SoftBank’s metaverse offering: a risky bet or a potential game-changer?

In a surprising move, investment giant SoftBank is venturing into the metaverse space with its latest project, MSquared. Despite recent setbacks and losses, SoftBank remains undeterred and aims to create a 3D virtual space where thousands of people can live, work, and interact. While other companies are retreating from the metaverse, SoftBank-funded Improbable believes MSquared has the potential to revolutionize interactive entertainment experiences. This article explores SoftBank’s metaverse offering and its potential impact on the industry.

SoftBank’s recent struggles:

Before delving into the details of SoftBank’s metaverse venture, it is crucial to acknowledge the company’s recent challenges. SoftBank’s Vision Fund experienced significant losses of around $32 billion in the previous fiscal year, while its investment in WeWork faced further complications when its CEO made headlines for abandoning ship. Additionally, Zume, SoftBank’s investment in a mobile pizza-making robot, failed due to an unforeseen flaw. With these setbacks in mind, the timing of SoftBank’s foray into the metaverse seems questionable.

Introducing MSquared:

Improbable, backed by SoftBank, has unveiled its metaverse project, MSquared. This ambitious endeavor aims to create a 3D virtual space that accommodates over 10,000 simultaneous users. MSquared emphasizes interactive entertainment experiences, including parties, games, and concerts. Improbable’s chaotic demo video showcases large-scale dance parties and crowded auctions, providing a glimpse into the potential immersive experiences within this metaverse.

Differentiating factors:

What sets MSquared apart from other metaverse offerings? One notable aspect is its cloud streaming availability, eliminating the need for users to download additional software or invest in expensive devices. By prioritizing accessibility, Improbable aims to attract a broader audience. The company is actively seeking partners to develop engaging experiences within the metaverse. Initially available on desktop, MSquared plans to expand to mobile devices and gaming consoles by the end of the year.

Metaverse’s financial challenges:

As SoftBank embarks on its metaverse venture, there are concerns about the profitability of such projects. Meta (formerly Facebook) incurred massive losses in its Reality Labs division, amounting to $13.7 billion in the previous year. SoftBank, aware of these challenges, must tread cautiously to avoid similar financial pitfalls.

SoftBank’s entry into the metaverse space with MSquared raises both intrigue and skepticism. While the company has faced significant setbacks in recent times, it remains committed to taking bold risks. Improbable’s emphasis on cloud streaming accessibility and the potential for immersive interactive experiences within MSquared is noteworthy. However, the metaverse industry’s financial challenges, exemplified by Meta’s losses, should serve as a cautionary tale. As SoftBank continues its metaverse journey, the coming months will determine whether it becomes a successful game-changer or another missed opportunity in the evolving landscape of virtual experiences.

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