From the creators of PUBG, Brendan Greene of PlayerUnknown has recently revealed their next project as a blockchain-powered metaverse title. Project Artemis will utilize blockchain technology, NFTs, and most importantly, the metaverse to bring this ambitious game to life.  

In an interview conducted by HitPoints, Brendan Greene emphasizes that even following the success of PUBG, his ambitions remain strong. Having envisioned PUBG to be much more than it ultimately turned out, here is what he had to say:  

“I was fascinated with this idea of digital spaces, places where there are no real rules but a set of systems that you can use — like DayZ, or the many ArmA mods. That fascinated me and still does. I never considered just walking away.” ¹

Brendan Greene’s ultimate goal is Artemis, a massive planet-sized open-world experience. With the intention to support hundreds of thousands of players, all whilst enabling them to make and play anything they like – it will take a small army of talented developers and advanced machine-learning agents to help achieve this true blockchain-powered sandbox.  

Preliminary work landed PlayerUnknown Productions with a tech demo called Prologue. This is a survival game with a unique blend of technology, exploration, and gameplay. The team used the Unity game engine as a way to shortcut the making of Prologue – giving players a sense of what the studio was building towards, whilst simultaneously developing the Melba engine and Artemis behind the scenes. 

Earlier this year, PlayerUnknown Productions decided to abandon Unity – realizing that it was impossible to shortcut the making of the tech demo. Prologue and Artemis are essentially the same thing, albeit on a vastly different scale. 

The blockchain has its pros and cons depending on who you ask, yet it is often portrayed as means for greater community engagement – especially in the gaming industry. Some developers are publicly anti-blockchain technology, yet Brendan Greene has a different point of view:  

“I’m just going to do what I’m going to do. It’s this thing that we want to create, and it’s going to give people a lot of fun, a lot of pleasure, and a lot of meaningful things to do. But it doesn’t matter if it’s called the metaverse. I don’t care what people want to call it.”¹   

Ultimately, Brendan Greene’s vision for this project comes from a place of self-interest – yet not from a financial perspective: 

“I want to build this big digital place because I want to go there. If other people want to go there too then great, but I don’t really care what other people think.”¹

“The only way this exists is if it’s made for everyone, and it’s not made for money”¹  

However, through the utilization of this revolutionary technology in gaming, Brendan Greene emphasizes that the digital world they are building has to have an economy – it has to have systems at work. In this context, users should be able to extract value from the game in the form of skins and in-game items.  

With the line fading between what different companies are ultimately trying to achieve in the metaverse – there do appear to be some distinct differences between the likes of PlayerUnknown Productions and other corporations. This is a game. It is not being built specifically around blockchain technology, and it is not intended for brands to advertise or hold conferences and meetings. It is a space for people to experience an evolution of classical gaming.  

This may not be the first time developers have entered the metaverse space, yet it sure raises eyebrows about how this extremely ambitious project will turn out. The concept is immense and the trajectory is positive – however, only time will tell about its success. 

References

  1. Brown, N., 2022. #149: Unknown territory. [online] Hitpoints.substack.com. Available at: <https://hitpoints.substack.com/p/149-unknown-territory?r=8gal8&s=w&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web> [Accessed 28 September 2022].

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