Improbable’s New Metaverse Tech Could Host 40,000 Users Simultaneously  

Improbable's New Metaverse Tech Could Host 40,000 Users Simultaneously  

London-based metaverse infrastructure startup Improbable is developing a technology that could host up to 40,000 people occupying a single virtual world at the same time.

The tech works best for immersive metaverse experiences that attract large crowds, like sports matches, multi-player games, and virtual music concerts, according to Decrypt, which first reported the news. Improbable did not specify the name of the project.

Also read: Improbable Says Metaverse ‘Business Matured,’ Cuts Losses by $160M

Improbable’s ‘digital Coachella’

“We’ve been building a technology that allows us to have up to about 40,000 people in the same virtual space at the same time,” said Rob Whitehead, co-founder and chief product officer at Improbable. “They can all see each other, interact with each other, and hear each other.”

Whitehead was speaking at the recent launch of the Metaverse Society’s ‘Scaling the Metaverse‘ 2024 report. The report delves into the social and economic implications of immersive metaverse experiences and web3 technologies throughout the world.

“It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to a digital Glastonbury or a digital Coachella,” Whitehead said, likening the experience from the tech to that of a live virtual music festival, Decrypt reports. He added:

“If someone decides to dress up as a cow, you can see them on the other end of the stage, run over to them, and have that serendipitous conversation.”

Coachella is an annual music and arts festival held in California since 1999. Some 250,000 fans attend the event over two weekends. In the UK, 210,000 people attend the five-day Glastonbury music festival every year.

Improbable’s upcoming virtual space is reportedly similar to Yuga Labs’ Otherside metaverse, which, apparently, is powered by tech from Improbable called MSquared. The suite offers a technology stack, network solutions, and a proprietary metaverse markup language (MML) for creating immersive virtual worlds and assets.

Last year, Yuga Labs showcased its metaverse, with simultaneous participants totaling 10,000—four times smaller than Improbable’s.

Improbable's New Metaverse Tech Could Host 40,000 Users Simultaneously  
Image credits: Metaverse Society

Turning big physical events virtual

Founded in 2012, Improbable is a British startup that builds and operates virtual worlds for brands. The company raised over $100 million in 2022 in a funding round led by the likes of UK blockchain firm Elrond, Japan’s SoftBank, and Andreessen Horowitz. The raise valued Improbable at $3.4 billion.

After a string of losses between 2020 and 2021, the firm turned its attention to making technology for the metaverse, including building its own metaverse platform, Morpheus. Improbable also aims to develop metaverse experiences and venture building.

For the startup, the goal of its latest unnamed project is to reproduce in the metaverse and other virtual worlds large-scale live events that, until now, have remained a preserve of the physical realm. Whitehead said Improbable is working with music and sports companies on the venture.

“One of the areas we’re exploring is these sort of high-density events, as a really unique opportunity. It’s something you can only really get in the real world right now,” the executive detailed.

Whitehead also revealed the idea of “metaverse skeuomorphism,” Decrypt wrote, where virtual objects are created to look like their counterparts in the real world. This is done in order to make the transition from the physical to the digital easier and smoother.

“It’s a big fancy term, but it just means doing stuff that looks like real life to bridge in—and in the metaverse, the exact same thing is going on,” he said.

Whitehead averred that with “skeuomorphism,”  metaverse developers will “be taking things that people already understand in the real world and making kind of semi-metaversal equivalents.”

According to its latest financial results, Improbable cut losses from £150 million in 2021 to £19 million last year. Revenues soared 160% to £78 million from £30.1 million the year before.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.