“The metaverse by definition, needs to be social,” said Yonatan “Yon” Raz-Fridman, CEO and Founder of Supersocial Inc. Supersocial Inc. works to provide games for metaverse platforms, specifically for Roblox. As of late last year, the company raised $5.2 million in seed funding from several investors. Supersocial Inc. offers multiple games as well as a creator lab for designers and dreamers alike to make next-level games.
Making the Metaverse SuperSocial
Raz-Fridman found himself drawn into the metaverse industry only recently. “What got me into this space was the realization, about two years ago, that virtual spaces and virtual worlds are going to be real paradigm shifts in human behavior,” he said. “I think COVID only accelerated what was already happening for the past couple of decades, with people spending more and more time inside digital tools and digital applications.”
This upward trend in screentime use is corroborated by many studies. The increased use of screentime has opened up new markets for various companies to tap into, like Supersocial Inc. “We’re moving into an era where millions and billions of people are going to congregate, socialize, play, learn, do things together inside virtual worlds. Which, until recently, would have been perceived only for ‘gamers,’ “Raz-Fridman added. “So, I wanted to help shape that world in a meaningful way.”
In order to set itself apart from other metaverse companies, Supersocial Inc. has focused on two tenets for future games. “The metaverse first and foremost needs to be social,” Raz-Fridman said, highlighting the first key point. “If we created these sorts of isolated virtual spaces where no one is there, it would not be successful. The other point, that I believe is even more important and something we are passionate about, is that the metaverse will be about doing things together. And that’s very much starting with games.” Raz-Fridman and his team have found success in creating spaces where collaboration and socialization are key. But he believes that the metaverse will go beyond gaming. As a result, the social experience needs to be inclusive.
Cost Limits Inclusivity
As the barriers of joining or developing metaverse experiences can be costly, this limits those who are able to participate. “If you think about the current metaverse, it is in a way, being built by game developers,” Raz-Fridman stated. “And if you think about who those game developers are, we’re talking about a sector that is predominantly white and male.” Because of this predominance, the metaverse is already showing some discriminating tendencies. Raz-Fridman hopes to use Supersocial Inc. to work on overcoming those tendencies. “It’s important that the metaverse is built by many different people. I would love to see creators building virtual experiences from places like Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, or Russia.” The current metaverse that Raz-Fridman mentioned may be profitable commercially, but he doesn’t think it will be socially.
Because their games emphasize social aspects, Raz-Fridman and his team are looking at social media companies for insights into markets. “A challenge for us is how do we learn from the past, in social media becoming centralized, with a couple of big winners that took over the entire world of experiences.'”
SuperSocial Inc Wants to Foster Inclusiveness
He mentioned that this centralization was already happening, in part, in the metaverse. With companies like Facebook and Microsoft investing billions into the metaverse industry. Raz-Fridman is worried that the metaverse ecosystem won’t be as inclusive. “It’s really on those platforms, as well as next-generation creators and companies like Supersocial Inc. to really figure out how to enable virtual worlds where inclusivity is not just in the behavior of the users, but also in the type of content.” Raz-Fridman hopes that collaboration between metaverse companies can promote more inclusivity, instead of competition between companies. He illustrates his vision in this video.
He was ultimately realistic about the direction Supersocial Inc. was taking in the metaverse. “I’m kind of a big dreamer. And I’m excited about the metaverse, but I also try and be pragmatic and understand that we don’t live in a dream here. We’re still people. We’re still humans and the challenges we’ve been facing for the last 20 years with the emergence of the Internet. I don’t think will go away. But instead, will be here for a while.”