Improbable to accelerate its metaverse technology and refocus its content strategy: the company will continue to build on its Morpheus technology and provide its clients with the infrastructure and content needed for metaversal experiences across the world of entertainment.
London, UK 28 January 2022, 14:00 GMT
The market for the Metaverse and its associated technologies and content is growing rapidly. 2021 saw many billions invested in web3, blockchain and crypto companies and that is set to continue as projects demonstrate new levels of maturity around the globe and across all sectors1. Improbable, the software company providing the critical infrastructure powering virtual worlds, is announcing today how it will refocus its business on the Metaverse, recommitting its technology and content and reorganising its teams towards the burgeoning market around new metaversal projects.
For almost a decade Improbable has been relentlessly pushing the boundaries of virtual world infrastructure, developing its deep understanding of the games ecosystem and the market drivers behind it. It has been building world-class teams from large technology companies, entertainment brands and top video game studios to fulfil its vision of deeply immersive, interactive experiences in the Metaverse.
Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable, said: “We have spent a decade building our technology, refining our expertise and deepening our understanding of the market. Improbable is poised to take advantage of these new opportunities. Now is the time to double down. We have seen a marked increase in inquiries from partners in a variety of sectors beyond gaming seeking to engage in the metaverse. The opportunities under discussion include Web3 gaming, event hosting and social spaces and we want to build upon our competitive edge in virtual world technology and continue to prove our Morpheus technology in the Metaverse, while at the same time strengthening our financial profile in a sustainable way. Our team has a proven track record of solving density and presence issues and creating great experiences within games. As the Metaverse opportunity explodes, we aim to become a pathfinder in the development of meaningful worlds powered by rich ecosystems. We will also continue being a preferred service provider to the games and entertainment market and help accompany our clients in this Metaverse revolution.”
2021 was a turning point for Improbable’s technological achievements and business, as the company’s efforts came to fruition, notably solving the barriers of density and presence traditionally met within games and real time experiences.
The Morpheus technology enables enhanced social interaction and a sense of presence inside virtual spaces, with over 10,000 real users interacting in the same place at the same time in a high fidelity but lag-free experience. Every player avatar is fully customizable and can see the entirety of the crowd he or she is in.
Rob Whitehead, Chief Product Officer, explains that: “A good example of what Morpheus solves is the infamous ‘Metaverse Sniper Problem’. When you zoom in through the scope of a sniper rifle, you need to be able to see an area of the world far away in high-fidelity to be able to get an accurate shot. This is difficult in traditional games with 60-100 players as the networking requirements of the architecture scale quadratically: a 200 player game has 4x the networking requirements of a 100 player game. Therefore to power metaverse experiences with 10,000s of players, you need a fundamental step change of technology.”
The Morpheus technology was proven in a series of ScavLab events on a large-scale virtual platform within PC online Battle Royale game Scavengers - and in a Metaverse fan event with K-pop star AleXa at the end of November. In a ScavLab event, Improbable hosted more than 4,000 simultaneous real players in the Scavengers Winter Sports community event, while over 1,000 individual participants were able to roam the AleXa event arena in full control of their avatar, dance in the crowd and interact with the singer in a pioneering metaversal experience. These technological breakthroughs have generated huge interest in the industry, as they fulfil the promise of the metaverse for users. The company is now in a unique position to play a pivotal role in the next wave of creative experiences and massive live and interactive events within the Metaverse.
For Improbable, the Metaverse is a powerful network of connected worlds, populated with fulfilling and meaningful experiences and enabling a new economy, in an interoperable, smooth and entertaining fashion. Improbable will act as a core provider of the infrastructure and experiences needed in the Metaverse, and expects to benefit from its involvement in this space as early as 2022.
Lincoln Wallen, Improbable’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “We have always believed in the promise of virtual worlds and the Metaverse. We listen to what users want2 and we see what is driving our clients’ ask. We aim to be the best technical, production and operational partner helping our clients navigate the major disruption represented by web3; a full-stack service provider for any company seeking to launch, or participate in, a metaverse project.”
This new strategy will be reflected across the Improbable business. IMS, a leading service provider to the games and entertainment industry working with over 60 leading game developers is now open for business for customers, beyond gaming, seeking to engage in the Metaverse. Under the leadership of Lincoln Wallen, CTO at Improbable, it will build and support enhanced metaverse experiences for partners across the culture, music and sports sectors.
In a shift of its gaming content strategy, Improbable’s UK studio will focus entirely on metaversal experiences. Under the leadership of John Wasilczyk, Head of Games Content at Improbable, it will focus on pioneering and creating metaverse experiences for consumers. The company is investing in the underlying technologies enabling the best experiences in the web3 gaming space, notably with the recruitment of teams dedicated to working on web3 and blockchain-enabled games. Separately, Improbable is in discussion with partners to support the first party games developed across its studios.
Herman Narula commented: “We are in advanced discussions with potential partners for the games being developed within the Edmonton and Midwinter studios and it is our belief that they will reach their full potential supported by publishers with leading track records of bringing games to market.”
Improbable’s business at the beginning of 2022 reflects a healthy performance and significant technological breakthroughs, while the company estimates the addressable market for its services and technology to reach over $100bn3 across games and the Metaverse by 2025.
Narula concluded: “In addition to commercial success, some technical milestones were achieved in 2021 with the largest virtual experiences ever held in a single space, solving challenges in density, audio and rendering. IMS has doubled its revenues, and the number of its gaming clients, of which half are now AAAs. 2022 looks even more promising. We are targeting IMS to become profitable by the end of the year, and for revenue growth overall to accelerate, driven by opportunities both in games and the Metaverse. We are seeing interest in our unique expertise and technology from ambitious web 3.0 projects and expect to contribute to exciting projects this year.”
Improbable has engaged Galaxy Digital as exclusive financial advisor in exploring strategic initiatives.
1 : Bloomberg Intelligence calculates the global Metaverse revenue opportunity could approach $800 billion in 2024 across gaming, AR, VR and opportunities in social, live events and entertainment. Financial analysts have been even more bullish, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley having reached consensus on the sizing of the Metaverse market opportunity in the range of $8 trillion (Goldman Sachs remarks were made by analyst Eric Sheridan in a “Exchanges at Goldman Sachs” episode, titled “Understanding the metaverse and web 3.0”, released on Monday 1/24).
2 : Recent Improbable research, conducted with developers and gamers in the US and the UK, is telling in showing what is at stake in the development of the Metaverse. 61% of American gamers expect to spend time in the metaverse within five years and more generally American gamers see the gaming industry and traditional “big tech” corporations as equally likely to come out ahead, while in the United Kingdom, 29% of gamers think that the odds clearly favour the gaming industry Across the two geographies, gamers believe the Metaverse will be an opportunity to earn money and will also enable commercial opportunities.
3 : Based upon real time multiplayer gaming projections, metaverse software market projections and Improbable’s current market share in those sectors.
Improbable is a British technology company, creating the critical infrastructure to power the coming of age of virtual worlds and the metaverse. Improbable partners with developers in video games, entertainment, and with defence and academic institutions to enable powerful, virtual worlds of unprecedented size and usefulness.