Investors hotly discuss Metaverse: the neglected status quo, big opportunities and hidden worries

Investors hotly discuss Metaverse: the neglected status quo, big opportunities and hidden worries

Yuan universe (Metaverse) first appeared in science fiction Neal Stephenson published in 1992, “Avalanche”, and as listed in Roblox Epic Games this year and declared that in order to achieve Metaverse and received a $ 1 billion investment in two incidents in After igniting the overseas capital market, it also spread to the domestic market.

Like all the concepts that suddenly became popular in the past, there is too much noise, and we need to think hard about its essence. What is the essence of Metaverse? What is the evolution and development path of Metaverse next? What is the popular Metaverse app?

Recently, Catcher & Chain Catcher interviewed 6 Metaverse investors and entrepreneurs, including Wang Tianfan, managing director of BAI, Zhou Wei, founding partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital, MetaApp CEO Hu Sen, rct AI CEO Chen Yuheng, and Yunjiu Capital partner Vincent and Yunjiu Capital partner Yuan Yu gave some judgments and thoughts on the development of Metaverse.

Why is Metaverse being hotly discussed now?

Wang Tianfan, Managing Director of BAI: Because the current Internet users are nearly 8 hours long, everyone is beginning to look forward to longer periods and deeper interactions. Therefore, Metaverse is an abstract description of the way users will survive in the heavy Internet environment in the future.

Zhou Wei, founding managing partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital: For those who like to watch science fiction, Metaverse has been around for a long time, and the development and maturity of technology have also made creation easier to achieve, no matter from the perspective of technology or from the perspective of users, Entrepreneurs have been trying. The previous failure was due to various problems. Now we have just come naturally to the junction of quantitative change to qualitative change.

In addition, the increase in online time has made users more demanding for an identity system. At the same time, with the popularity of multiplayer online games, users have become more and more tired of preset content. Most games are new bottles of old wine in terms of gameplay and content settings. Users are eager to have an environment that allows them to be more immersed; and users’ understanding and demand for the world have reached a new high point.

MetaApp CEO Hu Sen: Frankly speaking, I feel that although Metaverse is a word that has existed for a long time, it is as unfamiliar as a new word that has emerged . Now everyone is starting to discuss, there are three reasons, the main driving factor is the listing of Roblox; the second is that we have basically entered a digital survival society, and the user time on the Internet has repeatedly reached new highs; the third is that it has been independently born in the past three years and has a certain scale. There are relatively few large-scale To C products, and capital and talents are looking for possible big growth points.

rct AI CEO Chen Yuheng: The essence of Metaverse’s breakthrough in the dimensional wall is that this time the node is no longer driven by a single industry, but multiple industry crazes collide at the same time, forming a “singularity” effect.

First of all, the game industry has been in a stage of rapid growth in recent years due to the popularity of game engines and mobile games. The outbreak of the epidemic has directly promoted the enthusiasm of the game capital market as a catalyst. The maturity and enthusiasm of the game industry is precisely this wave. The fundamental basis of the Metaverse singularity outbreak.

Secondly, online social networking has also ushered in an unprecedented outbreak due to the epidemic. The large number of social needs brought by remote office and the inability to gather offline can only be carried by real-time online social networking.

Furthermore, the arrival of the AI ​​industry in 2020 may be the most important turning point in the future. With the bold investment and innovative breakthroughs of OpenAI and Google in the direction of large models, the industry has seen new hope in the direction of achieving AGI, and domestic manufacturers have also achieved good results in their attempts.

Therefore, AI-generated content is an important technology to realize the “self-growth” feature in Metaverse, and the general direction of application and realization behind it has been illuminated, and the rest is only engineering research and input in data and computing power. NS.

In addition, the blockchain industry has ushered in a new wave of NFT industry boom in 2020, and NFT happens to be closely related to the digital assets and economic system in Metaverse. Therefore, for the first time in history, the Internet industry and Crypto The industry is climaxing at the same time.

Finally, the turning point of the VR industry in 2020 has also become the support behind this singularity outbreak of Metaverse. For example, Oculus Quest 2 exceeded expectations in shipments and user base.

On the whole, when so many industries have encountered a huge historical turning point at the same time, it is not surprising that we see the world’s capital markets carnival of Metaverse at this time.

Vincent, Partner of Cloud Nine Capital: There are three factors: First, the development of infrastructure technology, such as VR/AI/cloud games/blockchain, etc.; Second, the epidemic black swan promotes the increase of online interaction time, and user habits are changed; The third is that Roblox was listed as the first Metaverse concept, which became the tipping point.

What is the essence of Metaverse?

Wang Tianfan, Managing Director of BAI: Metaverse currently belongs to everyone’s Hamlet. Everyone in the industry is annotating this word, and it is different; it is both a good thing and a bad thing.

The good thing is that everyone is exploring, this matter is not yet finalized, there is still room for entrepreneurs, which is like Tudou 10 years ago exploring video UGC, and now everyone sees Douyin and Kuaishou. Mature, there have been various explorations in the middle, before the final form is determined, anyone has the opportunity;

The bad thing is that many people currently use the concept of Metaverse to package their own projects. I don’t think there will be a chance for this, and the founders are likely to lie to themselves.

Zhou Wei, founding managing partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital: Actually, Metaverse is still too early, but the good thing is that Metaverse will not be as early as the previous AR and VR markets. At present, the products on the market are still far from this concept, the degree of commercialization is low, and the content is not rich enough to immerse you in it. So, who can first establish a set of underlying technologies that can support the development of many years in the future? Then through operations to retain users, so that users can be immersed in it, and can continue to create content, whoever does it first, will succeed first, and choosing to intervene from now on will play an important role in shaping this environment.

Here I want to emphasize that it is either a game or Metaverse, but there must be many games in Metaverse. We will also judge Metaverse by several characteristics:

One is identity, you need to define who you are, and we have and only one identity in Metaverse, which is fundamental; the second is social relationships, which can make friends; the third is the economic system, which is the key to long-term sustainability; the fourth is Rules, Metaverse is a very autonomous world, there must be some corresponding rules, but this rule must be defined jointly by users and platforms.

MetaApp CEO Hu Sen: I think the form of Metaverse is the ultimate form of online entertainment and social interaction. It will be more open, with some virtual spaces and meta-laws, which will make production more atomized, and produce more variety more efficiently. The gameplay and experience are more long-tailed and fragmented, quickly distributed to the right people, and a closed loop of consumption and feedback is formed more quickly. Many people are willing to express themselves, use love to generate electricity, and do not aim for profit at all.

Metaverse is too hot now. It is a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that more people and money will come in, put up its own flag, and strengthen the vitality of the track, just like the mobile Internet ten years ago; the bad thing is hot. Too early, it will be a little bit frustrating. If the bubble gets bigger and bigger, objectively speaking, you have to do more bubbles. This is a lose-lose situation.

In fact, the average user is not aware of Metaverse, everyone is just wondering if there are new opportunities, because everyone needs something to realize their bizarre dreams. I always think Metaverse is a very beautiful, but also very vague world. It’s also because it hasn’t been realized, everyone will always say, just like we don’t talk about the mobile Internet anymore with our mobile phones every day.

rct AI CEO Chen Yuheng: Metaverse is the next generation Internet. Because it can make all the social activities of human beings in the real world be mapped to one virtual world after another, in a more natural and efficient way of interaction.

At the same time, Metaverse has several distinct and unique features. One of the most important features is the sense of identity (Identity). There are many ways to establish a sense of identity, such as social relationship chains, economic systems, or immersion on the screen. It is also because there are more than one way to establish Identity, we can see To Metaverse prototype products like Roblox, King of Glory, Cryptovoxels or Oasis VR.

Another very important feature is a more natural interaction. In addition to allowing users to have another identity in the virtual world, Metaverse also breaks all users in today’s mobile Internet through more spatial game screens and experiences. Unable to escape the predicament of the information cage. In the virtual world, due to the natural sense of space, the scope for users to obtain information is greatly expanded, and is no longer limited to the “list” method of obtaining information in the mobile Internet era.

The bottom layer of Metaverse also has three elements, which are the key to supporting the characteristics of the surface layer: sustainability, self-growth and large-scale.

“Sustainability” is mainly manifested in the economic system and governance system. If it is a strongly centralized system, it is difficult for us to see a theoretically sustainable governance system, because it is the nature of centralized business to pursue the maximization of business benefits, and decentralization can fundamentally solve this problem.

“Self-growth” corresponds to the problem of content generation in the virtual world that we are solving. The virtual world needs to be able to emerge from the system to produce more content supply than human can create, in order to be able to truly surpass the current mobile Internet and the real world on a scale.

“Large scale” is more reflected in cloud services. At present, many cloud game vendors or traditional cloud service vendors are solving large-scale problems. Another aspect of achieving large-scale is to support large-scale content in the rendering part of the game engine.

Yuan Yu, partner of Yunjiu Capital: Even now Metaverse does not have a particularly accurate definition. But I always believe that users will prefer content expression carriers that are close to the real and natural interaction methods. This may be reflected in the perception and feedback of the environment to the user, which means that it will be closer to the actual experience than the current Internet interactive experience that the public is accustomed to. .

How to understand the landing of Metaverse?

Wang Tianfan, Managing Director of BAI: Equipment and products solve the problem of non-fragmentation, AI helps content creation, and blockchain helps asset precipitation.

Zhou Wei, founding managing partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital: The most important thing is to have the original thinking and design structure, not to look at the metaverse fire, and then to design. To have a strong ability on the underlying engine, this is also the most challenging place at present. It is necessary to mold the “new world” enough plasticine, and the operation method is more friendly, but it is not a pure fool to create a virtual world into a ” The real world.

VR technology and AR technology are not what I value the most. I always believe that what is fun is not the definition, but the content is fun. Just like a good movie now, it is not because you have a high definition of 8K, but because it is interesting enough. The plot of the.

MetaApp CEO Husen: the premise is Metaverse achieve interconnection (interoperability) and unified personality. Without interconnection, if everyone is scattered in different villages, there will be no commerce, no division of labor, and no scale effect, and there will be no industrial age; if there is no interconnection, if everyone is scattered in different local area networks, there will be no portals, search engines, and social networks. , There is no information age; in the same way, if there is no interconnection and people are scattered in different interactive content, there will be no unified avatar, no friends, no virtual asset precipitation, and no Metaverse.

As for the realization path of the ideal Metaverse, I am generally pessimistic. There are three problems.

Problem 1. The most lacking technology in the current technology is the capacity to carry the super-large-scale virtual world. The existing basic laws and technical infrastructure alone cannot carry a large variety of free derivations and changes in the static and dynamic scenes, unless the technical architecture is changed. Or the technology directly achieves the final effect (rather than meta-rules, but this obviously greatly inhibits creativity) ;

Problem two, ultra-large-scale multiplayer connections. So far, all game engines are basically single-machine-based. There is no native multi-player synchronization. 3D and physics are very useful in a single machine, but even simple connections require separate programming. And the requirements for engineers are very high;

Question three, from a commercial point of view, the terminal has indeed ushered in a critical point. The shipments and optical effects of VR and AR have reached a very amazing level, but unfortunately this is only the battlefield of mature companies. After seizing the terminal Whether it is possible for mature large-scale companies to give up certain control and open and relatively free interconnection is more doubtful in business, and may not be a friendly entry point for entrepreneurs.

rct AI CEO Chen Yuheng: I think Metaverse has three components: AIGC (AI generated content) , DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and cloud.

AIGC (AI production content) -For the virtual world, AI participates in the construction and development of Metaverse in the role of infrastructure. AIGC is divided into two parts: one is the AI ​​on the image side, which includes technologies such as skeletal animation generation, facial expression generation, and motion capture centered on characters, and technologies such as image recognition, scene generation, and asset import centered on spatial scenes. There are also technologies such as rendering, modeling, rendering, and particle systems around infrastructure.

The other is AI on the logical side, including technologies such as semantic understanding, language models, and dialogue robots based on language dialogue, as well as general artificial intelligence and scenario-based decision models based on decision logic (multi-agent single goal, multi-intelligence Body multi-target) and so on.

DAO ( Decentralized Autonomous Organization) -Centralized Autonomous Organization is another important feature of Metaverse based on AIGC, which can make it different from the current Internet and virtual world.

After the advent of recommendation algorithms, machines gradually replaced people in the process of selection. At this stage, although we have seen that the increase in content volume has gradually reduced the granularity that can meet demand, since most of the content is still produced manually, it is impossible to achieve any detail of every content. It is generated in real time according to the needs of different people, and the user’s right to choose becomes more and more weak.

Therefore, blockchain technology is the best technical path to realize a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) , and the developer ecosystem based on the blockchain technology itself will also develop at a flying speed.

Cloud (Cloud)-With the development of communication technology, algorithms, and cloud technology, the capabilities of AI can be fully released. At present, the focus of cloud games and cloud experience should be on “gaming” or “experience”, while “cloud” The meaning of is: all aspects of interaction mechanisms, mechanisms, gameplay, settings, etc., are reconsidered and implemented based on the characteristics of the cloud, to give full play to the advantages of the cloud, and try to avoid the disadvantages in the traditional process, and build faster Richer digital content;

At the same time, in the interaction between the user and the virtual world, a personalized content experience is quickly generated and iterated based on user preferences. Only this kind of experience can be called a true cloud experience, because it can bring new needs to users that are different from those in the past, rather than push streaming to achieve existing needs that can be achieved without cloud.

Since Metaverse is an experience and lifestyle that spans multiple fields such as AI, blockchain, games, and social interaction, and the driving force that can stimulate new needs of users lies in the original virtual creatures created by AI, so companies in the AI ​​field are in the long-term It seems that it will become the most successful one, but there are too many factors that can affect the performance of specific products in the short term. Therefore, companies in each field actually have the opportunity to build certain advantages and then supplement AI capabilities. This path is also feasible.

Vincent, Partner of Cloud Nine Capital: Metaverse will have a series of open tools, sharing protocols, common asset standards, hardware, etc. as infrastructure. The opening of the infrastructure layer will not require permission. Developers can not only develop scenarios, but also develop middleware and protocols for other developers. User data and information will not belong to any centralized entity, and anyone can analyze it freely. , Using these data, Metaverse will eventually be composed of many styles of small Metaverses, and user identities, data, and assets can be natively synchronized across Metaverse.

Therefore, in the implementation path, it is not a company that can complete it, but a company, community, and individual developers. The overall process is like building blocks. Each open component will become a “building block” of Metaverse. It will be a bottom-up establishment, not a top-down.

What will Metaverse’s popular apps look like?

Wang Tianfan, Managing Director of BAI: My initial prediction is that it is a product that at least uses gamification methodology, is based on stronger AI and blockchain infrastructure, and has a certain correlation with VR and AR.

Zhou Wei, founding managing partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital: I think it is a content platform that has two very important characteristics. One is whether your underlying engine can allow amateur level developers to participate in content development, and is it possible for everyone It is very convenient to create content; second, a high-quality and complete economic system can ensure the long-term creative intentions of creators, and it is also the long-term cornerstone for motivating creators, and this economic system is the same as the real-world economic system, with complete, Clear trading rules.

Some people think it is a 3A game. 3A games will be successful in some dimensions. For example, becoming a more free centralized gaming platform will also make more money. As I said before, games can only be counted as a subset, and Metaverse must not play games. People go to play, 3A can only satisfy game lovers.

MetaApp CEO Hu Sen: We can clearly see that there are some specific characteristics of the popular apps. First, find a large enough industry that can form barriers through long-term accumulation; secondly, it must be open and commercially viable, and the scene can be just a single scene; after that, various specific rules and constraints must be set Become more abstract, so that everyone has more room to derive specific rules;

Finally, we need to have a deep understanding of user needs. For example, commercial games in the game industry are the most profitable, and we also want to make them, but most users actually prefer particularly fun mini games. Therefore, commercial games are more suitable for specific game enthusiasts. This process is formed Great mismatch. The creation of content forms that most users like and need is the bottom layer of the explosion, and it is also our development process: from aggregation to content platforms to SaaS tools to jump in to organize content production.

rct AI CEO Chen Yuheng: From the perspective of Metaverse’s attributes, it focuses more on the interactive experience in the native virtual world. Roblox is just an intermediate product between the digital virtual world and the native virtual world, and it is the first stage to Metaverse.

AI will become an indispensable element of Metaverse’s next explosive application. From the perspective of end users, consumer experience and needs, AI can bring new social relationships to users by creating intelligent native virtual species.

This kind of social relationship is a connection that does not exist in the real world. Before people have completed their cognition and acceptance, users are trying to understand the social relationships established between virtual species and between humans and virtual species. Associations and analogies can only be made by referring to the social relationships between people in the real world, which will lead to inaccurate understandings such as cognitive errors and prejudices.

In this kind of social relationship around virtual species, for virtual species born from algorithms and codes, their growth logic is likely to be different from that of real people. From their point of view, they need computing power, Necessary input such as corpus and scene knowledge is an output for us. At the same time, our relationship with them will change from pure digital content consumption to a supply-demand relationship.

They will return the currency or other resources we need because we provide them with the resources to survive and grow. Therefore, this is a relationship that is different from what we understand now that can satisfy people in hobbies, occupations, games, hormones and other scenarios.

Of course, any new generation of applications and products will encounter various resistances during the early development. This resistance often comes from users’ over-reliance on existing needs and gaps in cognitive progress. In the long run, only products that can truly stimulate new needs and satisfy users can gain more support from users in the new era, so as to build Metaverse together with global enterprises, organizations and users.

Yuan Yu, Partner of Cloud Nine Capital: From a technical perspective, new graphics, physics engines, and technical iterations of reinforcement learning will surely provide product people with tools to create next-generation experiences. In terms of products, I don’t think we need to deliberately pursue a so-called “ideal endgame.” I am also exploring its specific form, but one thing for sure is that it must give users an experience beyond expectations in the right user scenario.

What will Metaverse look like ten years from now?

Wang Tianfan, Managing Director of BAI: A heavy Internet lifestyle means that a very high proportion of the Internet and heavy interaction (similar to games) are connected within 24 hours . This lifestyle will not make users divorced from real life and unable to survive. This life Instead, the way allows users to obtain a new basis for survival, which includes economic sustainability as well as satisfaction in the meaning of life.

Zhou Wei, founding managing partner of Chuangshi Partners Capital: In fact, the most important thing for the next ten years is whether the creator can support the ecology and whether the platform can maximize the energy of user content creation.

I imagine that in ten years from Metaverse, the content inventory will be as rich as our current Kuaishou and Douyin, and the algorithm will help you find the best one for you. You will spend a lot of time in it to find your other side. It does not necessarily have many sci-fi and cool scenes. The key is to have a very interesting story line. This kind of immersion is the ultimate meaning of Metaverse.

MetaApp CEO Hu Sen: I actually don’t know what state Metaverse will be able to achieve in ten years, but we know that our requirements for ourselves are to follow this path, not to deviate in the general direction, and we are committed to finding a more responsible business. Path, even if it may seem less obvious at the moment. The team’s energy only focuses on and meets the user’s content needs, rather than supplementing the Metaverse concept.

We hope that within the next ten years, a considerable proportion of the population will experience life in the virtual world, and lower the threshold of games to allow more basic but non-professional developers to participate. At the same time, I also hope that our industry will have more specific user analysis and data references in the future.

Chen Yuheng, CEO of rct AI: Just like Bill Gates suffered from the incomprehension and ridicule of most people when he imagined the future of the Internet on the talk show in 1995, look at what the Metaverse will look like ten years from today. Many people cannot feel and understand it personally.

Therefore, to imagine the Metaverse ten years from now, we must put aside the default way of thinking of “the moment is the best”, and use a new logical way to deduce what changes our lives will have due to the Metaverse ten years from now.

I think in the future humans will create intelligent creatures in another dimension in the virtual world. This intelligent creature is not a replica of human beings. His way of thinking is based on predefined data. When he understands different virtual worlds, It needs to be based on different data structures, but the birth of this intelligent creature means that the boundaries of civilization in human society have once again been expanded. We may no longer need to search for alien civilizations in the vast sky to widen the boundaries of civilizations.

Ten years may seem short, but in the short history of the past, we have seen that ten years may mean a huge change for modern human civilization.

In the past ten years, the mobile Internet has gradually experienced problems such as blocked information flow and low efficiency, explosion of information, large centralized nodes of information flow, which is the firm control of business giants, and complex interactions. This is also the traditional Internet of the previous era. In the stage of transforming to the mobile Internet, there are some problems that the traditional Internet has shown. This also shows that human beings will eventually move towards and embrace digital civilization, and Metaverse is what we see as the next stage of the complete digitalization of human civilization.

Vincent, Partner of Cloud Nine Capital: Ten years later, I guess that Metaverse will eventually conform to the form of ordinary user experience:

Several application carriers, some will look like the screen of a 3A game, some will look like the world of the top player, and some will follow the pixel style. Users only need to find a world that meets your desired style. This world is not necessarily Reproduce the physical world in the virtual world.

Users can travel in any world from multiple terminals (mobile phone/PC/VR) , sharing all of their identity, assets and data with the same account address system. Any type of applications such as finance, social networking, e-commerce, etc. can be seamlessly integrated into this world.

This article comes from WeChat public account : Catcher’s (ID: ibushouzhi) , editor: Li Miaomiao

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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