Metaverse technology company Improbable has abandoned plans to create a training metaverse for the US-UK military-industrial complex, allowing the company to focus on other projects including Otherside – the delayed metaverse it is building in partnership with Yuga Labs’ Bored Apes Yacht Club.
Improbable U.S. Defense & National Security announced that it would cease operations at the start of this week. The US company is a subsidiary of British-based Improbable.
Otherside is being built in collaboration with Improbable and Animoca Brands, and will use M², a network developed specifically for large-scale metaverse projects, to enable thousands of users to interact simultaneously.
Improbable made the decision to fold its US subsidiary in the face of challenging economic conditions.
Caitlin Dohrman, President and General Manager of Improbable U.S. Defense & National Security, stated that its parent company now intends to refocus its efforts on profitability.
“Improbable’s sudden decision to leave the U.S. defense space is heartbreaking,” said Dohrman via LinkedIn. “This course of action was taken out of necessity due to Improbable’s refocus on its commercial metaverse business and need to accelerate its path to profitability amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions.
“The decision was not a reflection of the quality of our work or the success of the U.S. business. Our government customers and industry partners are equally disappointed that the highly unique and transformative synthetic environment solutions we were delivering will no longer be available.”
Taken at face value the statement suggests that even if this iteration of the military metaverse has failed, another may be just around the corner. Improbable spokeswoman Marine Boulot went on to state that the US office is only one part of the company’s defense subsidiary.
Improbable and Bored Apes
In July of this year, Improbable launched its first demonstration of Otherside, the metaverse of the Bored Apes Yacht Club. At the peak of the demonstration 4,500 players were able to gather in a single metaverse, comparing favorably to other environments in which a far more limited number of individuals can attend at any one time.
Despite that successful demonstration, completion of the project remains some way off in 2023.
Yuga Labs is building a metaverse platform called Otherside in collaboration with Improbable and Animoca Brands. Otherside will revolve around digital communities and ownership opportunities facilitated by blockchain technology, with a native digital currency called ApeCoin and virtual plots of land.
Voice chat and streaming
The platform will be able to support more than 10,000 users simultaneously, and will offer natural voice chat and game streaming capabilities. In March 2022, Yuga Labs released a teaser trailer for Otherside, and later launched a website for users to register Ethereum wallets and complete KYC verification.
The company then introduced the “Otherdeed” NFT, which serves as a deed to virtual land in the Otherside universe, and allows for access to playtesting for the product. The sale of Otherdeeds was met with high demand, with more than half a billion dollars worth of ApeCoin spent on minting the NFTs within 24 hours.
Since anything with the Bored Apes label on it tends to be quite the moneymaker, refocusing their efforts on Otherside would seem like a smart business strategy for Improbable.