We don’t know whether to thank him or cry for his decision, but the truth is that Mark Zuckerberg has put a new word in our on-board dictionary: metaverse. The obsession of the founder of Facebook, which we will see to see where it remains, has stirred consciences and has set in motion the machinery of making money. And along with the metaverse of Meta, which has billions of dollars waiting for it under the doormat, many others have emerged. Some of the new mint, others that have been in the sector for years and that now, under the spotlight, are taking advantage of the pull of the social media giant.
This is the case of Uttopion, operational since 2020, which has just been welcomed under the wing of Juan Roig with his Startup Launcher, which has also seen a new niche in the buzzword. Along with them, other projects also from the ecosystem such as Yerba Buena VR.
Again, the tokenization of the Internet, the famous Web3 that is talked about so much and the reason is not clear, of course the blockchain and cryotocurrencies. They are all ingredients for the culmination of that so-called metaverse. The future of the network, what we should expect for the next few years. At the moment, Uttopion already claims to be the owner of a fully active metaverse. Still under development, but already operational in two specific subjects: music and sports. For its founder, Soraya Cadalso, it is a way of creating an environment in which the experience is much better.
How is the Uttopion metaverse that conquered Roig?
They were born in 2020, in full confinement, as a response to the number of online events that took place during the months of confinement. To give an outlet to canceled events, satisfy the advertising spending of hundreds of brands that once inhabited the streets at that time empty and to entertain locked-up citizens, the cultural offer (at least online) had never been so numerous. Uttopion started with several projects related to music through a CTM (call to action) that offered “live” content.
Those first steps were not, far from it, a metaverse as we have idealized it. The next breakthrough remained. “We decided to bet on the project with 2D technology, a more dynamic experience with a tiny avatar, and we decided to put all the technology in-house; a Unity engine, like the one in video games.”
With a raised capital of 599,000 euros, plus the participation in the last selection of Lanzadera, Uttopion is now preparing its financing round. 2 million euros to lay the pillars of a metaverse made in Spain. At the moment with national investors in the portfolio and with a view to bringing in a horde of international ones with, as always in this story, more money to invest.
Facebook, Uttopion and the long list of metaverses… or not
All in all, they assume that the metaverse still has a couple of years left to start rolling. At least in a more standardized way. Zuckerberg’s version, for his part, still counts time in decades. Microsoft with its metaverse Teams and avatars without legs, Nvidia, Sony, Oculus, sports and music events… everyone wants their place in the metaverse party.
Because in this story what is not clear, or at least not for now, is what the promised metaverse is. A brief explanation of Uttopion, a place where avatars will be able to move around a “world” focused on music or sports by interacting with their environment – to be reflected in their real life in some way – is vaguely reminiscent of Second Life – which it just got its original founder back now that the metaverse is back – or Habbo from a few years ago.
And, in a way, it is similar except for one detail. At least for Uttopion: “It’s a world based on democratization and decentralized economy,” says Soraya, “with its own token to operate.” Unlike Habbo, the metaverse offered by these Spaniards is available to everyone who is part of it, both for use and enjoyment as well as for making decisions and obtaining benefits from it.
And it is at this point where they draw the line. One that has been crossed in the name of the metaverse for the past few months with no rhyme or reason. H&M announced its own metaverse a few weeks ago. It was nothing more than the virtualization of one of his collections for the Nintendo game Animal Crossing. Also in line with Fornite concerts or events. With this, for Uttopion, Zuckerberg’s proposal would also be playing in another league. Without a hint of democratization, in fact Meta will own all the data generated there, the bet of the North American giant goes more along the line of sensory experience: not only seeing and hearing, but also smelling or feeling. A complete digital life similar to the one drawn in Ready Player One in which there is not only entertainment, there is also an economy.
Despite everything, Uttopion knows that there will be many metaverses in a few years. More real or less, but there will be. And they will all have to converge in some way to satisfy a user who is not sure that he will go through the hoops of hundreds of platforms again – similar to the streaming war we are experiencing today.
Real estate bubble, also in the digital world
Uttopion has something lined up for the end of the month: a land sale to create your metaverse. 500 (1,000 between the music and sports area) digital land of course. Plots of between 2,000 and 20,000 euros, depending on the size, as NFTs in which to install a “business” or content. Although it is true that they confess that they have received offers from companies that want to keep all the “land”, for Uttopion this system is not valid. “It wouldn’t make sense for our metaverse.”
60% of the plots would be dedicated to content. Music and sport in your case. Artists, record companies, concerts –and the companies behind them– would fall into this group. The remaining 40% would be the disaster drawer, that of services. From an individual to a food store. With the possibility of modifying even the smallest detail (interior and exterior and at the moment only under Uttopion’s hand) of your plot, the options that Uttopion imagines are enormous in their reflection for real life. Ordering a hamburger in the digital store and having it delivered to your home in real life would, in this case, be the most obvious resource. But not the only one.
At the moment, and until January 31, they are in the consultation phase. Then the bid and the Idealista war will begin within a metaverse that we still don’t see, but we already feel it coming little by little.