To effectively test, develop, and deploy such an ambitious project, we are adopting a phased and gradually decentralized approach to the rollout of the network. Note that while this may appear as a linear timeline, some elements will overlap in reality.
Establish key technology, funding and partnerships. (2022-2023)
Before releasing this document, there has been a large amount of setup work to kickstart the M² ecosystem. This includes:
- Raising sufficient capital to support the project.
- Publicly test and harden core experiential technology to support tens of thousands of concurrent users across dozens of events.
- Design Metaverse markup language and establish foundational tools for teams to easily develop metaverse content.
We have chosen to take a different approach to many web3 projects, deciding to first demonstrate the value of the technology and ecosystem publicly and frequently before inviting investment or contribution from ordinary community members. We believe this is vitally important in establishing the credibility of the network.
During phase 1, Improbable has run dozens of public events with thousands of users from over 100 countries.
Network early access, builder community access and key partner launches.
The goal of Phase 2 is to expand beyond content tested by Improbable and initial partners. As we’ve highlighted throughout this document, we believe the metaverse's potential is only realized through engaging and valuable experiences, so we need to maximize the number of such experiences that are built, and that means going far beyond what one company can do. We adopt both a community-driven, bottom-up strategy and a partner-driven top-down approach to maximize the success of the content created within the network.
- We are open-sourcing the Metaverse Markup Language, allowing developers to build Metaversal Objects that can live in any world on the network.
- We are opening a free space, ‘the Construct’ for builders to experiment with the technology and public metaversal objects and to test different business ideas.
- We are introducing a community recognition system and regular community events run by our founding team. These have already begun, so we can establish and grow a meaningful community of like-minded builders and reward these builders in the future based on their contributions to the success of the network.
- Over the last year, we have worked to establish multiple commercial and large-scale metaverse projects in sports, art and web3, which are being announced alongside and in the months following this document. Each of these metaverses is funded and backed by world-renowned brands looking to establish platforms both for their own content and as another place on the network for builders using MML to publish content.
- During this phase, most of these metaverses will primarily function through large-scale time-limited events, to draw as much attention to the content as possible and gradually move toward persistent operation as they become commercially ready.
- These early metaverse owners are being assisted through partnerships with service providers like Improbable to accelerate their path to market while the network and technology are still in flux.
- Limited rollout of commercial systems that enable commerce within a metaverse and experience through partners. As commercial activity is important to validate business models for partners.
- Ensuring early adopting metaverses reinforcing the network’s rules, such as interoperability of avatars, free movement of users, and portability of content created by builders. This will be crucial for ensuring that we can validate and defend those rules before the network expands to open access.
In phase 2, we aim to see a dramatic increase in the frequency and number of metaverse experiences that people can join during this phase and will look to identify promising communities, builders and projects to provide early metaverse owner slots to and to directly support through the services of Improbable and the M² network.
During this period, we will still be heavily modifying the tools and technologies that underpin the network based on feedback, so we will be gating access to some tools to the most promising projects or sources of feedback until they are stable enough for wide release.
At this stage, we are only providing a rough overview of phases 3 and 4, the majority of the project is focused on early phases, and we expect our plans here to shift based on feedback, but here is a rough overview of our intentions and an idea of steps to achieve them. We anticipate much more community involvement in decisions beyond Phase 1 and 2.
Once we are confident that the builder and metaverse owner communities are sufficiently satisfied with the quality of content and tooling the ecosystem can generate, we will enable broader commercialization of the content in the M² network without needing to go through our early adopter programs. This will mean opening up the network for commercial metaverse projects that can self-serve and integrate with the network. This will require us to fully deploy and make autonomous the various commercial and interoperability layers of the network we are testing in phase 2 and be confident in the final commercial rules as it will be increasingly challenging to change them from this point. You can think of this as the“1.0 launch”.
During this phase, the following services will be deployed in their version 1.0 forms:
- A model where anyone with sufficient resources and meeting criteria to become a metaverse operator without any support from an implementation partner like Improbable.
- A shared interoperability layer enabling people and objects to move freely across experiences on the network, with a clear ruleset defined in Phase 2.
- The ability to make durable MML objects that connect to existing blockchain primitives (i.e., NFTs), unlocking the True Ownership of Metaversal objects. This is already possible in Phase 2 but will become much simpler and involve publishing objects to a shared system that provides an environment for storage and compute canonical to the network.
- A shared cross-metaversal settlement layer enabling anyone to list an object for sale in any world and trade between any currency.
- Toolchains and infrastructure to enable metaverse owners to create their sovereign commerce systems easier than in phase 2.
- An economic model that supports the growth and running of the network whilst rewarding participants.
During this period,implementation will begin on parts of Phase 4, including involving network participants in more decision-making/execution and federating the services and infrastructure.
When the project has a critical mass of economic activity, the network will become more decentralized in nature. This is essential for the network to grow and for businesses to rely on it. It will allow the system to outlive the failure of individual projects and create novel forms of metaversal governance. This will involve:
- Choosing and then adopting an underlying token for the network to support cross-metaverse services such as paying transaction fees, settling payments between worlds using different currencies and providing rewards to metaverse operators and content creators.
- Greater decentralization of the core services that power the network, moving away from Improbable as the primary operator of these services to multiple companies, DAOs, and other entities being able to help run the network.
- Introducing basic dispute resolution and governance rules necessary for 'cross-metaverse trade,' IP protection, and compliance with real-world laws between each of the worlds on the network.
In summary, the M² master plan is:
- 1.Give access to disruptive tools to builders and foster new experiences.
- 2.Enable and incentivise a cross-metaverse economy through shared commercial structures and the free movement of people and objects.
- 3.Make the M² network autonomous and federated in its evolution and operation and beyond any one company's control.