In March of this year, Roblox went public on the New York Stock Exchange with a market value of US$45 billion. After it became the “Metaverse First Share”, similar companies collectively ushered in a wave of rapid growth under the new trend.
Also in March when Roblox went public, a social gaming platform called Rec Room received a US$100 million investment led by Sequoia Capital and was successfully promoted to a “Meta Unicorn Unicorn”.
This week, 9 months after Rec Room became a unicorn, Rec Room announced again that it had raised a new amount of US$145 million, which was led by Coatue Management. The old shareholders include Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures and Madrona Ventures. Group.
After this round of financing, Rec Room’s valuation is as high as 3.5 billion U.S. dollars, surpassing the 3 billion U.S. dollars paid by Facebook (or Meta) when it acquired Oculus in 2014.
Rec Room’s growth momentum continued throughout the year: twice a year, it raised nearly 250 million U.S. dollars in total; as of November, Rec Room’s monthly activity had increased by 450% year-on-year, and the number of mobile users had increased by more than ten times during the same period. It currently has more than 37 million players and more than 12 million interactive rooms.
Will the rapidly growing Rec Room become the next Roblox?
The “Third Space” created by the former HoloLens team
Founded in Seattle in 2016, Rec Room is a cross-platform social gaming company that claims to be “the best place to build and play games together.” Its founder was Nick Fajt, who spent 8 years in Microsoft’s Gravity (later HoloLens) team.
In the words of sociologist Ray Oldenburg, the game is Nick Fajt’s “third space”-a space that is not your home or your work, but a restricted space in between. This is a place where people exchange ideas, relax and enjoy a good time.
Rec Room founder & CEO Nick Fajt and his Rec Room image
Unlike traditional video games, Rec Room is not built around missions or specific narratives. Rather, it is a community where people can gather to play games in public and private rooms. Players can also customize the room, as long as you can play Rec Room, you can create a room yourself. The tools exist in the app, and you can create them in real time with your friends.
Nick Fajt said in an interview that Rec Room aims to directly promote interpersonal relationships. Games are tools for connecting with others. Although there are competitive games such as paintball, laser tag and dodge ball, it is more like a game night with friends than e-sports games.
“Most social apps today are actually very isolated,” Fajt said. “The user is interacting with the algorithm, not another person. We want to create a place where people can get together to meet new friends and create new memories. From day one, this has been our goal, and it is still ours. Target.”
Rec Room is not just a pure VR game or social platform. Users can not only use avatars for face-to-face interaction, but also participate in various types of multi-player interactive mini games such as team battles.
In addition to voice, the interaction between players can also clap each other, shake hands, etc., and even throw balls back and forth in the chat room, disrupt water glasses, etc., which is almost the same as the actual communication.
Based on this, Fajt also mentioned that Rec Room has become the first choice for creative courses, company brainstorming, office expansion, and even weddings. Recently, some players also gave other players Christmas gifts in the community room, etc…
Almost any device Ke Yi run Rec Room
When the sales of VR equipment initially failed to meet industry expectations, Rec Room expanded from a dedicated VR platform to PC, PlayStation, iOS and most recently Xbox. As a result, VR headset users can now play games in real time with users on consoles and iPhones, or mix and use them by themselves.
“We hope that Rec Room will become the most thorough cross-platform social application in existence,” Fajt said. “After all, Rec Room is trying to connect to people, not devices.”
Fajt said that one feature that makes his company stand out is that it does not rely on the Meta platform like Horizon. On the contrary, in addition to VR devices, it can also be used for free on Android, iPhone, PC, Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox game consoles. It also does not rely on advertising revenue, but makes money by selling virtual goods such as new characters.
Up to now, Rec Room can be used on mobile devices, game consoles, PCs and VR devices. The supported operating systems/platforms include iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Oculus and Steam.
This multi-terminal cross-platform feature greatly reduces the cost of users trying games. The average time for console game users and VR users in Rec Room is over two hours, and the average time for mobile device users is one hour.This is similar to the data disclosed by Roblox last year, which said its users spend an average of 2.6 hours playing games.
Now, at the end of 2021, one of the biggest gains of Rec Room is that it is far ahead of the Metaverse wave brought up by the giants. All the exciting things that Meta or Microsoft promised for the Metaverse are things that have already happened in Rec Room.
In addition to the cross-platform feature, Rec Room’s current advantages include:
According to data from July this year, Rec Room has successfully served more than 1 million active VR users every month.In addition, it can accommodate at least 45,000 players at the same time, making it expandable to large groups of players around the world. The platform has a certified beginner mode, so children can play safely in the Rec Room.
Rec Room has a huge community of creators and users, all over social media, Discord and online forums. There is even a community Wiki where users can learn about the ins and outs of different tools, upcoming events, and creator assets that can be purchased.
Rec Room recently announced that members will be able to exchange in-game tokens for cash at a price of US$400 per million tokens. Rec Room players have a very real opportunity to make money through the platform, and content creators will also get paid.
Is UGC the way out for the Metaverse?
Cameron Brown, chief creative officer of Rec Room, said that Rec Room focuses on “people-oriented Metaverse.”
“When I was asked about our vision of the metaverse, my answer was based on people and what they want and need to do every day. Of course, this technology is fascinating, but in the final analysis, the talents in the virtual world are What really makes it work is also the most interesting and meaningful aspect.”
Rec Room’s future plans for continued expansion include further investment in its creator community. As early as March of this year, it stated that it would pay about $1 million to game creators on its platform. Most of Rec Room’s content is produced by its users, including new clothing, events and decorations for the user’s private gaming area.
Some of these users have already earned what Brown calls “real money” from their game creation, because other users are willing to pay for the privileges to use them, and Rec Room hopes to expand this to the point where someone can theoretically do it. Rec Room makes a living by virtual craftsmanship.
Cameron Brown said: “I think the essence of social applications is to have a compound effect. As the scale expands, Rec Room will become more attractive and more and more people will play.”
Matt Curtis, Vice President of Developer Relations at Roblox, also believes that the future of games is UGC. He said in a speech at the GamesBeat 2020 summit about a year and a half ago that the explosive growth of UGC has brought us into the Metaverse, creating a mutual relationship. The universe of connected virtual worlds is as described in works like “Avalanche” and “Player One”.
According to reports, Fortnite maker Epic Games is pursuing the same goal. But Matt Curtis said that UGC has taken the video and music fields by storm, but games have fallen behind in this trend.
In addition, in an interview in September of this year, Fajt stated that he wants to create an order for users in the “Metaverse”, and these rules involve multiple aspects.
For example: Who can move items? What can an item do in a particular room? Who can set reasonable standards? Who can set economic standards? How should these things be traded? This is the foundation of society, and building it well is not just about promoting the superposition of these things.
The formulation of these rules and orders requires a lot of major decisions, which is why many platforms like to formulate rules that are beneficial to them. But the “Metaverse” has not yet figured out which rules to make and what decisions to make, Fajt said:
“I think the decision-making part is still early, and there is still a long way to learn. If you want to build a platform like Rec Room, what important decisions need to be made to help creators make money? How to make the community a favorite place for users? Where do I need to consider adding these rules?”
Moreover, whether the rules introduced into the Metaverse should be the same as the rules in reality, how to make this place where order is established more popular and how to make this place safe. What is the order here? This may be a problem and challenge that everyone has to face. Rec Room hopes to overcome this problem from the very beginning, and has issued a sound code of conduct:
“We attach importance to the development and use of tools, and allow players to block, block, and report other players in the game. For this purpose, we have prepared a large-scale review team to review these content, and we also have a large R&D team When doing automated content, I believe this is crucial to the development of the company.”
In fact, from another point of view, Rec Room is also created by hobbyists. They are all users of tools. It is very important for these people to benefit.
“We have studied for a long time in order to get compensation for these players. Originally, we wanted to reward them with game currency, but now the goal is to achieve scale. We need to find ways to provide them with real money and Think about how they can get real money that continues to grow.”
All in all, Rec Room allows us to see a highly active VR community, a cross-platform method that can reach users across the world, and the economic effect of the epidemic. These are all Rec Room for investors to bet on. s reason.
Rec Room plans to conduct an IPO in the next few years, but the current focus is to continue to ensure that the platform becomes a place where players can play and create fun in the community.
Fajt said: “We have many other things to do in the future, such as creating more experiences in 2022, expanding to new platforms, enhancing security systems, and continuing to expand creator tools.”
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/this-metaverse-unicorn-i-want-you-to-make-real-money-in-the-virtual-world/
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