What happened to the man who got $500 million and promised to build the MMORPGs of the future?

In May 2017, software entrepreneur Herman Narula (34)’s Improbable Company received an investment of $502 million. The company wanted to build the future of MMOs and MMORPGs with SpatialOS technology. The CEO has promised to create massive, fully-simulated worlds. 6 years later, in January 2023, there is not much left of the dream, says our author Schuhmann.

Why did the man get so much money?

  • Herman Narula studied computer science at Cambridge and founded the company ‘Improbable’ after graduating in 2012: the company’s vision was to enable small teams of video game developers to simulate incredibly huge virtual worlds. large and complex.
  • SpatialOS technology was developed to develop such massive simulations, which should then be integrated into large game engines.
  • The company’s vision was so impressive that it received a colossal sum of $502 million from a bank as an investment during an investor round in May 2017. The company was valued at $1 billion. dollars at the time. In 2018, the company was even valued at $2 billion in another investment round.

The Future of MMOs: Technology Set to Create Huge Online Worlds

1 billion people in a virtual world would be a separate country s

Here is what the man said at the time: After the huge investment, Narula hit the big notes. He said (via gamesindustry):

A lot of people don’t want to believe that we really think games are important. But they are incredibly important and they are becoming more and more important: Hypothetically, one day: If 100 million or 1 billion players enter a virtual world at the same time, then it would no longer be a game, it would be a country. It would be incredibly important to the world […]

Narula wanted to take MMOs out of ‘nuclear winter’ and into the future

This was his motivation: Narula said he developed the technique for the love of games. Such games are not about escaping the real world, but about becoming more emphatic and intelligent by visiting virtual worlds. Visiting a virtual world is like a journey and you know that traveling educates.

I want the industry to believe in online games again. We went through something of a nuclear winter, especially in MMOs, and that was partly due to technology, partly due to gameplay and customer expectations. But now is the time to rekindle the idea of ​​what these worlds mean. […]

In 2019 he founded a studio in Edmonton, Canada. Today it is known that the survival RPG “Nightingale” was created there. As he said in an interview (via Game Informer):

If you look at MMORPGs, there are very few in development, even though they generate a fifth of all industry revenue.

The industry really has a blind spot. That’s why we think if we build a team here with that much experience, we can take that as our goal.

It’s Nightingale today:

Nightingale shows new trailer with PvE gameplay, looks more and more like Valheim

All games with SpatialOS fail or are canceled – there is little hope left

So how did it really go? Unfortunately not good at all. Improbable, in its early days around 2017, really tried to adapt its technology to “small development teams” who wanted to create massive worlds. But it turned out to be a flop:

Later, the company changed its strategy and bought game studios itself in an attempt to implement their visions: but that didn’t pay off either:

NFT and Metaverse instead of the future of MMORPGs

Do you keep trying? No, Narula’s 2017 dream of reviving MMOs seems to have been abandoned by now.

Wundertechnik lets 10,000 players battle and celebrate in one place

Like so many others, the company has moved to crypto and Web3.

Since April 2022, the company has been working on “M-Square”, a web 3 metaverse project: The idea is to create a huge virtual meeting space in which developers can then integrate NFTs or other digital objects.

This is apparently intended to serve as a space to hold virtual concerts or events.

With “Otherside”, the company also has a typical “gamified metaverse” working with NFTs:

The Man Is A Hope For MMOs – Says His New Platform Has A Max Load Of 1 Billion People

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