The virtual world of the Metaverse has branched into military development, but the digital oorah may be quelled early. As the spell of the virtual world dissipates, one military Metaverse company is already giving up.
The United States has invested heavily in pushing its military to the virtual world. Last year, the US filed a trademark for Spaceverse, a Metaverse training program for United States soldiers that was in active development.
Improbable, a UK-based tech company, has shut its doors after working on its military Metaverse. In partnership with the American army, the company’s American subsidiary Improbable U.S. Defense & National Security was working on a virtual platform for soldiers.
Via Gizmodo, the military Metaverse project was closed after “challenging macro-economics conditions”. The company was forced to “refocus on its commercial metaverse business”, destroying its military projects.
In a LinkedIn post, CEO Caitlin Dohrman revealed that the company’s government contractors were upset about the decision to cut military development.
“Our government customers and industry partners are equally disappointed that the highly unique and transformative synthetic environment solutions we were delivering will no longer be available,” they said. “This decision affects not only our employees, but the U.S. national security community as well.”
Improbable’s Metaverse project has been demoed in the past. The virtual reality world aimed to give soldiers a virtual space to practice missions, train for equipment and more. Dubbed Skyral, the project’s one demo was described as low-resolution and awkward. However, most early in-development virtual worlds are.
A full-scale virtual training ground similar to ARMA is a tall ask for any development studio. While there are VR titles that can be used to simulate weapons handling, they are not as robust as what Improbable was proposing.
The Untied States military isn’t fine with exploring the Metaverse as of yet. In spite of Improbable’s closure, other virtual reality ventures are still in the works.