Spatial started out as an enterprise remote collaboration solution. Then, it changed lanes to offer virtual worlds for consumer social uses. Now, it could become an immersive gaming platform. At least, in part.
A Look at the Toolkit
The new “Spatial Creator Toolkit” is a Unity-powered interface that allows users to create custom avatars, items, and “quests.” The quests can be “games and immersive stories” as well as “interactive exhibitions” according to a release shared with ARPost.
“This evolution to gamified and interactive co-experiences is a natural expansion for the platform and the internet,” said Jinha Lee, CPO and co-founder. “With more than 1 million registered creators on the platform today, and almost 2 million worlds, we are committed to empowering all creators.”
The toolkit also features advanced tools for linking virtual worlds together. All of it is powered by visual scripting as opposed to conventional coding. The company said that this allows “zero learning curve and instant scalability.” During a closed alpha phase that began in December, companies with advanced access including Vogue and McDonald’s broke in the toolkit.
Spatial’s Room to Grow
According to the release, the company hopes to become the YouTube of 3D games. “As Adobe is for 2D video, Unity is the software unlocking 3D games and the new medium of the internet. Spatial is like the YouTube for these games, enabling instant publishing to the mass market,” said CEO and co-founder of Spatial, Anand Agarawala. “Anyone can build, the key is unlocking the capabilities to allow the magic to happen.”
Considering plans for a creator marketplace by the end of the year, the new business model is also similar to platforms like Roblox. That platform is a flagship of the gaming creator economy but has so far stayed away from NFTs.
Having fully embraced NFTs, along with other Web3 building blocks like cross-platform avatar compatibility through Ready Player Me, Spatial has a lot of opportunities and tools at its disposal that platforms like Roblox don’t. These include partnerships in the larger Web3 community, and at least some level of interoperability with other immersive platforms.
In short, we still have to see where this direction takes the company. But, it looks like calling the platform a “YouTube” or a “Roblox” might be selling it short. Both of those are massive creator-driven online marketplaces and communities, but both of them are limited by their own walls and that might not be true of this new side of Spatial.
Let’s See How Far it Goes
Skepticism about what may seem like another blockchain game drive is understandable. However, blockchain games that have let users down in the past were largely trying to shill their own products with questionable infrastructure. Spatial is a proven company with an open ecosystem that has nothing to gain by anyone losing. This should be fun.