First, what is the “metaverse”? Various views exist; some we tend to agree with (it’s already here), many we don’t (the notion of multiple). For the purpose of defining in this post, we believe the metaverse is an open 3D extension of our existing internet. In this virtual world of the future people can create freely, interoperability is a standard, and the environment is inherently social.
As we noted in a previous blog post, in social environments, people fundamentally care how they present themselves - something not limited to our physical form. Today, consumers lack compelling ways to express and customize themselves online. There is no widely-adopted solution that allows for a persistent identity across digital experiences. In our 2D web, this is acceptable as profile pictures and bios get the job done. But we know from gaming that in 3D worlds you need avatars to represent virtual identities.
If avatars are a necessary part of our future virtual world identities, the first adopters and the communities that will be most tied to their virtual identities and digital self-expression will be gaming-native. Avatars already exist and thrive today in gaming, where players explore and experiment with their self-expression freely. Utility is important, and this only truly exists in gaming for avatars today.
To service this need, Ready Player Me (RPM) is building a cross-game avatar platform for the metaverse. RPM is built for games first, but any 3D virtual environment can leverage their avatar system and platform. Hundreds of apps already use RPM avatars such as VRChat (community), Summit Scramble (game), vSpacial (virtual collaboration), LIV (VR streaming), and House of Math (education) to name a few. Users can login and use avatars directly through these apps, but they can also enter the RPM Hub and take their avatar across all integrated experiences.
Today, game and app developers leverage RPM for the easy to use avatar platform tools. The integration is simple and enables developers to focus more of their efforts on core gameplay and app mechanics. RPM is free to use, supports full and partial body avatars, enables creating avatars from user photos, allows for 500+ customizations (skin, hair, eyes, etc), and is cross-platform compatible (iOS, Android, Unity, Unreal, WebGL); a true plug-and-play avatar solution. In the future, RPM will also offer the ability for games and apps to monetize premium avatar assets offered to their users, automating a core revenue stream for many games today. As the network of apps and the playerbase using RPM avatars continues to grow, the platform will only become more valuable to everyone involved.
When we first met the RPM team back in 2019, we struggled to believe transferability of avatars would work across games. The sheer number of games and apps integrated with the platform today proves this works. From our first interactions with the team through to today we have seen them execute on this incredible vision with unmatched determination, rigor, and certainty. The depth of thought Timmu and his co-founders Rainer, Haver, and Kasper have put into the product and their philosophy as founders is infectious. One of my favorite questions to ask people is what they suggest reading. To date, the best recommendation I have received is from Timmu: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It is now one of my favorite books and one I highly encourage all founders to spend time with.
Konvoy is excited to announce our investment in Ready Player Me’s Series A, led by Taavet+Sten with additional participation from Github co-founder Tom-Prestown Werner, Nordic Ninja, Tiny VC, Samsung Next, Gautam Shah, Gmoney, Niftynaut, Mixamo co-founder Stefano Corazza, and other angels. We’re fortunate to back such thoughtful and determined founders building towards a radically interoperable future in gaming and beyond.