Extended reality technology is a part of “the metaverse” – a materializing virtual/physical world that seems perpetually here and perpetually around the corner. Another major part of the metaverse is “Web3” – an interconnection of human and computer systems brought about by data that is more universal, more complete, and more personal. In the middle is InfiniteWorld.
InfiniteWorld is a digital content management and strategy company working on emerging technology solutions with emerging technology companies. With a recent acquisition, they also have plans to help onboard users to Web3 technologies through games that “bridge” Web2 and Web3. CEO Brad Allen called it “Web2.5” in an interview with ARPost.
Meet Brad Allen and InfiniteWorld
Allen’s story is, much like InfiniteWorld’s story, one born of seemingly very different technologies and passions. He started out in the finance world, eventually getting into venture capital. In 1999, he started and sold a Web1 company.
“That gave me the entrepreneurial bug,” said Allen. Fast forward a few years. Allen is still working in finance and in the web space. Then, “In 2014, I put on an Oculus for the first time and I saw the future.”
That same year, Allen became a board member of NextVR, a company that specialized in VR broadcasts of live entertainment. Six years later, the company was purchased by Apple. The same year that Apple purchased NextVR, InfiniteWorld was founded in Miami – a city rapidly becoming the physical epicenter of the metaverse.
The company worked with a number of brands in XR, blockchain, and legacy companies like McLaren. This spring, around the time that Allen came on board as CEO, they partnered with the NFT gaming project Chibi Dinos to launch their virtual world. The company would also begin talks to acquire gaming studio Super Bit Machine – an acquisition which took place in August.
“We’ve been at the forefront of creating cross-platform, cross-play competitive gaming experiences and we understand that the future of these interactions will take place in the metaverse,” Super Bit Machine founder Alexander Krivicich said in a release shared with ARPost.
Web3, the Metaverse, and Gaming
The team at Super Bit Machine is going to head up a new “Infinite Gaming Group” within InfiniteWorld, according to Allen. This will help InfiniteWorld bring games, gamified experiences, and interactive assets to clients. But it will also allow the creation of games with a specific goal in mind: onboarding people to Web3.
“We’re building bridges to Web3,” said Allen. “Ask someone to set up a wallet – it’s hard. It’s like dialup. … What is the easiest, most direct path to bringing people into the metaverse? That’s gaming.”
Right now, the two biggest incentives that most people see for setting up a digital wallet are essentially day-trading cryptocurrencies and acquiring digital art in the form of non-fungible tokens. Another use case that isn’t as well publicized but is much more universally interesting is the gaming world. In games, NFTs aren’t just images, they’re tools with unique abilities.
“NFTs are going from collectibles to utilities,” said Allen. “One thing that’s really important to remember is that content is still king. What content is going to attract people?”
This is where all of the crossover happens. Allen sees Web3 as enabled by technological developments like blockchain while the metaverse is the virtual world, enabled by Web3, in which and through which people interact with each other. But, first, they need to learn how and why to engage with these sometimes challenging media.
This New World
You might not agree with InfiniteWorld’s views on the metaverse and Web3. Or their views on how and why to onboard people in the first place. But, that’s okay. It’s all a part of the discussion.
“The metaverse is still being defined, so let’s define it in a way that is positive,” said Allen. “I love that we’re able to define this new world that is coming up.”