There’s one way to make people buy something: put pets in it. Whether it’s the world of Pokémon, Nintendogs, or even Microsoft Kinect, virtual pets sell software and hardware. Metaverse pets will do exactly the same.
With the Metaverse failing to capture wide cultural appeal, virtual pets may just be the edge it needs. After all, pet simulations sell, and VR pets could make the next-gen internet sell like hotcakes.
Will Metaverse Pets save the virtual world?
In a report by sifted, a number of Metaverse developers are currently aiming to be the first to deliver a Metaverse pets. As the technology evolves, the reality of realistic — our at least immersive — pets is almost here.
Tiny Rebel Games, a studio is Cardiff, Wales, recently raised $7 million to create the Petaverse Network. This network is designed to create AI cats that can seamlessly move between different virtual worlds.
Designed to be an enhanced version of games like Nintendogs, Petaverse will let your single pet follow you into different platforms. This means that different games can still feature the same pet. One example sees your cat accompanying you on “a quest to fell an ancient dragon”.
Susan Cummings, co-founder of Tiny Rebel Games explains: “The problem with Nintendogs is that they’re forever confined to the DS… It’s a pity they couldn’t be separated from that device.”
On the other hand, Metaverse Pets could be transferable. She said: “Their DNA — their soul — those will stay the same. Even their memories of how they problem solve. So imagine in the future, your child or grandchild, having basically this digital heirloom — like a real physical pet that just continues to live on.”
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How would this even work?
Cummings explains that each Petaverse cat would have built-in metadata that could be read and recreated on different services. If a service supports a pets plugin they create, then Metaverse pets would work there. This will allow the look and personality of a pet to go anywhere.
However, those who want a Metaverse pet will have to buy one as an NFT. While the service is planned to go “mass market” one day, it will only be available in limited batches in its current, unusable state.
Petaverse isn’t the only service with this exact launch strategy. Digital Dogs, another Metaverse Pets service, aims to do the exact same thing with canines, allowing them to follow a user into different worlds.
However, these products are marketed on the basis that they will be supported everywhere one day. Of course, that isn’t guaranteed; Meta may not support them, VR Chat may not support them, etc. Nothing is a given until it is.
Furthermore, these pets are still being sold with the NFT promise of eternal value — something yet to be proven. As Cummings says: “We could sell you a pet now, and it will still be worth something to you in 30 years.” Personally, that’s not why I buy pets.