big.
Doing content with meta-universe potential is also doing it, and doing short content in parents is also doing it. Anyway, no one can do anything, why not try to have more opportunities to form a series, more opportunities to extend to the meta-universe, and more likely to be rich Monetization model and something more future? I think it’s not too much to take out half to two-thirds of the total number of projects each year to bet on Metaverse.
Second, it is necessary to consider the content of film and television and related game content, VR content, offline entertainment, and NFT content as a whole. This means: first, when taking copyright, all rights related to film and television, games, VR, offline entertainment, and NFT development should be covered as a whole; second, the above content should be taken as a whole during project planning and preparation. Taking the overall consideration into consideration, a linkage scheme in which each part can exist independently and strengthen each other is formed. The future meta-universe IP must be a full-time IP that spans media and forms.
Third, learn to use new tools for film and television creation, so that it will be much easier to connect with the game. Recently, Disney has introduced Epic Games’ Unreal game engine in the production of The Mandalorian . Unreal is also the engine used by the large-scale game “Fortnite”. Using the same engine can make “The Mandalorian” settle in “Fortnite” in the future more smoothly.
Fourth, try to introduce digital people into film and television works. The use of existing tools to create digital people and allow them to play an important role in film and television series is also an important trend in the future. Digital people can be mixed with live artists, or they can independently support a complete work in the absence of live artists. The introduction of digital people can not only effectively avoid the risk of thunderstorms among live artists, but also make it easier for the characters in the drama to be logo-like, and they are more likely to appear in places where they can appear at any time without being restricted by the artist’s schedule. Therefore, learning to use digital people and giving them the character and personality of real people will become a very important skill for film and television companies.
Fifth, the talent structure of traditional film and television companies needs to be adjusted. Is there anyone in your company who understands games, is there anyone who understands blockchain and NFT, is there anyone who understands VR, AR, and is there anyone who understands metahuman digital humans? Can such a newcomer be the same as the original People who understand the production and promotion of film and television content have formed synergy and resonance. This may not have much effect in one or two years, but after three or five years, you and other content companies may no longer be in the same dimension. compete.
Sixth, increase investment in research and development of supporting games for film and television content. In the future, all film and television companies need to be game companies at the same time. To some extent, all content in the meta universe has the attributes of games. Therefore, understanding the game will become the prerequisite for the survival and development of film and television content companies in the meta-universe era. The future of film and television companies who don’t understand games is like high-end French cuisine and don’t know how to buy wine.
Finally, and most importantly, the boss of a content company must be willing to clear memory in his mind, learn new things, and learn new things from scratch. Considering the general age of film and television company bosses, this is probably the most challenging, but to a certain extent, this is the basis of all other things in front.
4. Metaverse and NFT
Question: What is the relationship between Metaverse and blockchain and NFT?
Wang Ran: First of all, people’s cognition of new things is constantly evolving. The most forward-looking gods in many industries have their views also changing and evolving.
For my knowledge today, I think: Square block chain bred Ethernet ( Ethereum ) , Ethernet Square achievements of the NFT ( “non-homogeneity token” or “non-homogeneity pass card”) , to promote the NFT The meta universe. It now appears that Ethereum may become the underlying currency system of Metaverse, and NFT may become an important asset form and infrastructure of Metaverse.
As mentioned earlier, the meta-universe must connect every galaxy, every kingdom, and every tribe in it. The so-called interconnection means two things: First, I can enter another galaxy from one galaxy without barriers, from one kingdom to another, and from one tribe to another tribe. Second, the ownership and value of my assets cannot be affected by my entry or transfer from one place to another.
This means that the currency and assets in the meta-universe must be able to flow between different galaxies, kingdoms and tribes without barriers and be widely recognized and valued. Ethereum may become such a currency, and NFT may become such an asset. No matter which galaxy, kingdom, or tribe in the metaverse I appear in, Ethereum and NFT belonging to me can follow me all the way, and their value is the same. There will be no violent shaking at the time because of where I am.
NFT can cover almost all asset forms known in the real world. It can be artwork, works, patents, and a certain unique design. It can be fashion and trendy clothing, financial products and derivatives, and land and buildings. It can be pastures, farms and beaches, as well as members and tickets.
Q: What is the relationship between NFT and content?
Ran Wang: Now comes NFT, people would often talk about two concepts: encryption punk (Cryptopunks) and Loot. These two things are actually worth pondering for content companies.
CryptoPunks, born in 2017, are the two creators of Lava Labs, Matt Hall and John Watkinson. In 2017, they got inspiration from London punk block, William Gibson’s science fiction and Daft Punk’s electronic music. It is based on the Ethereum ERC20 standard. Ten thousand indivisible pixel avatars automatically generated by the computer.
These avatars were initially available for free, but gradually gained commercial value because of more and more collectors. Today, the price of the most expensive avatar, CryptoPunk 7523, has reached 11.7 million U.S. dollars, and the cheapest CryptoPunk has exceeded 250,000 U.S. dollars.
About a month ago, Dom Hofmann, the founder of the NFT project Bitmap, collaborated with the social software Vine to launch 8,000 Loot packages. Each Loot bag corresponds to a digital card with white characters on a black background. There are only simple 8 lines on the card, and each line describes a piece of equipment. These eight kinds of equipment without specific images and pictures constitute a unique Loot bag.
For example, on this card, it says:
- Fox robe
- hedging cap
- Gold-plated belt
- Chain gloves
- Titanium ring
It is this Loot bag No. 748, the latest transfer price has exceeded 800,000 US dollars. All Loot transactions have exceeded US$230 million in just two weeks, and the cheapest Loot card has also risen to US$23,000.
Question: People are crazy.
Wang Ran: Maybe, but maybe not. Because these 8000 Loot packages can become the infrastructure of a brand new meta-universe game world. Just like 52 poker cards can become the common foundation of various poker games and card magic.
First of all, the scarcity of the eight equipment on each card is different. For example, the card above is valuable because the fox robe appears only once in all 8000 Loot cards.
Secondly, these equipment can be derived from film and television works, novels and games that people are already familiar with, so people are prone to associations. Based on these equipment, people can also create a variety of new images, and let these images become important characters in new games or film and television works.
Third, based on such a foundation of 8000 sets of equipment, various applications have been invented in the community:
- Some applications allow you to check the scarcity of your equipment;
- Some applications allow you to exchange part of your own equipment with others’ equipment;
- Some applications allow you to automatically generate some simple images based on the description text of your own equipment;
- Someone specially developed the cryptocurrency $AGLD, which is closely linked to Loot NFT. Each player with equipment can automatically get 10,000 $AGLD. The value of these 10,000 $AGLDs has reached 77,000 US dollars;
- Each holder of $AGLD can participate in a “story to vote” game. For example, in the first chapter of a story called “Legend of Jihad”, community citizens holding $AGLD can vote on disagreements such as “Whether this man in a robe should wear the crown of the demon king” . (As a result, the community voted by an overwhelming majority to decide that he can wear it, but in the second chapter, the crown put him in a certain danger, and the community is currently voting to decide how to deal with this danger);
- Around these differences, various forums and derivative stories were born.
Loot is not so much an NFT asset, as it is more like a vast social practice. Unlike the relatively closed CryptoPunks system, Loot is a completely open ecology. In the future, the Loot bag can continue to fission, and it may also become our universal currency in the meta-universe.
Before Loot, the equipment of each game can only be used for that specific game. In the future, Loot may become the first generation of cross-platform and cross-game equipment in the meta-universe. A Loot package allows you to participate in all games and even all commercial activities.
To some extent, CryptoPunks is more like a “top-down” Hollywood work. You can like it or not, you can trade and buy, but you can’t change it. Loot is more like a huge graffiti wall, it is “bottom-up”, everyone can draw two strokes on it. Both are content, but the gameplay is different.
For content companies, taking the path of CryptoPunks’ relatively closed content or the path of Loot’s relatively open content is not only a test of creative ability, but also a touchstone for the understanding of the underlying logic of the future world.
Q: Will NFT make content creation more valuable?
Wang Ran: NFT will enrich the sources and forms of content and make content creation more imaginative. It will also allow the value of real-world high-quality content to be released with more dimensions and a more superimposed effect.
In the future, all real-world IP owners cannot and should not ignore the commercial potential of these IPs in the meta universe; all important IPs must be “transverse”. If I can make a super appealing story in the real world, I should “NFTize” the characters, props, and scenes in this story, and the characters, props, and scenes that have been “NFTized” are very likely It will also incubate and derive a lot of content, games, applications and values that IP developers have never expected.
In this way, a chain derived from the original IP, full of global creators, recorded in the blockchain, present in the NFT, and developed in the meta universe is formed, and the IP content also completes the “God Creation” from the original universe. To the democratization of “human artifacts” in the meta universe. For global content creators, today is a moment when Columbus discovers the New World.
Question: Once the characters, props, and scenes in these IPs are “NFTized”, does it matter if the original IP owners have subsequent NFT values?
Wang Ran: Whoever owns the IP will have the opportunity to participate in the value creation related to this IP on the meta-universe chain forever. Today, when an artist’s NFT works are sold, a part of the profit is to be shared with the artist, and no matter how many times the work is reversed, the artist can enjoy the corresponding increase in proportion each time. This set of sharing rules fundamentally ensures the long-term interests of IP owners.
Based on all the value created by IP in Metaverse, whether it is new artworks, commodities, or new content and games based on IP in Metaverse, as long as value is generated, IP owners can participate in sharing. In addition, IP owners can also open up the NFT asset package to a limited extent, keep some important assets in their own hands, and wait for those opened NFT assets to ferment to produce commercial value before gradually releasing the assets in their hands. It’s like auctioning land piece by piece.
In short, Metaverse and NFT will be the paradise of IP, not the crematorium of IP. Of course, on the other hand, Metaverse will also require IP owners to understand and dispose of IP with an open and “artificial artifact” mentality and perspective. The correct posture for IP is to use a “fan” action to help it smelt the smell, instead of covering it tightly with your hands for fear of being touched by others as in the past.
Q: This sounds wonderful. But anyway, paying $800,000 for a Loot bag with only eight phrases, I can’t think of any other words to describe other than the bubble. Would you be willing to spend $800,000 for 8 phrases yourself?
Wang Ran: I won’t tell you whether I have a Loot bag for the time being. The most interesting thing today is that if I have, I may be a fool; if I don’t, I may be a fool.
Whether it is the meta universe or NFT, there will definitely be ups and downs. It is a good thing to have a bubble, and it is also a good thing to be scorned and shunned. The longer the trail and the more people who don’t understand, the more chances you have to accomplish great things.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/about-metaverse-a-conversation-has-no-title/
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